Updated: Apr 30
'Tis the season where we find ourselves in a series of back-to-back holidays. For many, excitement is in the air and there is an eagerness to unpack holiday decor and don homes with much merry spirit. For others, holiday decorating creates anxiety and overwhelm and one of the biggest reasons for this is that last year's adornments were hurriedly stashed out of sight when the post-holiday let down hit. Opening up those bins of unorganized decor and tangled lights is a Pandora's box of sorts.
Whatever holidays you celebrate, Neat Little Nest has some tips to lessen the stress of festive decorating. What follows are recommendations that I have learned over the years for myself and from working with many clients who have struggled to keep their holiday decor in some semblance of order.
declutter + purge
The reason it is so important to sort through all of your holiday decor as you take it out to setup is so you can decide what will stay and go. Many times we pack up from the last holiday season just to get everything "holiday" put away without taking the time to say goodbye to anything that has become weary or donate items that no longer bring joy.
Use the same process to declutter and purge holiday decor as you would any other category of items. Choose what you want to keep using "what brings you joy" or "what is of service or purpose" as your key filters.
Focusing on purposefully choosing what you want to keep helps avoid a scarcity mindset and when you use "joy" or "service" as your filters, it helps you to hold onto things you love and that have a purpose while letting go of items that do not bring you joy or no longer serve a purpose for you.
discard + donate items in-season
Even though marketers love selling the idea of Christmas in July, there is a reality when it comes to getting rid of holiday decorations out of season. That reality is that most donation centers like Goodwill will not accept holiday decor out of season.
What this means for you is that you have a short window when you will actually be able to donate holiday items, so make sure you sort through your seasonal decor early and in-season so the items that you no longer love or serve a purpose can be donated rather than hit the landfill.
invest in the best bins for the job
When it comes to containing your holiday decorations, investing in the best bins for the job is important. Overall, it's important to invest in sturdy bins that you can use for many years to come. Below are some considerations and recommendations for different types of storage solutions.
Storing outside- If your holiday decor is stored outside, consider weathertight totes where the top of the bin can seal away elements and pests.
Storing ornaments - If you use ornaments in your holiday decorating, consider storing them in containers specifically made for ornaments. There are both hard-sided ornament organizers as well as soft-sided ornament organizers and both work well.
Storing wreaths - If you use artificial wreaths in your holiday decorating, storage containers designed for wreaths can come in handy. You can also store them in weathertight totes depending on the types and sizes of your wreaths.
put lights away with care
Post holiday, as holiday decor is taken down and put away until next year, take a few extra minutes to put your lights away properly. Below are a couple of easy ways to get the job done without too much extra hassle.
Cardboard cut out - Cut a piece of cardboard about the size of a magazine and then cut a slit into the cardboard on one end. Slide one of the ends of the strand into the slit and then nicely wrap the lights around the cardboard until you've run out of lights. If you have the original box for the lights, you can wrap the lights around it rather than shoving it back inside. If you're not into the DIY, you can buy a similar solution.
On a roll - You can also store your holiday lights on a roll organizer. If your new lights already came on a roll, save it and use it when putting them away. If not, you can buy a roll solution easily.
Evaluating your holiday decor inventory (and storage needs) now as you unpack it for the season makes for smart planning. Prepping and thinking ahead as you go through your holiday bins will make repacking it all in a month or so a far easier task. Your future self will thank you.
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