Reducing Holiday Gift Clutter

by Merissa on January 3, 2013

in Featured, Organization 101, Simple Living

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The holidays are over now and the mess is still here. Even though you may have tried to reduce the amount of gifts you gave, that doesn’t stop grandma, aunts and uncles, friends, and more from giving your family way too many things.

If you are like me, you feel like your home is going to burst at the seams from all the STUFF! You feel grateful for the thoughtful people that gave it to you but you just aren’t sure where it’s supposed to go or where it fits in.

I’m one of those that continually likes to clean out and re-organize so if I bring something into my house I usually try and take something else out. If it doesn’t have a place it doesn’t belong in my house! But then gifts come into the picture and you like them but you just aren’t prepared to fit them into your house. Here are some ideas to help you reduce all that holiday clutter and start getting back to your normal organized self.

  • Make a place. Like I mentioned above, I really believe in the phrase, a place for everything and everything in its place. If it doesn’t already have a place in my house I will make a place for it. If there is no way to make a place then it needs to leave my house and find a different home.
  • For each thing that comes in, something else goes out. I’m not saying you should have a specific number of items in your household but it does help control the clutter when you clean something out for everything that comes in. Maybe you could even take it a step further and get rid of 2 items for each thing you bring in!
  • Reduce the amount of décor that you put up. Many times we feel like our house is much more full of clutter when we bring in and decorate with all kinds of trinkets and sparkly things. I prefer only to decorate with items that mean something to me. (And I really hate trinkets altogether but that’s another story!)
  • For kids toys….pack up a boxful of toys that you want to keep and store them away for a while so they can play with the new ones. In a few months bring them back out again (and pack up others) and it’s like a brand new box of toys all over again!
  • Don’t spend your gift cards right away. I know it’s tempting to go out and have a shopping spree but save those gift cards until you find something you really need. A shopping spree now will just add to the clutter!
  • Tip for next year…tell your family members to reduce their gift giving to one gift per person. Or tell them that you would rather they not give gifts and give something else altogether (a day trip to the zoo, a spa gift certificate, ect)

Doing these things will help lessen your stress load and will keep your house cleaner in all of the after-holiday wind-down time.

Find more Organizational Tips on Little House Living.

What are some things that you do to reduce holiday clutter?

Merissa is a born and raised country girl. She loves being a wife and homemaker and strives to give her family the best with whatever she has! She started Little House Living in 2009 to share her love for all things simple, frugal, and natural.
Learn more about Merissa and why she started Little House Living.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary Foerster January 3, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I am continually trying to declutter (in my little single wide!), so I ‘suggested’ to my daughter & partner that we try to stick to one nice gift each. It worked out really well…and at the big family gathering on Christmas Eve we have been doing the ‘Round Robin’ gift exchange for a couple years now which also cuts down on gift clutter. RE: Gift cards, we rec’d a rather sizable one from our employer to (my favorite!), and we have been carefully replacing some pricey kitchen appliances that have gone belly-up. I’ve tried to be really mindful and reducing the ‘stuff’ that is so easily accumulated day to day. I recently purchased your Home Mgmt. Binder pages & Meal Planning Made Simple to add to my arsenal! Thank you Merissa for all your great ideas & encouraging posts, I look forward to each & every new one! Happy New Year!


2 Spendwisemom January 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

This year for Christmas, we gave people gift cards or consumable items like jams. It was so nice not to have a lot of holiday trash and clutter around. Everyone opened about 3 gifts and it was plenty and enjoyable and not excessive. For this month, I am doing a declutter of my whole house and get rid of any extra clutter and clean as I go. It will feel great at the end of the month having everything simple, clean and uncluttered.


3 Merissa January 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Sounds like a great Christmas!


4 Tara Pantera December 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm

On the holiday decorating note…We take things out of the decor storage tubs and when we put it on a shelf, for example, we take something off of the shelf and put it in the tub…we do it for every holiday…even picture frames! Take down a picture frame/candle, put up a nutcracker/snow globe…


5 Merissa December 26, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Great tip!


6 GlueGirl December 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

We try to go simple on gifts it isn’t always 3, but we do it by size. every family member has a box and ever can fit in the box. so it can be 1 or 2 big things for several small things. The box we use is a small moving box. my daughter last year we fit into it a backpack and a pairs of pants. plus notebooks, colored pencils, and drawing items inside the back pack, and this year we made her a draw string bag, and PJs, then a new metal lunch box we filled with nail polish, plus some kitchen measuring spoons for her Hope chest. I find that it gets real fun to wrap everything separately for kids. that way they think they are getting more. we got her 12 nail polishes to replace hers that the little cousin ruined this year because she loves painting her nails and messing with designs. they were slid into toilet paper rolls and wrapped, or small boxes in 1’s and 2’s so they all looked like different gifts. but all fit into her nail(lunch) box.
We have also encouraged all family member to give us gift cards so we get to decide what we need not what they think we might like.


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