By Stacey Himler
It’s time to Deck the Halls, but you’ve noticed decorating for the holiday season has become more burden than bliss. Over the years you collect ornaments and holiday knick-knacks with lots of love and memories connected to each piece. Unfortunately, many of us end up with more memorable ornaments than we have room for. This is a sign to declutter before you decorate! Decluttering holiday decorations can save you time and money while allowing you to take inventory of all the wonderful items you want to preserve for holidays to come.
We put together a few tips and tricks to get your holiday decorations decluttered in no time and help you recognize items that may work well as heirlooms or memorable gifts.
Step 1: Decide what theme, color, and condition items you’d like to purge.
Christmas décor can be beautiful and elegant as well as warm with fond memories. One way to reign in an explosion of Christmas ornaments and decorations is to decide which color scheme works well to compliment your décor. Classic ornament colors like gold and silver can be considered neutrals and pair well with almost any color.
Step 2: Try sorting unwanted items into three categories Donate, gift, and discard.
Sorting your ornaments allows you to take inventory of all your holiday décor items. If you have friends or relatives that collect specific items like angel or character-themed ornaments, keep them in mind as you make room for this year’s gifts and holiday décor. You can gather items within your home that fit the theme of their collection and set them aside as you sort your decorations collection. Use boxes, bags, or baskets for sorting items.
Step 3: Go through the Gift pile a second time.
Once you’ve created this pile separate the most significant items from the rest and identify hidden gems you may want to consider selling. Remember the gift pile can be a bit tricky! Be careful not to allow this to become a “catch-all” for items with more sentimental value than usefulness. You can follow these rules to purge the pile:
- Add items that you absolutely LOVE to the gift pile. Loved items are meaningful items that define us as individuals.
- Choose from what we WANT from the remaining possessions and decide which are most important. Make sure there is room to comfortably keep the items.
- Dispose of anything broken, worn, stained or outdated.
Step 4: Go through the items identified as hidden gems.
As you declutter, there are a few items you may want to look for that could sell well in an online auction or estate sale.
- Brand-Name ornaments, holiday décor, and accessories
- Vintage collectible holiday items
- Items still in the box or with a tag (especially brand name)
- Collectible figurines
- Vintage holiday themed picture frames
- Vintage holiday music boxes or snow globes
- Holiday-themed Paintings, sculptures or pottery by celebrated artists
If you are unsure of an item’s value, here are a few ways to tell if it may be worth a look from an expert, like a Caring Transitions Estate Sale and Online Auction specialists:
- Check for distinctive markings
- Research items similarly made online
- Research the artist or designer who created the item
Step 5: Give the gift of an heirloom.
Consider gifting an ornament or holiday-themed item a new part of your annual tradition. Give at least one meaningful or sentimental item to a family member. You can include a card or note with the gift that explains why the gift has special meaning or value or describes how or why it is part of family history. Carefully choose the right recipient for family heirlooms by considering who will love, appreciate or use the holiday “heirloom” most. The key is to give these special gifts to family members or friends who express an interest in the item or particular point in family history.
Often with the high seasonality of holiday décor, you find items that are in excellent shape, yet no longer have use in your home or you aren’t quite sure of how to handle. Here are a few things to keep in mind throughout the holiday decluttering process:
- Reduce your inventory of seasonal décor items by only keeping those that are space efficient or have tremendous sentimental value.
- Reduce items that have too many “multiples.” For example, if you have four tree toppers, release 3. If you have 6 Santa figurines, release 4. If you have 3 sets of red Christmas lights, you may choose to release them all!
- Get rid of things that belong to others. For instance, your 40-year old son’s elementary school Christmas ornament project or the heirloom decorations you agreed to store for an aunt or cousin years ago.
- Release items you have kept out of guilt or fear. You may have held on to those Christmas themed knitted doilies that you never quite knew what to do with but kept since your grandmother made them. Items like the may be hard to let go. Now is the time to repurpose or donate those items.
As you make room for the holiday season, make choices that bring joy to you personally while improving someone’ else’s holiday. Giving to others has always been the best gift we could give ourselves.
If you’re stressed about downsizing, Caring Transitions is here for you. We offer compassionate assistance with relocation, downsizing, and online auctions.
by Stacey Himler, Owner of Caring Transitions of Southern Delaware
Get in touch: SHimler@caringtransitions.com
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