We love holiday decorations around our home. Finding the best way to organize and declutter them is another story. When we declutter the house, we forget the attic area since it is so infrequently used. But not this time. We will declutter the holiday decorations to make the space more user-friendly. Follow along to see how I decluttered my holiday decorations.
Before attic space.
The image below is just part of it. Since the artificial Christmas tree is still up, the bag would be in the area right in front of the gray box.
Note: the right side of the attic is where I have Thanksgiving decorations.
The first step is to go through all the bins in the attic.
Since I had the holiday decorations out this season, I knew exactly what I loved and wanted to use again. It was the perfect time to clear the old unwanted holiday decorations.
I was pulling out things, like the old cookie tins, napkin rings, table cloths, and placemats, and recycling them since we no longer bake during the holidays.
I went through my napkin rings bag. Some were just not used in YEARS. Here's the before picture.
And, here are the kept napkin rings. They are the only wants I wanted to keep. Some of them were broken, which made it easier for me to get rid of them. I got rid of 50% of the napkin rings. Yay!
And then, I went through all the placemats. Even the ones inside the house. I updated the ones I had in the dining room with the new ones I didn't use. I also got rid of ones that were just not being used and were stained. Some placemats wouldn't clean up, so I ditched them too.
Get rid of broken holiday decorations.
I found several broken home decor candle sticks and trees. So that was easy for me to remove plenty of them.
Get rid of broken bags and boxes.
Removing the damaged boxes and replacing them as I needed was helpful too. Some containers were repurposed and needed to be replaced anyway. I made a list and the size I would need to replace and recycled the boxes that could be recycled.
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Note: as I was taking down the bags with the tins and outside ornament balls, the bags broke and tumbled down the attic stairs and broke the leftover ornaments. It reminded me just how old these things were, and I was so grateful to get them out of my attic space.
After attic space.
The farthest point of the attic is where all these things were. And look at it now! WOW. I can't wait to put away my other holiday decorations and be able to move around in my attic again.
Note: while clearing out the attic, I pulled down the boxes I need to fill when I remove the decoration this weekend.
Places to donate working holiday decorations.
Many places will accept holiday decorations. When clearing out my mom's home, we brought most things to Goodwill near her home. They accepted it all because it was a few months before Christmas. Below are some places that will take holiday decorations.
Contact your Local Thrift Stores, Outreach Programs, After School Places, Senior Centers, Nursing Homes, Senior Living Residences, Churches, Synagogues, or Parish to see if they accept holiday decorations before bringing them.
Goodwill Industries, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and GreenDrop are just some locations that may accept holiday decorations.
You can even see if you can give them away for free in your local community. Check out the Nextdoor app or your neighborhood community Facebook group.
Keep in mind the following tips when you donate:
Holiday String Lights: Ensure all the lights are working and do not have frayed wires.
Yard decorations: Try to donate only usable ones, no rust, no broken pieces, or cracked ones.
Inflatable Yard Decorations: Did you know that nylon inflatables do not break down easily and should not be trashed? Instead, try donating them if they are still working.
Ornaments: If you have ornaments in good shape, pack them up neatly to protect them before donating them. You can use excess bubble wrap too. They may break if you drop them off and other things are piled on top.
Now let's organize the holiday decorations we will be keeping.
Best Tips for Organizing Holiday Decorations.
Taking the time now to organize the holiday decorations in your storage space will help you next year's holiday season.
Use Repurposed Items to Help You Stay Organized.
Instead of buying things to organize your home, repurpose items in your home to keep your holiday decorations safe and protected. Below is a list of items you can use to organize the holiday decorations.
Old toilet paper rolls that are cut open to hold wrapping paper rolls in place.
Egg carton containers to hold decorations that need protecting.
Old/usable plastic containers to hold other smaller storage bins.
Shipping cardboard pieces cut into squares to wrap holiday lights.
Plastic Garbage Bags for holiday wreaths and small faux trees.
Magazine holders for items that need to stay vertical.
Bubble wrap to protect items in your Christmas decorations bins.
Tissue paper to layer between plates to help protect them from getting scratched.
Clear boxes work best.
