12/29/09

Christmas De-Cluttering

Yikes.

You have seen parts of my house. I know most of you have the same sort of issues of your own homes looking like it is Santa's personal workshop.

The days between Christmas and New Years are when I start to take a good hard look at the Holiday decor 'stuff'.

Double Yikes.

I am no expert...I am pretty good at acquiring and decluttering, but I am not a professional. Nonetheless, I am going to tell you what I have been doing the last couple years to weed out what we simply don't need anymore. I will never be a minimalist in my Christmas decorating, but I do want to be surrounded by things we absolutely love. Not just items that are filling space. Here we go.

1--Do a quick walk through the entire house and see if there is anything shouting at you to donate it. If it shouts, pick it up and put it in the donate pile. I don't care if it was a gift you just received this year from someone you greatly admire. If you don't love it, let it go.

2--Bring your decoration boxes out to pack things away and get out your big garbage bags. You will need 2 to 6 depending on how much you need to clear out. I always start with 2.

3--One bag is going to be for donations and the other bag is going to be for clearing out garbage or paperwork or such that doesn't get donated. It is always hiding somewhere. Recycle any old magazines you come across.

4--If you declutter regularly, this isn't going to be too painful. You know you can tackle much in one good sweep. If you don't declutter regularly, let's just focus on clearing out CHRISTMAS ITEMS YOU DO NOT LOVE. Stay focused. CHRISTMAS ONLY.

5--Pick up each item and see what it says to you. If it bats it's eyelashes and coos to you in a loving manner and you cannot even imagine celebrating another Christmas without it, obviously, it is to be kept forever in your possession. Pack that away carefully in one of your Rubbermaids or boxes designated specifically for Christmas Decorations.

6--If you pick up any item that won't make eye contact or seems to say "Meh" at you, immediately put it in one of the bags to donate. Do it fast. If you hear it trying to purr a little, ignore it. Continue on.

7--Do this through the room you have decorated and as you dismantle the tree. It doesn't take all that much longer that normally putting decorations away.

8--When you are done: Put the Christmas Boxes away, throw the garbage bags away, stick the old magazines in the recycling bin and put the donation bags in the back of your car and take to Goodwill or where ever you do your drop to donate. You are going to love the feeling you get once it is all 'put away', so do it immediately. Trust me on this.

So my question for you is: When do you put your decorations away? Is it the day after Christmas? New Years? 6th day of January?

We are going to start within the next day or two.

10 comments:

Amy@TheLemonCottage said...

Great post. I really, really need to print this out, and refer to it the next few days!
Happy New Year!

Linda said...

I am laughing so hard right now.......How DID you know that my things coo at me???? Have you been to my house in secret??? Ok so this is great advice and I will do it this year. Did a big purge last year so this year won't be so difficult. I take down my decorations New Year's Day usually while parades and games are on the TV. (mine also purr at me so maybe you don't have that secret camera in my house...no one know that...whoops until now).

Linda

Frippery said...

I have been planning to do this. I say that every year. Now I am motivated! When the kids were young we always waited until after Epiphany to take down the dec. Now I am usually ready the day after New Years. We have a New Years Eve party so I leave it up at least until New Years day. If it was up to hubs it would stay up through January! I am ready to clear and declutter! Thanks, Sonya.

CC said...

We de-cluttered last year big time, so this year this is so much less to stress over. And we usually take the tree down the day after New Years.. and ooo,how I dread that chore of putting it all away. Happy de-cluttering and have a safe and Happy New Year..
p.s. I so enjoy reading through your blog. I didn't know if I had ever told you before, but I get so many great ideas from you...so thank you.

Rustydiva said...

My first time to your blog and just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I leave my decorations up until February. The Holidays are always so rushed and crazy that I don't get to enjoy my pretties like I would like to so I plug in all the lights and enjoy the calming glow of my decor straight through to February. In fact, I'm still putting things out! Happy New Year!

K

Myrna Hynes said...

It's tradition here in Newfoundland (for most) to keep things up until "Old Christmas Day" or "All Saints Day" - Jan 6th - and I usually comply with the tradition. But mostly because I'm such a slowpoke getting my Christmas stuff out, I figure it needs a few extra days of enjoyment into January.

Wanda said...

Great advise, Sonya. Since I didn't get much out this year, I won't be doing that with Christmas decorations, but.... I'm decluttering and organizing the back of the shop and needed that reminder. Thanks!

I've always heard it's bad luck to take your decorations down before New Year's, but suspect that's for us procrastinators. The git 'er done people say they heard it's bad luck to leave them up. LOL

~~Carol~~ said...

Oy, this really hit home! I was packing away the bulk of my Xmas decor today, and there were lots of boxes of stuff that I never even used this year, but I just didn't want to deal with it. One of my resolutions is to go through each room, like you said to do. I don't even want to think about the attic....

Shanna said...

I am so going to do this. Plus I am going to sort out the 3 huge totes full of Christmas stuff that never even was put out this year.
I usually take all my stuff down between Christmas and New Years as I am usually off work that week. But this year we will leave things up until the middle of January since my parents are coming home for my daughter's second birthday. Even though they probably have more decorations up at their house in Mexico then I do here in snowy, cold Wisconsin. ;)

T's Daily Treasures said...

Great advice! I need to declutter my whole house. I worked on it one day in the past two weeks that we've had off. I felt a sense of accomplishment. But the urge to clear came and went and now I find any excuse to not tackle the other rooms, drawers, cupboards ... so much needs to go. Simplify ... that's what I want to do! Have a great day. Tammy