Do you ever get the feeling you have too many holiday decorations? You tell yourself you’ll declutter and organize everything after the holidays as you’re putting your decorations out. But then the season is over and you’re tired and just not “feeling it” so you put it off until next year. This is me literally every year.
Holidays can be overwhelming sometimes, especially because they all seem to come together at the end of the year. By the time I put my Halloween decorations away it’s time to take out the Christmas stuff. This makes decluttering and organizing during the busy holiday season difficult.
Here are a few tips for how to get the decluttering and organizing done in a reasonable amount of time so you’re ready to go once the holidays roll around.
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If you’re decluttering your holiday decorations, do it early! You really won’t have time to declutter and organize during the holidays. Do it before the craziness starts.
Once you weed out what you don’t want, those items should leave your home relatively quickly (or you may change your mind and nobody wants that). You could drop them off at Goodwill or some other charity but sometimes even when you have the best of intentions, you just don’t get around to it.
Wouldn’t it be better if someone just came to your house and took the stuff away? This is why I use Facebook Buy Nothing groups. These are usually available by town and you can list anything you’d like to give away for free. You could also use a tag sale group if you want to sell your stuff. But the key here is that you need to do it BEFORE the holiday when people are starting to plan and there is more demand. Anytime I’ve seen holiday decorations on Facebook right before the holidays they usually get snapped up within minutes.
Another reason you want to do this early is because you’ll figure out if there’s anything you need to replace or don’t have enough of. It’s best to know early that you need to buy a new tree skirt or more ornaments before we get into the thick of the holidays and everything is sold out.
Beware of Sentimental Items
Sentimental items are the hardest things to part with. They are my achilles heel. I even wrote a blog post about it called What to Do with Sentimental Clutter. Not wanting to let go of holiday items that have special sentimental value can be one of the reasons you’re procrastinating when it comes to decluttering your decorations.
My advice is to carefully go through these items and really examine your attachment to them. You may find that with time, you’re willing to see them in a more objective light. I love my kids’ handmade ornaments but I’ve realized that as the years pass, I need to narrow the collection down to the truly special pieces. I know that I still have enough of them that I can keep and treasure for years to come. And, in my case, they’re still young enough to make more.
Don’t Keep Decorations You Never Use
Back during our first Christmas together, my husband and I realized we didn’t have any Christmas ornaments. Being the practical guy he is, hubby went out and stocked up on plain red and gold tree ornaments at Michaels. I used most of these but we had way more than we needed. Years later I still had ornaments that had never even been taken out of the box.
Every year I brought them up from the basement and never took them out of the plastic totes to put on the tree. And at the end of the season, I brought those ornaments back down to the basement unused. I have no idea why I kept these. Maybe it’s because they were still in the boxes and I felt guilty that we had wasted money on them. Maybe it’s the voice in the back of my head that told me I might need them someday. But the reality was that I didn’t even like them so, realistically, they would never make it on to the tree.
If this sounds familiar I’m giving you permission to let these things go. Think of it this way, instead of allowing these items to continue to make you feel bad or guilty, let them go out into the world to brighten someone else’s holiday.
Related Post: 7 Ways to Simplify the Holidays
Keep Decorations Easily Accessible
This is a picture of the closet where I kept my Halloween and Christmas decorations. Most of the stuff I needed for decorating was way in the back behind the Christmas rabbit and US flags. This is part of the reason I procrastinated getting my decorations in order for so long. I didn’t want to go in there and take everything out unless I absolutely had to.
I moved my holiday decorations to a different closet and now they are much easier to get to. The more accessible your decorations are, the more likely you’ll be to declutter and organize at your own pace without creating a mess.
Use Sturdy Containers
Good containers that will withstand years of use are a must when you’re organizing and storing your holiday ornaments. These ornaments will be sitting somewhere in the back of a closet or an attic for most of the year. Stackability is another plus.
I prefer plastic totes. I’ve had mine for at least a decade and they’ve held up well. You can get these pretty much at any big box store or on Amazon. I prefer see-through totes with snap-on lids like these.
I also have the totes with the lids that hinge at the top and fit together to close like the one below. It’s a bit easier to use these because you don’t have to keep track of the lid.
Don’t use cardboard boxes. These will fall apart eventually and you’ll need to replace them fairly often. And whatever you do, don’t use bags! There is nothing more frustrating than having your ornaments in bags. You can’t stack them and they don’t hold as much which means you’ll need a ton of bags to store everything. I’ve done this for some of my decorations and it’s a real headache.
Keep the Original Boxes
I’m a big fan of original boxes. I will never understand why people buy decorations and then throw away the box they came in just to go out and buy special ornament storage containers. Your ornaments came in a container that was specifically made to store them. It has the exact number of slots for each ornament.
Because I keep the original boxes I’m able to return each ornament to its original spot and I can easily tell when something is missing. Holding on to the original boxes has kept me from throwing away ornaments that got lost in the deep crevices of my Christmas trees over the years.
Try Some DIY Organizing Hacks
If you just couldn’t keep the original boxes or they fell apart, try upcycling plastic apple containers. They have openings that are the perfect size to store round ornaments. I’ve been using these for years. I learned this neat trick from Alejandra Costella on her Youtube channel. If you want to see her explain this money-saving tip, check out the video below.
Another money-saving hack to keep your Christmas tree lights from becoming a jumbled mess is to wrap them around an empty paper towel roll. It’s pretty easy and once you’re done you can plug the ends into each other to keep the lights from unrolling. Sweet!
Less Really Is More
When it comes to holiday decorations, sometimes less is more. A few well-placed decorations can go a long way. Your house doesn’t need to be decked out to experience the joy of the season.
The holidays can be overwhelming as it is so the less stuff you need to tackle during the holidays the better. Decluttering and organizing your decorations can be one of the best ways to minimize stress.
Do you have any tips for decluttering and organizing your holiday decorations that I didn’t include here? Please feel free to leave them in the comments. I love learning new tips and tricks to keep things manageable.
Until next time, happy organizing and decluttering!
Linda Culbertson says
I purchase sturdy flat gift boxes at Menards. Most of my ornaments are Hallmark. They are strurdy, non breakable. I line the boxes with a few pcs of tissue paper or bubble wrap. Then I lay the ornaments in the boxes. Holds a lot, saving space over putting back in individual boxes. Yes I store the original boxes, flattened in another box.
Linda- Thanks for the tip. Saving on storage space is key.