Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Holiday Decorations | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Holiday Decorations

Monday, December 2, 2013

Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Holiday Decorations

Do you feel overwhelmed at Christmas with all the extra "stuff" in your home?

Before Christmas there are lots of holiday items taking over your home.  Decorations, gifts, lights, craft supplies, activities and projects for kids, holiday CD's, special baking supplies and tools, candles, Christmas cards, gift wrap, holiday dishes, and Christmas clothing.  Just to name a few!

And after Christmas there are all the new gifts cluttering up your home. Toys, books, electronics, games, clothes, and more decorations!  It can make your home feel cluttered.

One of the best ways to simplify Christmas is to declutter in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  To help you do that, I'll be doing a series of posts this month sharing ideas to help you declutter your home for a simpler Christmas.  Join me!

This week, many people will decorate their homes for Christmas and put their ornaments and lights on their tree.  As you're going through your decorations, take some time to declutter them.  You probably have some things you won't put out for one reason or another.  Rather than storing them for another year, consider purging them.

Here are some suggestions of decorations you can purge:

  • Items that are broken {and if you have something that you've been "meaning to repair" but never actually get to it because December is so busy, just do yourself a favour and throw it out!}
  • Decorations that are worn, faded, or discoloured
  • Things you are tired of or no longer enjoy
  • Items that you have many of {if your tree is looking a little full, consider just putting up one or two ornaments from a set and giving away the rest}
  • Anything else that you don't use or plan to use this year {unless there are unique circumstances why you aren't using it now but that you will use it in the future}

We decorated our tree and our home and here are some of the items I'm purging this year.

We have a LOT of ornaments for our tree. We usually give our kids a new ornament each year, they often make ornaments at school, church, or just for fun, and we often receive ornaments as gifts.  So our  collection grows each year.  That was fine in the early years of our marriage, but as our family has grown, our tree has become fuller and fuller. 

Last year I purged some ornaments that didn't hold a lot of meaning.  This year, I'm also including some that we really liked year after year, but we are now enjoying other ornaments so we're letting go of these.  I'm putting Peter Walsh's saying into practice:  "If everything is special, then nothing is special."  I want to really appreciate our tree and if it's so cluttered that we can't see the branches, then we can't value the ornaments that are special to our family now.  Time to let go :)

Also related to our tree, I'm donating this brand new skirt (similar to this one).  I've had it for about 5 years and have never used it.  I've got another skirt that I use and while this one was a good deal when I bought it, I really don't need it.  And if something happens to the tree skirt I have now, I probably won't want this one anymore anyway because by then my kids will be getting too old for Santa.  Time to give it away to someone else who can use it, instead of storing it any longer!

Probably one of the most frustrating things for most people is Christmas lights!  I'm not a fan of these strands where the whole set doesn't work when one light is burnt out or loose.  It takes so long to find the one that needs replacing.  My hubby still wants to try with this one so I'm giving him a few days and if he doesn't get to it then I'm going to toss this strand.  We've been buying LED strands like these the last few years and they still work when one light doesn't.  Much better :)

{Sorry for blinding you with that bright flash... it's a dark & cloudy day here}

These are some more general decorations I'm giving away this year.  Pretty quilted placemats that I don't use because we have other placemats and table cloths we use more.  Cute coasters but we have more coasters than we need.  A candle holder I don't use because the tall thin candles are hard to find and we have a lot of candles already.  A Christmas card holder I haven't used in years because I was given another one with pockets that fits my space better.  And a few Christmas greetings books that I rarely look at.  Time for these things to go to someone else's home who will appreciate them more!

I'm also giving away some Christmas kitchen items.  I enjoyed these books but I've copied the recipes I liked from these books and now someone else can enjoy baking goodies from them (if you'd like them you can get them here and here).  And I've finally come to terms with the fact that I'm just not a sugar-cookie-baking kinda gal so these cookie cutters are leaving my home.  No more "I really should use those" moments of guilt and pressure this year.  Same for the spreaders.

I've had these stencils since I was young and I'll tell you, I can't remember the last time I used them.  Every year I've thought it would be fun to spray our windows with "snow" or make cute crafts, but my kids LOVE our window decals and they have other craft sets, so these keep getting packed away unused.  Time to let them and my feelings of not being "that mom" go!

That tangled mess you see on the table is a set of strands of Christmas shapes.  We hung them from the suspended ceiling in the basement for a few years and it was cute.  But they're so tangled I couldn't even get one strand fully separated for the picture.  I probably could have stored them better to prevent this, but we had fun with them for awhile and I'm OK with letting them go instead of spending an hour of my time de-tangling them.

The goal of purging Christmas decorations is to help you enjoy your special items more by having the breathing space to treasure them. I hope you are able to have a simpler Christmas by decluttering some of your decorations!

 If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for the rest of the series!  I'll be sharing decluttering before Christmas posts at least once a week for the next few weeks!  You can sign up to have my posts delivered right into your email inbox or follow on various social media sites.  All the links are at the top of the page, right under my picture!

Here are some other Christmas posts you may be interested in.

You can also find more Christmas organizing ideas on my Christmas Organizing board on Pinterest. 

And of course you can always find decluttering ideas on my Decluttering / Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

What decorations can you purge this Christmas?  How do you declutter before the holidays?

Happy organizing!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!


  1. Bravo on the decor purge! It's so freeing isn't it? I started purging, organizing, and labeling my opaque christmas bins a couple weeks ago and I'm really excited to only put out the things I LOVE this year :).

    1. Thank you Gabi! Yes, it feels great to declutter. Enjoy your purged & organized decorations too!

  2. I'm a bit behind the eight ball this year - still haven't gotten our Christmas tree up! Ooops!!!

    1. There's no exact schedule for decorating Janet :) I got going early this year because last year I was sick for most of Dec and it was tough to get everything done. Have fun decorating!

  3. We gave up the full sized tree when we moved to this house over 10+ yrs ago. We have two mini tree's - one for each floor - and then I have an army of plushies for decor. Not all Christmas but rather winter so they can stay out a bit longer. My rule was that if it didn't fit within the 3 large totes I have, I can't have it. I haven't bought anything in ages but I am continually getting tempted! LOL

    1. I like the idea of winter decorations so they can stay out longer. And I LOVE the 3 totes limit you set for yourself.

  4. As I started bringing my decorations up from the basement, it hit me...the reason I have been tripping over things and have many piles in my storage room for the past year is because I never fininshed packing away the stuff from last Christmas nicely! The buns were just strewn with stuff and over packed, so didnt have covers, so couldn't be stacked or fit on to the shelves, and in and on. I owe it to myself to organize the decorations this year when I put them away and then maybe I can tackle the rest of that room that I haven't been able to get at all year-arugh!!!!!

    1. Oh Angela, what a great realization. Sometimes we forget to see things through to completion and then they just become part of the "scenery" until we look at them with fresh eyes. Good luck organizing your bins and your storage room!


I love hearing from my readers! This is a great place to ask questions, answer questions, and share your organizing tips. Thank you so much for commenting! I look forward to getting to know you better :)

{Note: if you're using Safari, I probably won't see your comment since Safari and Blogger aren't playing well together :( Please comment with a different browser so I don't miss it. Thanks!}