January 3, 2018

Why NOW is the second best time to declutter Christmas ornaments

There are three opportunities to declutter Christmas ornaments and now is only the second-best time.

It’s funny, I am really not all that into Christmas and Christmas decoration but I was still sad today to put the things away. Look at these two cuties, I bought them this year in Migros in Switzerland and today they have to go into hibernation.

It had taken me until December 23rd to actually put up my seasonal decorations and today I’ve already put them away again. Basically, I gave this stuff only two weeks of glory. So while putting away the things I asked myself, is it really worth keeping it, do I actually love this stuff?

Three good times to declutter Christmas ornaments

There is always an opportunity to go through regular stuff to declutter, but seasonal decoration is a little special because you don’t have it displayed year-round in your house. When it’s packed away, chances are you will not pull out the boxes to go through it. Therefore, there are only three good times to declutter Christmas ornaments:

  1. when you unpack it to decorate the house
  2. during Christmas Season when you see the stuff every day
  3. before you pack it away for another 10-11 months

We talk about 1 and 3 below but let’s explore #2 real quick. Yes, technically this is a good time to declutter when you have it out and see it every day.

But do you really have the time?

For most people, it is a very busy time and the last thing they have on their mind is to go through boxes of stuff or mess with the decoration that is already in place. This is why I say this is the least ideal of the three options.

That leaves us with option 1 and option 3 and since we are already one week into the New Year and Christmas is behind us let’s talk about option 3 first.

Now is the second best time

There is that saying “what is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago, the second best time is now”. With Christmas ornaments it’s a similar story, now is only the second-best time, but hey, now is better than not at all, so let’s get started:

The left-overs first

How much stuff did not make it being displayed on your mantelpiece or Christmas tree?

Before you start packing away the stuff that you actually did display, start with the items you had decided not to take out, the left-overs so to speak. Take each item out of the box, hold it in your hands, look at it and ask yourself:

– do I really love this?
– if the answer is no, ask yourself:  why do I still have it?
– if the answer is yes, ask yourself, why did I not display it?

Whatever you don’t love anymore simply let go, and only pack the rest back into your boxes. If you have items that you are unsure about, that are not a clear yes or no, put them back into the box for now. You can get back to them when it’s the best time to declutter Christmas ornaments (more about that later).

The winners second

Now it’s time to put away the items you actually did display this year, the winners so to speak. While you take each item to put it away, ask yourself first:

– do I love it? did I enjoy seeing it out this year?
– did it enhance my Christmas spirit and
– does it have a place in my future decorations?

Depending on the answer you pack it away for next year or you decide to let it go.

You might say, but wait a minute Conny, since I displayed it this year I must love it right?


Maybe it is something that was given to you and you feel obligated to keep? Maybe it is a piece that you inherited from your mother or grandmother and you feel obligated to keep? Maybe you never even questioned before if you liked it or not.

If you haven’t decluttered your Christmas stuff in a while (years) chances are you will have a few things to give away or throw away. But again, if you have ornaments that you are unsure if you love them or not, put them back into the box for now. You can get back to them when it’s the best time to declutter Christmas ornaments.

The best time to declutter Christmas ornaments

The best time to declutter Christmas ornaments is actually – drum roll – next time you unpack the things to put them up.


Because you haven’t seen these items in a few months, you are less attached to them. You might not even remember a lot of it. This is a good thing because now you can look at them with fresh eyes and decide what to keep and put up and what to let go.

Another benefit of doing it at the beginning of the Christmas Season is that whatever you decide to let go you can bring to charity and other people have a chance to buy and display it in their house while it is still the right season (compared to if you give it away after Christmas).

The second benefit of decluttering while putting the things up is that if you let go of a few things then, you don’t have to feel guilty for buying something new. You know exactly what you have and can buy some new things that go well with your theme (if you have one).

A mantra to help declutter

That is exactly what I had suggested to my friend while I was in Switzerland last. She loves Christmas and we had gone on many Christmas decoration shopping trips in the past. This year though, while we were looking at the Christmas display at a store on Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich, she told me, she decided not to buy anything new this year.

I couldn’t believe what I heard and I asked very surprised:  Why?

She said, she feels that she has so much already and that she ‘should’ not buy more. I suggested going by the mantra “if something new comes in, something old goes out”. So if she saw something Christmasy that she really really liked to buy it but then to go home and let go of an item that she didn’t love that much anymore.

My friend’s initial reaction was, “hmmm I don’t know about that, something to think about” while she put back that cute little bird she had in her hand.

A few days later I got a text message from her saying, “I thought about what you’ve said to me about the rule and I went through my stuff and sorted out quite a few things to let go. Today I was at a Christmas Market and bought 3 new items I really love. I feel good about myself because I did let go of more than 3 things so technically I still decluttered”😃

Win-win if you ask me. Now over to you, when are you going to declutter Christmas ornaments?

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