The holidays are a treasure chest of timeless and beloved memories. When we think of these memories, we often think of taking that walk during the first snowfall of the year, weekend drives to look at Christmas lights, sitting by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate, and of course, decorating our homes and our Christmas trees. After all, many of our most cherished family memories are tied up in our family traditions and collection of decorations.
With all the décor coming out of storage for the holidays, Christmas time can be a wonderful opportunity to go through every piece of holiday décor and decide which pieces are most important to you and which can be let go of or discarded. When it comes to opening and unpacking your decorations, take the time to sort through them. Relive those cherished memories, declutter what you no longer love or need, and throw out anything that is damaged or broken.
We know that organizing any part of your home can be an emotional experience, and holiday décor can be at the top of the list of items that tug at your heartstrings. After all, so much of holiday décor is steeped in generations of tradition, cherished memories of your family, and inspiration for the warm, joyous times of the season.
Settle in, enjoy the wonder of the season, and take the opportunity to comb through your memories, so that you can decide which ornaments and holiday décor are worth holding onto. Whether you are planning to move, downsize, or your New Year’s resolution is to be more organized, the holidays are the perfect time to declutter while you decorate.
So, grab a mug of hot chocolate and start planning for your Christmas décor organization, decluttering, and gifting. As you reacquaint yourself with all your favourite decorations, take time to decide if each piece belongs in your home or if it’s time to pass them along to the next generation or donate them to another family this Christmas.
Tips for Organizing, Storing, Gifting and Displaying Your Decorations
Holiday decorations help get us into the spirit of the season, but they can take up a lot of space, both in storage and once they are set up around the home. We can all relate to the challenges of tangled lights, garlands, delicate tree ornaments, and oversized and odd-sized decorations that come with taking out and putting décor back into storage.
It might be time to take stock of what decorations you have, get them organized and make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. There are two occasions when it’s especially convenient to begin the process: when setting up and taking down your holiday decorations.
As you’re pulling out your holiday decorations, take a moment to consider what you have. Do you have boxes full of decorations with broken or missing pieces? Ornaments that you never actually end up using? An abundance of Christmas cards that will never be used now that your holiday greetings are sent electronically?
Getting rid of cherished holiday décor can be an emotional process, but task yourself with setting aside some pieces to pass on to your loved one so you can keep the memories in the family, while still decluttering and organizing your space. Maybe your taste or décor has changed and what once brought delight to the season has remained boxed up for several years. Do you have old boxes of multicoloured lights, but your tree has been illuminated with white lights for years?
Have a box or bag available as you set up for the holidays. Discard what is broken and set aside what you no longer love or use for donation. The earlier you can begin to organize your décor the better, so that another family can enjoy your old décor over the holidays. Decor that doesn’t suit your current space or style but steeped with memory or family traditions makes the perfect gift for loved ones.
When the holidays are over, take a moment to reflect as you take your decorations down and prepare to store them for the rest of the year. Are there any after seeing them displayed for the season that don’t match your taste anymore or overpower the room or space? Or that you initially thought you couldn’t part with but found you didn’t get much excitement or happiness out of them this year? You can always pack some away to pass on to children or grandchildren as a post-Christmas or New Year gift as the holiday season winds down.
For the decorations you choose to hold on to, try to keep them organized rather than stuffing and shoving everything into boxes and bags haphazardly. Doing this will make it seamless and enjoyable when you pull the pieces out next year to decorate or need to relocate them.
Consider these tips when taking down your decorations:
- Use clear bins to store items and label each of them well so you know what’s inside.
- Keep similar items together so you know exactly where to find stockings, décor, or tree ornaments next year.
- Purchase containers specifically designed to hold fragile Christmas tree ornaments in their own padded compartment.
- Ziploc baggies are a good idea to store wire ornament hangers, loose light bulbs, and other small items.
- Wrap Christmas lights around pieces of cardboard so they don’t get tangled.
- Buy specially designed bins to hold rolls of paper.
- Use bags specifically designed to safely store and transport your artificial tree.
This is the time to get rid of the excess. As always, if you’re looking for some support and help downsizing or organizing your home, NEATSPACES is always available to guide you through the process.
If you’re planning to downsize in the new year, you might not be able to fit all the decorations that have been part of the traditions in your new home. But that doesn’t mean that downsizing needs to be a restriction on your holiday style! Remember, you won’t need as much holiday decor to make a smaller home equally festive. Focus on the items that truly have meaning, anchor your traditions, and are of a scale that won’t overpower a smaller space.
While emotions can run high when you think about putting up your holiday decorations in your home for the last time, carefully consider what you can bring with you or what you can gift to younger family members who will carry your traditions forward.
If you have decorations or items with emotional value that you can’t bring with you when you downsize your home, consider passing these things on to the next generations. Whether it’s Christmas ornaments or that special set of Christmas Spode china that has been a part of every Christmas dinner since childhood, the next generation may want their chance to keep and cherish these holders of traditions and memories.
Use this Christmas as an opportunity to regift and pass your much-loved pieces of Christmas décor to children or grandchildren. Fill their stockings with precious ornaments or package up a set of décor in a decorative box or chest. A handwritten note explaining why it’s special is one great way to personalize the gift.
For items that you aren’t planning to pass down to your family members, our declutter services can help.
It can be difficult to sort through the family Christmas décor after a loved one has passed away, especially around the holidays. Strong memories can be tied to these decorations, and disagreements can arise when trying to decide what to do with them. These items may or may not have a lot of financial value but can have a high emotional value, and it’s important to keep that in mind when navigating these discussions with family members.
There is a whole program that helps families navigate these decision-making challenges called “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?” which focuses on being sensitive, listening, understanding, and determining what’s “fair” in the context of your family. This can be a helpful resource for families going through the loss of a loved one, dealing with clearing the estate, and for inheritance planning in advance.
The holidays may not be the most common time to list your home, but in some cases, circumstances may result in a home holiday sale – which can offer market advantages. The good news is, if you are listing your home for sale over the holiday season, this is the time to get creative and leverage the holiday spirit. The holidays are a special time of year, and that shouldn’t change if you’re selling your home.
That said, if you are selling during this time and want to leverage some Christmas décor, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure you don’t put off potential buyers.
“Less is more” is the year-round approved wisdom when staging a home, and that still rings true during the holidays. Keep your decor simple and elegant. Consider putting out only your absolute favourite decorations, provided they meet specific criteria.
Here are some tips for holiday decorating when selling your home:
- Do a thorough clean before any decorating.
- Declutter before you decorate.
- Focus on subtle scents rather than scenes.
- Opt away from homemade decor by kids or grandchildren.
- Choose decorations that complement your other decor and colour palette.
- Keep it small. You want your decor to be complementary, not overpowering and hiding architectural features that are selling features.
- Scale – don’t choose a giant Christmas tree that will make the room feel smaller.
- Don’t block windows that receive natural light.
- Avoid loud, flashing or moving decor.
- Absolutely nothing that can be considered tacky or gaudy.
- Take religion out of it. Save the nativity scene for next year.
Use NEATSPACES’ pre-listing home organization checklist to learn how you can most effectively organize, declutter and clean your home to show it off to its full potential.