Preparing for The Holidays

The holiday period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most important time of year for many American families. It’s the time of year when loved ones travel from all over the country (and sometimes all over the world) to be at home.

It’s also a period when Americans spend large amounts on entertaining, decorations, and gifts. In fact, Americans spend about $3.19 TRILLION at retail stores for Christmas.

Inevitably, many of us end up with too many holiday decorations and gifts than we know what to do with, and it can be difficult to organize those items. In this article, we’ll provide some tips to help you get ready and keep your home organized for the holiday season.

Sorting: Parsing Through Grandma’s Ornaments

Most families have a hodgepodge of passed-down ornaments and newer ones they’ve collected over the years. While it’s great to have so many options to hang on your tree, we all know there’s a certain batch of ornaments we don’t hang up because they’re so ugly.

As you pull out ornaments, wreaths, and other home decorations, take a serious look at each and decide whether they’re worth keeping. If an item never gets pulled out of the box because you simply don’t like it or it’s too worn out, donate it or throw it away.

You might have a small batch of decorations that came from grandma that you don’t have the heart to get rid of. If that’s the case, see if other members of your family would use them. You know the ornaments will stay in the family and be put to good use.

Donate: From Gifts to Decorations

The holidays are also a season of giving to charitable organizations. Many American families donate time, food, goods, and cash during this season.

One of the easiest ways to help you ditch some holiday clutter and give back is to go through old gifts that your family members have received. Inevitably, many of us end up with gifts we don’t use, and they sit in the closet collecting dust.

There’s hardly any limit to what you can donate to your local charity shop. Go through yours and your spouse’s closets to find old sweaters, pants, and jackets you don’t wear and put them in the donation pile. You can also ask your children to pitch in and give old toys they don’t use or clothes they’ve grown out of.

Charity shops also welcome old holiday decorations that aren’t too worn out. Donating decorations can help local families add holiday cheer to their homes.

Clean: Keeping It Minimal and Orderly

Now, we can’t stop you if you love going all-out with holiday decorations and being the talk of the neighborhood with your Christmas lights. However, not all of us want to light up our homes like a Christmas tree. Even inside, some families deck their halls out to the nines with lights, trees, ornaments, and table settings.

For those who want a simpler holiday decoration scheme (and less cleaning involved), opt for minimal decorations.

Before you start decorating, start with a clean slate. Give everything a good wipe down and store your day-to-day home decor to make way for holiday decorations.

As you start decorating, opt for items that don’t get much in the way and don’t collect so much dust. Items like this include garlands, a tree, door wreaths, and holiday throw pillows. These provide a cozy holiday feeling without much effort.

Throughout the holiday season, commit to putting things back immediately after you use them. For example, if you’re crafting or wrapping a gift, take the extra 2 minutes to put the wrapping paper and crafting supplies back in their places. At the end of each day, also spend 10 minutes picking up general clutter. This will help maintain the cozy yet clean feel you’ve created with your decorations.

Storing: Packing Up Thanksgiving and Christmas

After Thanksgiving, you’ll likely have autumnal decorations that need to be stored or thrown out. If you’ve been storing these items in cardboard boxes, do yourself the favor and get clear plastic bins. This will allow you to easily identify the items that are in the box as you pull them out for next year.

Christmas decorations tend to be more delicate and breakable, so you’ll want to invest not only in clear bins but also in ornament storage solutions. You can find tons of ornament storage options that provide protective padding for your delicate ornaments. Store all your carefully wrapped Christmas items in clear storage bins and mark them with labels. You can even go so far as to print out a list of what’s in each bin.

Have Yourself an Organized Holiday Season

The holidays are all about spending time with your family, so take the stress out of it by organizing your decorations and keeping everything clean. For those of you who need extra help decluttering your decorations bins, Ditch the Clutter offers a specialized holiday organization service to help you parse through everything. To schedule a holiday organization appointment, get in touch with us today.