I like the idea of decluttering Christmas to create more space to enjoy time with family and friends.
Here are my top six tips for clearing the clutter from Christmas:
1. Fewer gifts
We’ll be continuing our tradition of giving our daughter only two gifts - one from us and one from Santa. I’ve noticed that by giving her fewer gifts she places more value on what she receives.
2. Clutter-free gift giving
The last thing I want to do is gift someone clutter that they then have to find space for in their home. I like the idea of gifts that are used and enjoyed. Local or homemade food, art and craft materials, and vouchers for adventures are my favourite clutter-free gifts.
3. Less food
Food waste increases significantly at Christmas, with an estimated 35% of food ending up in the bin. Embrace simple, seasonal and local food and dish out only as much as can be eaten. Do you really need four kinds of meat and five different salads?
Last year’s Christmas cards will be upcycled into gift tags. I’ll also be reusing my daughter’s artwork as wrapping paper.
5. Simplify decorations
By all means – use and look after the Christmas decorations you already have. But before you race out and buy more – consider making your own from natural and recycled materials.
6. Learn to accept that you can’t do everything
I find this the hardest part of decluttering Christmas – trying to find the time for all the festivities. We’ll be skipping a few of our after-school commitments and favouring time with friends and family over shopping, chores and cooking.
Transition Newcastle is hosting a gathering this Tuesday exploring the question ‘A sustainable Christmas – is it possible?’ I’ll be kicking off the discussion with a few tips for reducing the environmental impact of Christmas celebrations. 7 – 9 pm Tuesday 26 November, Wesley Hall, 150 Beaumont Street, Hamilton.
Originally published in my Newcastle Herald column 'Less is More' 23rd November 2013.
More clutter-free Christmas posts from the archives: All I want for Christms is a good dose of calm. | A feast with a story to tell. | Festive limits: Too much of a good thing. | Stop buying stuff and donate instead: Charity Christmas gifts | A calm and creative countdown to Christmas - 24 nature play & craft activities (I'll be sharing this year's Creative Countdown to Christmas in a few days. You are welcome to join us.)