Cleaning Up Christmas

I make the same promise to myself every year.  That whatever Christmas decorations I don’t end up using, I’ll box up and give away to Goodwill.  Then, I always end up throwing it back in the big, plastic tubs and storing it away again.  And, when Christmas rolls around the next year, I’m—as usual—less than excited about my decorations when I open them up again.


Excuse the blurry photos. I was snapping pictures as I was unpacking everything.

So, this year, I decided to approach it differently.  Before ever hauling those totes out of the attic, I did as much Christmas decorating as I could.  I was pretty surprised at how much I got done without using one single piece of anything I had stored away.  That reaffirmed that I really didn’t need half the “stuff” I’ve been hanging on to.

In the end, I sent away one large bin stuffed with fake greenery and little trees that had seen better days.  And, it made me feel good.  Because, when it comes to Christmas decorations for some reason, I always feel obligated to use it if I have it. . . So, I might as well only keep the things that I really get excited about getting out of storage each year—right?

Are you up for the challenge of throwing out mushed garland, dusty Santas, and the other decorations that you’re less than excited to see each December?


  1. says

    I’ve actually been doing this as I open up my bins. I have a box going for donations. I think I should drop them off before I get lazy and put them back into storage. I’m in a less is more kind of move this year.

  2. says

    Yes! I dug out my boxes yesterday and as I was going through things I was saying things like “I never use this” and “I really need to get rid of this”. Thanks for the extra nudge.

  3. says

    I’m doing that this weekend- along with a garage clean out. Thankfully, our Junior League has a huge garage sale of sorts for charity in the spring so I’m donating all of my stuff to them. I’ll be glad to get it out of my garage!

  4. says

    I’ve been doing this with all of my belongings. I never really had a lot of Christmas stuff to begin with, but I have received Christmas decor as gifts in the past that I never really liked. I was hanging on to it for years and never used any of it. This year I finally took it all to Goodwill. Everything was still in its original packaging. :) Less is more.

  5. says

    I used to get a little caught up in the post-Christmas markdowns on decorations when I had a blog, resulting in several tubs of stuff. I only decorate my mantel, tree and front door now … with the same stuff year after year (unless it’s seen better days, then I replace). I gave the rest away. And really … who likes that naked feeling after the Christmas decorations are all gone? Not me. It was kind of depressing. I like decorating with fewer items … but items that I really love.

  6. says

    I took a box of old decor to the church thrift store last week and I probably could do another. I am the same way – I feel like I have to put everything out which then overloads the house with ten year old, dusty, out-of-date decor. We have special treasures that go out every year – but not everything is a treasure. :D

  7. says

    Last year I parted with a HUGE blue bin – bin and all! – that I had stuffed full of my Christmas decor from the beginning – before I was married. It was almost hard, because it seemed as if I was doing something wrong, it was Christmas sentimental. But it was full of old, broken things that I kept packing away, even gift boxes. It made such a difference getting rid of that. I actually donated before Christmas last year, because like you, after Christmas I think I would have stuffed away to deal with this year.

  8. says

    I have all my boxes in the garage to be sorted through and reorganized. I’ll be throwing out more than donating since a lot of it is probably damaged. It makes decorating hard when you can’t find what you’re looking for!

  9. says

    I do the same thing every year! I have to get the boxes out of the attic before I can start decorating though. I will make a box to donate and put things in it as I come across items I’m tired of. Thanks for the push!

  10. says

    I have been doing this this year too. I have a lot of “family” decorations that I have kept for sentimental reasons but that didn’t go with my decor. So I called in the family & told them to take what they want & that what they didn’t take was being donated. So if they had a sentimental attachment to it, take it now (& store it at their house :))

  11. says

    Yes! It gets a little more complicated when there are memories involved! I like the suggestion of taking a picture and keeping the picture instead of just keeping the “thing”. We’ll see if I succeed in doing that!

  12. says

    I feel the same. I think I hold on to certain decorations, like tacky ornaments, because they were originally gifts. I do absolutely feel the need to use all the decorations I own, we hold on to them all year so it seems silly not to use them I agree with your point though.

  13. says

    Just like other decor, I have such a hard time getting rid of Christmas stuff! I tend to do something different every year, but I always hold on to the old stuff thinking I’ll want to use it again in a few years. It’s getting a little out of control though!

  14. says

    Seems to be the mood with everyone this year. I gave a box of plastic ornaments and other not used décor to my son last weekend. He took them back to decorate the tree at his Fraternity. Image the look on plastic Santa’s face when he wakes up in a Fraternity house!?! Classic!

  15. says

    My favorite designer told me this and I ignore it at my own peril:
    Everything you put in a room either adds to it or takes away. I need to write that on my hand and refer to it often. Easy to put in too much visual clutter, whether the seasonal kind orr other. I am the master of that!

  16. says

    Thank you! I feel the same way about my decorations…some of them I’m excited to see every year, and the rest I can live with out, but can’t get rid of. You’ve inspired me…Goodbye, mushed fake garland!

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