We are trying to minimalize and declutter our house in the next couple of months, in prep for a move this summer. I've found parting with a lot of things pretty easy, and like the progress we've made all over the house so far, but we have a problem...the holiday decorations. I need suggestions and advice on how much Christmas, Halloween, etc. stuff to keep. We are a big holiday decorating family, and have enough boxes of that stuff to fill a small shed! Its really hard to get rid of too, because holidays are so sentimental. Please help!
Decluttering and Holiday Stuff?
1) Get rid of the Halloween decorations entirely - just use pumpkins next year
2) If you can't do that, try to choose those Halloween decorations that can fit in ONE box
3) For X-mas sort out the decorations you LOVE into one pile and the ones you're so-so about into another pile. Get rid of the ones you're so-so about.
What other holidays do you decorate for? How important is the "stuff" vs. what you do? Maybe think about ways to get into the holiday spirit that revolve around activities or seasonal things that can be eaten, recycled, or composted?
The only holidays I decorate for are Christmas and Chinese New Year. Birthdays, I used to put up crepe paper and balloons, but now that the kids are in their teens, we skip it.
Well.... since I dont like clutter or decorations I say chuck it all but thats probably not going to work for you.
I have one small rubbermaid container for halloween/Fall and one large for xmas/Winter- mostly for DS. We have a couple different seasonal wreaths for the front door. I find the wreaths last about 3 years, we live in AZ and the sun is very harsh on outdoor stuff. The wreaths are spring/summer, fall and winter and they get rotated out in March/April, Sept and November.
I am probably not the one to give advice if you want someone to tell you to chuck it all. ;-)
I think it depends on your storage space and how important the decorations are to you. It is a balancing act.
I'm pretty organized and decluttered as far as unneeded items. But I love to decorate for Christmas. I have one small box of St Patrick's Day decorations, one for the 4th of July and for Halloween I save a TOT bucket, napkins and my witch hat and cape. That's it.
But Christmas.... *blush*
I have a large closet packed full of decorations. Very organized and neat! But also very full.
I have 3 trees in the baement and 3 in the garage. My wreaths for the front door are in the basement but they don't take up much room.
So...I have a lot. But I've narrowed it down over the years to only the stuff I absolutely love. I also have stuff that is from my childhood. In a couple of cases, stuff from my mom's childhood. Very sentimental and I can't get rid of it. I love it. I love putting it up and looking at it during the season.
I'd like to say I'll keep it to the one closet but there are definitely a few more things I'd like to add over the years so I'm not sure how realistic that is.
If it is truly sentimental and you love it, figure out a way to organize it and store it so that it is out of the way. It can be done.
ETA: when organizing it, I like to pack and label it per room or tree. So as I'm decorating (and cleaning up) it is easy to just get what I need out instead of having to pull it ALL out and have it sit around for the 2 weeks it takes to put it all up and take it all down. Even within my small St Patrick's Day box everything is in a bag per room so that it is super easy to keep organized.
Well I gotta say that I will never get rid of all the halloween stuff, since its my all time favorite holiday! But thanks for the advice on cutting back. I think the making two piles idea will help some, and I also think that maybe if I limit it to a set number of special tubs for each holiday I can force myself to cut it down. I actually dont have any decorations for st pattys, easter, or 4th of july, we usually make something new for those (dying eggs, etc.). And we have the same problem with outdooor decor here (central Texas)--nothing lasts long in this sun!
Halloween is not big in Australia....here people resist it and resent it as an American invasion, although I personally think it is quite fun! However we only have a few costumes and fake spider webs etc that are tossed in with the other dressups.
I had an American friend who lived here a few years back and they went crazy decorating at Halloween so I am able to imagine how much stuff you have!
Maybe the best thing is to keep only the ones that are not irreplaceable, and toss/donate the rest...same with the Christmas stuff. Keep any special, family heirloom ones, or rare collectable decorations, and get rid of the rest.
It will be hard to do when you are so into that stuff, but think of how much easier your move will be!
One of my most treasured childhood memories is how our home looked and smelled at the holidays. One of my most treasured gifts is my sons face when he would come down and see all the decorations up and now that his older his excitement while helping to unpack and decorate.
So if it is truly sentimental I would say find a way to make it work for you. Make 2011 the year you go through them all as you unpack for that specific holiday and purge the the stuff that isn't important. Don't try to do it all at once.
Like a pp I have a very organized system for boxing and labeling the decorations. As much as packing them up after the holiday pains me I make sure to do it right. Rushing just causes frustrations next year.
We decorate for a lot of holiday so the storage area of our attic is arranged by the calendar:
New Years, Valentines Day, St Patricks Day, Easter, 4th of July (also used for Labor Day), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
Plus we have a birthday box for birthday decorations.