Holiday Decorations: To Keep or Not to Keep?

It’s that time of year. On the day after Thanksgiving, we pull out our holiday decorations. If you’re like me, you have certain things that you just love! A beautiful glass ornament that my grandmother gave me or a snow globe I found it in a little shop in Germany. They have emotional and sentimental value. If you’re like me, you also have items that you no longer use. Strings of lights I haven’t put on the shrubs in years or plug-in window candles that I’ve replaced with a battery operated version. But I carry them down from the attic year after year and then repack and store them again at the end of the season.

Home organizing is about evaluating which of your belongings are truly meaningful and useful to you, in the here and now. When you are able to recognize which things have value to you, you are able to take control of your life. While it may seem like a small exercise – sorting through and discarding unused holiday decorations – it will free you. Next year, you won’t spend as much time bringing all of the boxes down and sorting through them. The holidays are a stressful and busy time. Organizing your decorations THIS year will give you more time to spend with your family and friends NEXT year.

When you take the boxes out of the attic this year, take the time to sort through them. Which items do you love?  Which items do you use every year? Which items have become part of your family’s holiday tradition? Take everything else and get rid of them! If they are in good condition, you may be able to find another home for them. Donate lights, wreaths and ornaments to nursing homes, senior centers or hospitals. Gift special items to family and friends who have admired them in the past. If things are ragged looking (that stocking that the dog chewed at the toe) or not working (the string of lights you’re sure you can fix), throw them away!!

To keep or not to keep? You know in your heart what’s truly meaningful to you. Let go of the rest.

Ellen Miano is Professional Organizer in Foxboro MA. For more information see her website at or contact her directly at 508.641.0521.

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