How to Declutter Christmas Decorations

It's time to get out all your boxes of ornaments and the artificial tree (or trees) you store every year. 

Do you set aside an entire day, or even more, to get all your decorations up?  Are you risking your neck to hang Christmas lights?  If you've been accumulating holiday décor for years (or decades), you probably have almost enough stuff to set up shop.

Now maybe decorating for the holidays is one of your favorite events of the season.  Maybe you gather family or friends, put out some snacks, play suitable music, and have a ball filling every nook and cranny with mementos of the season.  If it's a tradition you crave each year, and it brings you and your companions great joy, go for it!  Minimalism, after all, is about intentionally making space and time for what is most important to you.

Related article:  How Minimalism Makes Room for Joy

bright holiday yard decor

Why you might be ready for less

But maybe it's become more of a chore than a joy, or maybe you're just tired of storing a dozen boxes of décor.  Maybe you want time for a different project, or space to store other things you use more often.

Whatever the reason, you may decide you want to remove some of your Christmas clutter.  There are things you love, that hold great meaning for you, and then there are things you bought because they completed a set, were on sale, were the fad three years ago, or because you had an impulsive shopping habit that wasn't yet under control.

You can free yourself from the excess and wind up with a very personal, curated collection that lifts your spirits and helps you focus on all that the holiday means to you.

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The Pre-Christmas Clear Out

Set a boundary.

A boundary is helpful in any sort of decluttering endeavor, and especially for any collection.

If you've been storing twelve boxes, you might decide you only want to store six, or four, even just one or two.  If you've been putting a big tree in the living room, a medium tree in the foyer, a small tree on the kitchen counter, and a mini tree in the downstairs powder room, perhaps you'll decide to keep only one or two trees.

There are no rules, and no right or wrong answer to the question of how much to keep.  But setting a boundary is powerful because you'll suddenly see very clearly what you love and what's merely filling a space.

The boundary makes your preferences clear.

Get clear about your purpose.

As you choose what to keep and display, consider the purpose you have for your decorations.  Instead of just going with the idea that "more is better," think about what the season means to you.

Your decorations will draw your attention and create focal points in your home.  They'll enhance your mood and inspire your actions.  Let them tell a story about what matters to you.

  • Is your Christmas about your faith?  Keep decorations that aim your attention in that direction.  Maybe your Santa dinnerware or Elf on the Shelf accessories aren't right for that, but the Nativity set, the "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him" banner, and the angel ornaments for the tree are.
  • Is your holiday about getting cozy?  Maybe candles on the mantel, hand knit Christmas stockings, red plaid throw pillows, a gingerbread house, and your set of Santa mugs convey coziness better than the snowman figurines and all of the blue and purple ornaments you bought "for something different" a few years ago.
  • Is your Christmas about family?  Keep items that remind you of family, past and present.  Maybe Rudolph kitchen towels and miscellaneous candles and wreaths don't accomplish that.  But the ceramic Christmas village you inherited from your mother does, and so do all of the "Baby's First Christmas" picture frames and funky ornaments made by your kids.
  • Is your holiday about friends and entertaining?  Maybe you don't care about all of the inflatables for the front yard, but you want to keep the holiday-themed dinnerware, linens, serving pieces, napkin rings, centerpiece, welcome mat, and a big wreath for the front door.
  • Is your Christmas about peace, hope, and kindness?  Maybe all you need are a lot of white twinkle lights and blooming plants like amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus.  And instead of filling the guest room closet with boxes of décor, you can make space to collect winter coats or canned foods for donation.

Let's make the most of the holiday season by being intentional about how we spend it.  That includes how we use our time and money, but also how we decorate.  When we keep our focus on the things that matter most to us, and let the rest go, we make space for a celebration that makes our spirits bright.

Want additional inspiration for a simpler and more meaningful holiday?  My book, A Minimalist Holiday,* is available now.  I think you'll love it!

* This blog is reader-supported.  If you purchase through my links, I may earn a small commission.

Updated July 2023


  1. This was lovely. So accepting of different peoples desires while helping us realize what those are. Thank you.


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