The internet explodes into a frenzy of organizing and decluttering following Christmas and I totally understand why. After spending the season stuffing every nook and cranny with holiday cheer, you are eager for less and then you notice the other excess is smothering you.
I’m with you girl. I’m ready to get my home back to normal. Here’s how I tackle putting away all the Christmas Cheer and decluttering after Christmas
What you’ll need to Declutter Your Christmas Decor
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1. Wireless, Noise-Canceling Earphones
Weird right? But I’m telling you, having a set of noise-cancelling wireless earphones keeps me in the cleaning and decluttering zone like nobody’s business. I don’t know about you, but listening to music really helps me stay focused when I’m cleaning…but believe it out not, a great podcast-especially one on cleaning–is absolutely motivating to keep me in the mood for tossing Chrismas clutter and getting things in check.
What you should NOT do is turn on the tube. TV will distract you from the task at hand, slow you down and make you feel like cleaning will take forever.
Wireless headphones are best so you don’t have to keep your phone with you at all times. That means you can stay in your Christmas jammies and declutter till your heart’s content.
2. Timer (you can use your phone)
Decluttering is not the most exciting activity on your to-do list, but do it you must. If you need a way to make it less painful, simply set a timer. When the timer goes off you’re done. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in just 20 minutes. For an even better motivator, give yourself a little reward at the end of your time. Ice-cream anyone? Well, maybe not ice-cream since you’re probably making new year’s resolutions right about now, but you get the idea.
3. Storage Containers for decluttering
You need a place to stick all that stuff right? These simple storage containers are my favorite.
They don’t have to be fancy but take a look at your storage space and what you need to store, measure it, and get yourself some good storage options. Some people like to use clear bins so they can see what’s inside, I prefer opaque ones so I don’t see what’s inside. I don’t want any visual clutter if I can help it. Instead, I just use labels on the tops AND sides to let me know what’s in there.
By labeling all sides, I can tell from every angle before I disturb my boxes.
Which leads me to the next need:
4. Labeling system or Free Printable Christmas Labels
Labeling means when you’re searching for something it’s easier to find. Plus, when you label, you no longer have to keep a mental note of only things you can find because other people can simply read what’s in it! Novel idea I know. A basic label maker will change your life. Or you could also know someone awesome who’s made these Christmas Decor Storage Labels you can print for FREE in my Free Decorating Tools Library. You’re welcome.
As a bonus, I included color-coded labels for Spring, Summer and Fall as well.
I buy these amazing full sheets of labels and use them for everything from invitations to decorating. The pack contains 100 labels and I’m telling you, it will be one of the best purchases you ever made! Cut them with scissors or a cutting board. I typically use my paper cutting board.
5. Black garbage bags for…secret trash
After Christmas decluttering requires you to throw away stuff. But you KNOW you’re going to be throwing away other people’s belongings too and those other people may just want to claim their stuff back if they see it in a pile of garbage. To prevent treasure rescues of naked Barbies and long lost toys, that all of a sudden your pretty little girl takes interest in, use a dark trash bag. These are the best (and most economical) brand bags I’ve ever used. Unfortunately, they don’t sell this size in black, but you could go up a size and order these contractor bags in the same brand instead.
6. Large Cardboard Box for Donations
I’m all about decluttering, but I also know some things I come across aren’t necessarily garbage. Use a large cardboard box to host anything of value that can be donated. And I do mean of value. I’m a hardcore thrifter so I KNOW what’s good and what’s not. If it’s broken and can’t be fixed, can’t be cleaned or all around just garbage, treat it as such. Do the volunteers a favor, don’t donate junk. The garland below is trash-full of flocking and worn out.
Someone else can enjoy these pretty red bulbs and ornaments. Since I switched my main Christmas decorating colors to Burgundy, gold and pink I no longer need them.
I keep a large cardboard box in my garage year-round for things I know I want to take to a local thrift store. When it’s full, I simply put it in the car and drag it in my nearby store. I’ve trained my kiddo to put clothes he can no longer fit into the box as well.
How to Declutter: Decision Criteria
Now that you have your tools it’s time to get cracking and actually get rid of stuff.
This one is really hard and VERY subjective. Before you put away one bulb or twinkle light, make up your mind on what’s keepable and what’s toss worthy. Decluttering anything, ESPECIALLY Christmas decorations, can get emotional.
I ask myself these questions:
- Do I love it?
- Do I use it?
- Do I need it?
- Do I have space to store it?
- Is it easily replaceable if I toss it?
This really helps you decide what you really want to keep.
Downsizing Christmas Decorations
To really get a hold on getting rid of Christmas clutter do this huge timesaver: Take a peek at what you didn’t use this year, and find a home for all the excess so you don’t store items you really don’t love anyway.
For me, that meant letting go of all my Christmas lights. Every tangled mass of them. My husband went with the projector lights for outside which meant we don’t need a single one! Now I have space for all my burgundy bulbs and I don’t need to buy any new storage bins.
10 Christmas decorations you can declutter right now.
- Broken light strings
- Stockings you’ll never use
- Ornaments you know will never make your tree
- Miscellaneous ribbon and gift tags
- Crushed wrapping paper
- Christmas décor that’s lost its mate or set
- Burned candles
- Faux garland and wreaths that have seen better days
- Extra tree skirts, toppers
- Partial cans of flocking
3 Storage tips after you’ve gotten rid of the clutter
1. Use one bin for each color ornament, that way you can pull just the colors you need next year and never have to worry about fumbling around. This also allows you to decorate your tree with ease and know exactly how much of a particular color you need to add by layering on each color one at a time. This really helps with decluttering things you don’t need in the future.
I love this Christmas decor decluttering hack for shatterproof bulbs. When taking down the decor I can just throw the bulbs in the right container. Any delicate or glass (which I have very few) are wrapped and boxed separately.
2. If you’ve ever wondered how to store bottle brush trees, here’s the trick I use. Take a cardboard sheet of paper and make a paper tree about the same size. Tape the sides of the cone together and stick your bottle brush tree inside to protect it from getting all scrunched up. It’s a bit of a pain-y extra step, but worth not losing your pretty trees like I did one year.
3. Store non-seasonal décor in your Christmas bins. I had a hard time trying to figure out where to store my regular decor until I started doing this. It is the best trick ever for seasonal decorating. It saves the headache of trying to figure out where to temporarily put things.
Don’t forget to print out your Free Christmas Storage Labels in my Free Decorating Tools.
You can use these tips to declutter your home after the holidays and beyond. Do you have any tricks to storing and downsizing Christmas decor?