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Holiday prep: 50 items to sell, donate or toss now

That puzzle with all the missing pieces? Toss.

Holiday prep: 50 items to sell, donate or toss now

In my house, the months between October and December feel like one big back-to-back rush of putting one holiday's décor up and another's away. As much as I love the cheer of the decorations, I find my house gets a little cluttered and out of sorts—which usually leaves me somewhat flustered during the season.

This year, I'm making a point to do things differently: I'm getting my house together before the holiday season hits with some decluttering.

My goal is to sell, donate and toss the things that are not of use around here and focus on the things that I am using. Here's where I'm starting:

Holiday decorations

Unwanted, broken and unused seasonal decorations are great starting points for the pre-holiday purging. Now is the time to sort through those boxes, of…

  1. Ornaments
  2. Bulbs and lights
  3. Garlands
  4. Extra stockings
  5. Unused holiday albums
  6. Outside decorations
  7. Old wrapping paper, bows and tags
  8. Last year's Christmas cards
  9. Old artificial trees
  10. Outgrown holiday sweaters, pajamas, etc.

Kitchen + dining room

Since the kitchen and dining area will be some of the more used rooms in your home around the holiday season, keeping them clean and clutter-free will not only make them look good, but keep you sane during the season. Start by getting rid of…

  1. Unused serving wear
  2. Outdated table runners, napkins, table cloths
  3. Orphaned kitchenware, e.g. pots, pans, Tupperware, utensils, etc.
  4. Expired cleaning products
  5. Old spices
  6. Canned goods you won't use (look into donations to a local shelter or food bank!)
  7. Expired condiments or items in the freezer
  8. Old booze or wine
  9. Mismatched glasses, coffee mugs and wine glasses
  10. Cookbooks

Kids' gear

With the first semester of school down, I like to gather my little guy's artwork and school papers and sort them into two piles: keep and toss. It's also a great time to sort through closets and make a list of what they need or could use for winter. A few things I've already sorted through and can get rid of are…

  1. Old hats and mittens
  2. Shoes that are too small and can't be used for hand-me-downs
  3. Underwear and socks
  4. Unused and broken toys
  5. Puzzles/games with missing pieces
  6. Old books
  7. Unwanted school or artwork
  8. Old toothbrushes, soaps, shampoos and other bath products
  9. Outgrown shirts and pants
  10. Old winter coats and snowsuits

Living room

If your living room is anything like mine, it tends to be a catch-all for toys, books, coats, shoes... everything. Try getting rid of a few of these things to keep the room balanced and easy to pick-up…

  1. Old throw blankets
  2. Unused throw pillows
  3. Miscellaneous toys
  4. Boring coffee table books
  5. DVDs
  6. Old remotes/manuals
  7. Dying houseplants
  8. Old magazines
  9. Mantel knickknacks – you're going to want a clean mantel for the holidays
  10. Old fireplace logs, starters and equipment

Personal items

There's nothing quite like a light, well-organized purse and closet to keep you on target for the busy holiday season. Here are a few personal items that you can sort through to light YOUR load…

  1. Old make up, face washes, hair products and nail polishes
  2. Purse and wallet items
  3. Junk drawers items, e.g. old batteries, pens, coupons, etc.
  4. Car items
  5. Old clothes
  6. Old shoes
  7. Unwanted scarves
  8. Junk mail that still accumulated
  9. Unused planners and calendars
  10. Expired medications (safely)

Things tend to multiply over the holiday season—especially with little ones—so getting a head start never hurts. When the New Year's purging comes about, you will be glad you did!

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

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Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

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