Simplifying Holiday Clutter

Simplifying / Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Sharon has inspired me to get more serious about decluttering and to track my progress.

So far in 2012, we’ve gotten rid of 87 items: 80 of those were donated and 7 were sold on Craigslist. The earnings from the Craigslist sales were $210 and It’s Deductible tells me that so far we’ve shaved $96 from next year’s tax bill with the donations.

Those kinds of results motivate me to keep going.


The last decluttering/donation we did coincided with me bringing out the Easter decorations. As I went through the box, I found myself putting more things in the donate pile than in the keep pile. Many more things.

The stuff I decided to let go of generally fell into one of these categories:

  1. Things that no longer fit our life. (My 20 and 16 year-olds won’t be using the Easter craft items or wearing the fur bunny ears.)
  2. Things that are no longer my style. (The bunny cookie jar is cute, but he’s been in my basement for years.)
  3. Things that simply accumulated. (I kept the sentimental Easter baskets that we still use, but got rid of all cheap, freebie ones that we’ve collected over the years.)
  4. Easter-themed kitchen items. (I can use the pretty crystal deviled egg plate I already have; I don’t need a special Easter one. Ditto the Easter egg salt and pepper shakers.)



Easter wasn’t the only holiday to be scaled back. These Christmas platters went in the pile too. I have plenty of white and clear glass serving pieces that work for any occasion or holiday.

As I declutter the things that aren’t important to me, I find myself making different decisions about new purchases as well. Before I buy something (or even take something for free) I ask myself:

  • Will I use it?
  • Do I want to store it?
  • Do I want to clean it? Maintain it?
  • Do I want to spend money on it instead of putting the same dollars somewhere else?

Sometimes the answers are yes, but often they are no.

Before you buy

Organizing guru Peter Walsh puts it this way:

“What you have in your home should be honored and respected.”

I definitely wasn’t honoring those egg salt and pepper shakers.

15 Replies to “Simplifying Holiday Clutter”

  1. Pack all the holiday decorations in big boxes and hide them in dark corners! Bad tip, I know! I think you were peeking in my dark corners. We haven’t put up Holiday decorations for years and I NEED to pass them on to families who will love them. Thanks for the motivation!

  2. Other than colouring Easter eggs when we were young and having one easter basket for each kid, we never really decorated our home for Easter and I still don’t.

    But I love your Easter decorations!! I love the colours of Easter – pastel colours.

    My best friend’s mother loved decorating their house for Easter when we were young. She too had cute things she had collected.

  3. Our ‘stuff’ level is fairly low due to repeated military relocations. However, we do have too many childrens clothes that they have outgrown. We need to donate them when we find the time..

  4. My family is not much into decoration, except for Halloween and Christmas, maybe because I hate clutter and the repacking of the decors. BTW, those Christmas platters are cute. Should you decide to give them away, I am very much willing to take them. LOL.

  5. Why thank you my dear! I’m just now getting caught up with my blog reading!

    I plan on taking all next week off to declutter and downsize again. Where? The dreaded garage and basement. I need a good push in my Its Deductible account to keep me motivated…

    I gave away Halloween, Easter and Christmas stuff last year…AND I still have more to give away. I used to LOVE to decorate for the different holidays…now I just don’t bother. I’m more into *simple*, perhaps spring flowers instead of all of the other junk…

    I really need to sell stuff too…maybe that’s up next for me….

  6. We have been donating many things for the last three years. It continues to surprise me how much work is involving in decluttering, especially when we still have teens, a dog, and schedules. I have said no to some things that usually keep me busy in order to get done.
    I am now making decisions about Christmas tree decorations. My husband and I as well as our dog, have decided that we like lights on a live tree every year with nothing else on the tree. Selling ornaments at a Christmas Bazaar soon. It will be fun.

  7. You really have motivated me. I have just moved and I should have left
    some of the stuff instead of moving it. we have appliances that were in
    the house we bought including washer and dryer. How much do I price these at? For craigs list? I plan to have a garage sale and then donate what is left.

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