Get Organized BEFORE the Holidays


Today we have a special guest post from Berkeley native Shira Gill. Shira is the founder of Shira Gill Home and helps clients create a “well-edited life” filled with fewer, better things. She’s here to share a guide on how to declutter your home before the holidays!


Before you fill your home with holiday décor and gifts, it’s important to take some time to donate your unused and unwanted items so your home doesn’t get overly cluttered. Find or buy a sturdy tote bag and keep it in your closet for a week. Fill your bag with outgrown clothing and shoes. Toys are great to donate this season as well, making creating space a great opportunity to teach children the importance of helping others. When your donation bag is full, bring it to a local charity of choice!



Don’t wait for a huge chunk of time to appear before you start to de-clutter your home. Set a timer for 30-minutes and tackle one small area at a time. You will feel so much better as you see project after project get completed. Then you’ll be able to breath easy, knowing that holiday decorations aren’t overwhelming your home.



Generally, when things get strewn all over the entry area, it’s because they don’t have a clear or intuitive place to go. By taking an inventory of what typically gets dumped there, you can identify everything you need to create a “home” for. Write down all of the items that currently require a storage solution. Shoe shelves, cubbies or labeled bins or baskets will do the trick for shoes and a pretty ceramic dish is great for tossing keys, cell phones and loose change. For mail and magazine storage I love installing wall pockets, or simply placing a large pretty basket on your entry table if you have one.

Your entry area is the first thing people see when they enter your home, and it really pays off to create a pretty and functional space for both you and your guests. During the holidays you can also accessorize with seasonal décor, family cards, winter branches or a dish of seasonal candy.



When I am helping clients edit and organize their belongings, inevitably we will stumble upon things that don’t have a clear home – a new outfit that needs to be returned, gifts for a holiday party next week, books that needs to be given back to a friend. I suggest setting up a large bin or basket for this purpose and storing it in a convenient location near your entry closet or front door. A sturdy tote will do the trick and can be easily tossed into your trunk when you are on the go. It will make a world of difference not to have all of those outbound items floating around your house!


There’s no better way to enjoy the holidays and spend time with loved ones than with a clean and organized home. It takes away the stresses of entertaining and having extra decor around for a few weeks. Plus, you get ahead of a few New Year’s Resolutions!


For more on Shira Gill Home, go here.

Follow Shira on Instagram @shiragill for weekly tips and inspiration.

Images by Oakland-based photgrapher, Vivian Johnson

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