Have you met anyone who hasn’t wanted a less-stressful holiday season?

Me either!

Having a stress-free holidays seems impossible! What with the shopping lists, the parties, the work gift exchanges and the fun holiday invites  from every direction.

I’ve assembled my short list of ways to de-stress the holiday and reduce clutter — both physical and mental! — so you can better enjoy the peace and beauty of the holiday season.

Top Tip: Make Your Gift Requests Known

“Creating gift lists and providing them to family members well in advance of holidays and celebrations can be a very helpful tool in limiting the clutter collection.”

  1. Cruise through the holidays. Ever heard of the The FlyLady? Well now you have! This Southern belle at FlyLady.net developed a plan called “Cruising Through the Holidays.” The premise? Pretend you are leaving on a 3 week cruise on December 1, and have to have everything ready for the holidays by then. This approach works wonders for allowing yourself to enjoy holiday parties and family time without the worry.
  2. Reduce clutter before the holidays begin. Start now to move out old clothes, toys, games, books, movies and more. Our clutter clearing service can help! And once you are ready to move items out, contact the Vietnam Veterans Association to schedule a pickup.
  3. clutter free christmas Oxfam donation.Shop consumables.   Most people don’t really have it all. That’s when a great, clutter-free, consumable gift is perfect. From beautiful Christopher Elbow Chocolates to gift cards for a local coffee shop, these gifts will be appreciated for their personal touch.
  4. Get charitable.  From goats to jewelry and shoes, nothing says “I love you” like a charitable gift. The Toms company not only sells great shoes, but donates a pair of shoes directly to people in need. Looking for even less? Buy a llama for a family through Heifer International, or Support a Refugee, through Oxfam.
  5. Give the gift of a “Gift Exemption.”  Instead plan for a holiday potluck or luncheon, a holiday hike out in nature or time out enjoying a Christmas event.
  6. Exchange services or good deeds.  Everyone has skills that others only WISH they had. Sewing, canning, computer skills, handywoman, cooking, an eye for landscaping. Consider YOUR skill and how you can share it with friends and family.
  7. Be Giver-Focused. Want to be surprised? Recent psychological studies on gift-giving have found that gifts that are giver-focused — a gift that allows you to share who you are, like a favorite product or book — are by far more well-received than recipient-focused gifts.

    Even though people thought they preferred recipient-focused gifts, it was actually giver-focused gifts that brought people closer. It seems as though there’s greater meaning in a giver-focused gift. So the next time you’re gift shopping, try to find something that lets you share something of yourself with the person to whom you’re giving a gift.

  8. Reduce and reuse in gift wrap. Nothing fills the landfills every holiday like wrapping paper. If you are crafty, you can opt to sew your own easy drawstring bags, which can be gifted or re-used annually. Or invest in re-usable paper gift bags.

What are your favorite tips to make the holidays stress free? Let us know in the comments.