Even though Christmas is the “biggie” when it comes to holiday hoopla, these principles I’m sharing here apply to ALL of your holiday and seasonal décor – Hanukkah, Halloween, the Summer Solstice, National Pie Day, whatever gets you in the decorating spirit.

Has the “hap happiest season of all” got you pulling your hair out as you pull your decorations out? Well, whichever holiday type you are, the every-inch-decked-and-bedazzled-posterchild-for-the-Christmas-spirit or a wreath-on-the-door-is-quite-enough-thank-you-minimalist, these tips are for YOU!

Here are a few tips to keep our decoration storage uncluttered and generally undreadful.

  • Toss the junk and broken bits that inevitably have fallen to the bottom of your bins.
  • Look for broken/damaged ornaments.
  • If you love it, fix it!
  • If you’re not sure it’s worth the time/$$/hassle of fixing, or if you have decorations you’re not sure you reeeeaaalllly love anymore, or maybe some you just haven’t used in a while – make a “probationary bin” and reassess them again when you pack up.

Practical Stuff

  • Invest in fancy storage if you want, especially if you want to protect expensive ornaments.
  • The Container Store has some yummy stuff, like bins that are air tight, Christmas tree bags with WHEELS!, bins with flexible interior storage that will adapt to the size and shape of unique ornaments (and that tall Nutcracker that’s a pain to store).
  • If you’re DIY sort, save money by using Ziplocs, tissue and bubble wrap to cushion your baubles.
  • I’m a proponent of purchasing good bins even if you DIY on the inside.
  • Label stuff! Seriously, label the bins, boxes and bags. Even if you use see-through storage, it’s easier to pack up when you know which bag holds what.
  • Keep seasonal stuff out of your way year-round by storing platters, mugs, towels, party stuff, etc. with holiday stuff, NOT in kitchen cabinets and linen drawers.
  • Avoid pushing aside the Santa gift wrap every time you go to wrap a birthday gift by storing holiday wrap, ribbons and bags with… yep, holiday stuff!
  • And where do you put all of the everyday items you’ve taken off mantels and walls as you decorate? Tuck it away in those recently-emptied holiday bins – easy peasy!
  • See my Pinterest board with most of these tips here.

Sentimental Stuff

Sentimental items can pose quite a conundrum, but here are some ideas for how to handle them.

  • Highlight favorite pieces in a special display. Here’s my Pinterest board with cool ideas.
  • If you have heirloom items that you aren’t going to use anymore, take them out of holiday bins and store with mementos instead. After all, that’s what they are now, right?
  • Finally, remember that all things break down over time. If it’s still hard, ritual can help – have a “funeral” and let them go.
  • If you’re in the “sandwich generation” and have things from your parents AND you’re holding things for when your kids have kids… call me!

Holidays are about fun, festivities and family. So, don’t let the trappings of the season get you down! Clear the clutter, keep it current and allow your traditions and your décor to change as you do.

Happy, Merry Everything!

Jennifer Phelps:

Organize. Design. Reinvent!