Two days after Halloween, I had an email from Starbucks announcing the Holiday Drinks have arrived. Everywhere I turn – be it in person or online – everything is screaming “The Holidays Are Coming”.  And, that, my dear may be causing you to feel a little panicked. Especially if your house is on the cluttered side. It can feel overwhelming to begin. So you might be asking yourself which room to declutter first.

I know that a part of you wants to whip the entire house into shape. Yet, darling, trying to do it all  right now? That can be a sure path to feeling more overwhelmed.

To better manage the way those feelings of anxiety can bubble to the surface when you think about hosting Thanksgiving. And getting Christmas perfect.  Or throw the best New Year’s Eve Party ever. Well, darling, you must approach your clutter in a methodical manner.

Let’s be honest: the holidays should be a time of beauty, kinship, and peace. Yet, the current feelings of society make this period feel rushed, anxious, and challenging. Don’t let clutter in your home rob you of how you want to feel. You should be able to experience Thanksgiving with love and gratitude. Christmas should be filled with joy and delight. The New Year should be approached with hope and anticipation.

Honestly, darling, your entire life should be loving and nourishing. Not stressful, anxious, or overwhelming. A tidy home can help you make that happen.

Rather than feel overwhelmed, here’s some suggestions on which room to declutter first based on your individual plans for the holidays.

Which room to declutter first if you’ll be traveling for the holidays.

They say there’s no place like home for the holidays. For some folks, that means heading back to your parent’s (or grandparent’s) home for one – or more – holiday gatherings. For others of you, a vacation is what you’re asking Santa for. No matter if you are traveling to visit with kinfolk, friends, or as an escape from the everyday, traveling during the holidays means you need to pack your bags.

If this describes you, then the first room to declutter is your closet.

Traveling demands you wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Your closet is the place you prepare to face the world! By decluttering your closet of anything that is out of style, doesn’t fit, or is worn out? This gives you a better place to start. You can see what items in your wardrobe still work. And what you might need for all the activities you’ll be doing while traveling.

Which room to declutter first if you’re hosting a holiday party

Getting excited about busting out your best china and serve-ware? Looking forward to family and friends gathered around your table as you carve the Turkey? Want to make a big splash with a fun – or elegant affair? Then the first room to declutter is your kitchen.

The kitchen is the centerpiece for any gathering. Whether you will be cooking, having a pot luck, or having your gathering catered, you’ll be in and out of your kitchen even more than ever.

Clean out your junk drawer. Organize your gadget drawer. Ditch any dishes you don’t love, including a great-aunt’s china. Clean your fridge from top to bottom. Spiffy up the spice cabinet and tidy up the pantry. By getting your kitchen into tip-top shape first, you’ll have better footing  to get a head start on everywhere else in your home.

Which room to declutter first if you’re hosting guests during the holidays

Will your folks be coming into town to be there when your kiddo’s open their presents from Santa? Is your son and his new wife spending their first holiday together with you? Out of town friends coming in for your big New Year’s bash?

If this sounds like you, then the first room to declutter is your guest bathroom. During the average course of our lives, we tend to stash extra stuff in our guest bathrooms. From extra toilet paper to cleaning supplies to worn out linens.

Yet, when guests stay overnight, they will be using that bathroom. And I know you want to put your best foot forward. Clean out every cabinet. Safely get rid of expired medications, worn out linens, and make the bathroom guest ready. Then, right before your guests arrive, all you need to do is a swish and swipe rather than a full blown overhaul.

Which room to declutter first if you’re celebrating the holidays at home

Will you be sharing most of the holidays with just immediate family? Are you estranged from your folks or just too far away to travel to see them this year?  Does socializing sound like the last thing to do for a happy holiday season? 

Then, darling, the first room to declutter is your living room. Whether you put up a tree with all the trimmings or go minimalist for the celebration. Or if celebrating the holidays in the coziness of your own home sounds like an absolute dream. Then you will want your living room to feel inviting and welcoming.

Begin by getting rid of any paper clutter. Ditch any decorative items you don’t love. And get rid of furniture that makes your home feel crowded or completely outside your vision for your home. You have a clean slate to decorate for the holidays. And the perfect place to watch holiday movies. Or sip cocoa by the fire. And just the right setting to toast the New Year.

Which room to declutter first if the holidays are about reconnecting with your partner

Are you and your spouse like ships passing in the night thanks to work demands? Are you both so busy with the moving pieces of daily life that you feel, well, disconnected? Finally getting to take some time off for the holidays? Longing for a little romance? Do you just need to reconnect and get on the same page?

It sounds as if the first room to declutter is your bedroom. Unfortunately, our bedrooms become dumping grounds, strewn with the detritus of our busy lives. We pile our nightstands with work. Or get in the habit of working from bed.

Your bedroom should be for sleeping and sex. To allow the holidays to be a time to really reconnect, then whip your room into shape. Anything related to work gets banished from the bedroom. Put away any piles of clothing. Clean out your dresser drawers and clear that nightstand, with the goal of having an empty drawer. Pare your bedroom back as much as possible.

Then, add some romantic touches: fresh flowers, candles, upgraded linens, or new art that feels sensual.

No matter what your plans for the holidays or beyond, using your plans to determine which room to declutter first allows you to set the tone for home.

Once you begin with the first room, it allows you to build some momentum to tackle other rooms in your home. Be methodical in your approach. Remind yourself that you deserve to experience the holidays as stress free as possible.

Soon, your home will feel like a respite and you can welcome the holidays – or any season – with open arms.

Now that you know which room to declutter first as you prepare for the holidays…

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