I, personally, do not care for boxes where I can't see what is in them. One, because I know most of my family doesn't put the correct things back even though there are labels on the bins. Two, instead of reading a long label that describes the entire content in the box, I like to be able to see right away that there is an item in the box I am looking for.
Ornament boxes can protect your treasured ornaments.
I have invested in a lot of these ornament boxes. They are especially helpful for me so I can keep the treasured ornaments separate from the other, more generic ornaments.
Garland and lights are best wrapped separately.
I like to wrap the garland around a piece of cardboard or these cord organizers. It makes it super easy to unravel them at the beginning of the season. Standing these light and garland-wrapped light-wrapped reels will make them easy to access when decorating next year.
Get help decorating and moving bags.
If you have to go upstairs or your boxes are heavy, get help. There's no need to hurt your back doing this one-hour decluttering and organizing task. I had my husband grab the bins I was removing during this session. You want to feel energized after you declutter, not exhausted.
Keep holiday decorations for different holidays in their own location.
Assign a few different areas to your holiday decorating space for the other holidays. This will save you time because you can find what you are looking for when your holiday comes around. It will also save you money because you won't accidently buy something you don't need.
Label, Label, Label
If you do have bins and bags that are not easy to discern the content, you can always make labels for the exposed side of them. If you don't have a label maker, a piece of packing or masking tape with a Permanent marker makes an easy and durable label.
I hope this post inspires you to declutter and organize holiday decorations now so that next holiday season, you will have a more enjoyable time.
How do you organize your holiday decoration? Do you have any tips you want to share? Please leave a comment below.
Great tips and look how much space you got back. Happy holidays, indeed!
Wow! These are great tips and great product recommendations. The before and after picture is unbelievable too! Great job, that was a lot of work, but I'm sure it will feel so much better next year and even throughout the year when you go up to the attic.
Yes, definitely. I was able to donate 4 large totes that we didn't use. Hopefully, next year, I can get rid of more. =)
Diane N Quintana
Sabrina, I love these holiday decluttering tips. Your photos are fabulous. I also like the way you talked about the length of time some things had been stored without being used. We often put things away in the back or top of a closet or storage area and then forget to check if we want them. You reminded me to go back and declutter my placemats and tablecloths!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Diane! I, too didn't realize how much fabric I had that I didn't use any longer. This post was very eye-opening.
As I don't celebrate Christmas (and it's rare to find purely ornamental decorations for Hanukkah), the whole topic of holiday decorating and re-storing is always fascinating (and exhausting) to me. I just can't fathom so much of a house's storage going to one event or holiday! It's amazing!
When I've helped clients deal with post-holiday clutter, we've found that they're much better able to let go of broken or out-of-date decorations after the hubbub of the holiday is over and the sparkle of holiday anticipation has dimmed. At any point further on into the year, the enthusiasm for the holiday seems to ramp up nostalgia for each item, so downsizing now is so smart. Your tips (but especially labeling) are key for making decorating chaos less chaotic! (I am just imagining the slow-motion of agony of those ornaments tumbling down the attic stairs!)
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Julie! I was always afraid of damaging my collection of trip ornaments, which inspired me last year to invest in the right organizers for ornaments. It was much more fun decorating the tree this year because I took a little time last year and reorganized them.
We don't decorate for Christmas since we don't celebrate that holiday, but I've helped many clients organize and decorate. It always amazes me what an intense process it is. But having things organized, well-stored, and labeled makes it much more manageable. And doing some editing each year makes the following decorating season go more smoothly too.
It was so fun seeing your organizing process photos. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Linda. I wanted to be transparent about why I was writing this post.
Impressive decorations decluttering!
Our decorations are in our basement, in bins on shelves. Most of the bins are clear, but a few are not (from my early days). I seem to shed a few items each year, including this year. Mostly I tend to do this when I am taking items out, and thinking about which pieces I am not putting out. If I'm not putting them out, are they worth keeping? A few are, but most are not.
The big change for me this year was when we removed ornaments from the tree, we stored my daughter's separately with the hopes of delivering them to her at some point this year for use on her own tree in the future.
That is a great idea! I did that last year with my kids' ornaments. Hopefully, they will want them.