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5 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

It’s that time of year again. A time of cozy feelings, joyful holiday greetings, and naturally, holiday havoc. Between hosting, cooking, wrapping, gifting, visiting, traveling, and gathering, this time of year shines a stark spotlight on our homes and families, often magnifying our stressors. And for many, this can leave us feeling burnt out and overwhelmed with the daunting task of facing the holiday season. But this season, I want to share 5 ways to simplify and declutter your holiday season!

1) Simplify your “Stuff”

When it comes to the idea of going through the seemingly growing amount of boxes containing holiday decorations and memorabilia, it can seem like an endless mountain. Begin by selecting your favorite pieces to display.

Next, discard items that no longer serve you, including:

  • Things you don’t like but keep out of guilt

  • Haven’t been used in the past two years

  • Duplicates of what you already have

  • Unusable supplies - crushed bows, torn tissue paper

  • Broken items - lights, ornaments, and decorations

  • Outdated holiday greeting cards

2) What is most important to you this holiday season?

Another way to continue decluttering your holiday season is by identifying your priorities and setting expectations. Take some time to sit down and create a list that captures what’s important to you and what will bring value to your holidays. During this exercise, do your best to push self-criticism and others’ opinions aside. Create a second list that highlights what you don’t enjoy or adds to your holiday stress. These two lists will help you to recognize what you enjoy and what stresses you out so you can take action and make mindful choices.

3) Manage Expectations

Now that you have identified your priorities, you can set realistic expectations for yourself and others. When hosting, share holiday plans and party details with family and friends ahead of time. Before making any major changes to the way things have been done in the past, be mindful of the impact it may have on others and make time to acknowledge any disappointments. Give yourself permission to be “perfectly imperfect” instead of striving for an unattainable standard of perfection that only leaves stress and exhaustion where joy should be.

4) Set a Budget

This time of year is invariably linked to overspending and creating unwanted debt. In the upcoming holiday season alone, people expect to spend an average of $867 [Gallup, 2022] With that in mind, it’s important to make time to plan your finances before the holidays begin. I suggest starting with a list of all expected expenses (gifts, events, meals, travel expenses, etc.) and finding where your normal budget can be adjusted to save for these holiday costs, and setting it aside. Within the holiday savings, try to also leave some flex in the budget for the unexpected costs that pop up within the season

5) Delegate to Others

At the end of the day, the holidays come down to being around loved ones and sharing goodwill. And, this can also be included in how you handle the holidays. It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or burnt out when the weight of holiday and personal expectations are weighing you down, but you don’t have to carry this weight alone! Be open and honest with yourself and others about your needs and ask for help when a task seems impossible or too much to do alone. Remember to focus on your holiday priorities and be true to yourself!


While we all can appreciate the cheer of the season, it's hard not to feel overwhelmed by the expectations and hustle. But, with a little bit of decluttering, prioritizing, planning, sharing, and some helping hands, your holidays can be less stressful and full of cheer. With years of experience, let CBOrganzing help your holidays stay merry and bright with proven methods and expertise to ensure a happy holiday for all!

Feel free to reach out on my Contact Page and check out my social media for more examples! Happy Holidays!

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