Holidays, Organization

Holiday Decoration Blues: What to Store and What to Trash

When taking down holiday decorations, you may find yourself pondering one of life’s difficult questions: should you keep your holiday decorations or give them the old heave-ho? Get tips on what’s best to store and what belongs in the trash.

Happy New Year! Are You Sticking to Your Resolutions so Far?

2016 is here, and if you’re like many people, you’re still holding on to the holiday spirit. It’s sad to see that tree and all those twinkling lights go, isn’t it? But hey – it’s time. You’re a grown-up, and string lights have a very narrow window as acceptable home décor.

When taking down your holiday decorations, you may find yourself pondering one of life’s most difficult questions: should you keep your holiday decorations or give them the old heave-ho?

Well, that’s entirely up to you, but we do have some tips and guidelines that we hope will be helpful.


Trash: That Ratty, Old Fake Tree

There was a time in your life when the fake tree made sense. It was a gift from your mom when you got your first apartment. It saves you from having to buy a tree every year. Yeah, we get it. But if your old fake tree is looking all bent out of shape, recycle that bad boy. Next year, get a real tree. You can’t beat the aroma of fresh fir, and if you buy a live tree, you can even plant it in your yard when the holiday’s over.

Store: Heirloom Ornaments

They might not fit your overall aesthetic, but if those old ornaments you got from grandma or your best friend or whomever bring a smile to your face when you look at them, you should probably save them from the trash heap, even if you don’t display them every year.


But while we’re on the subject of ornaments, you can definitely get rid of those old random ornaments that have no sentimental value and don’t really go with your style. If your primary reaction is “meh,” put it in the “donate” pile.

Trash: Perishable Decorations

You can make some really charming tree ornaments out of oranges, apples, and popcorn and cranberries make excellent garlands. But whatever you do, don’t store those perishable decorations for next year. Storing ornaments made of edibles is a great way to attract household pests such as rats and mice. Yikes!

Keep: Candy Canes

We’re not suggesting that you reuse the same candy canes for decorations every year, but you might want to use them in a dessert recipe. Who says you can’t eat candy cane cheesecake during the summer?


Trash: Wrapping Paper

This one is debatable. If you’re the crafty sort, you could always reuse wrapping paper for collages or scrapbooks. If you’re the type who takes your time unwrapping gifts, you may be able to re-purpose your holiday giftwrap for birthdays and the next year’s gifts. But will you? That’s the real question. If not, toss it!

Keep: As Few Cards As Possible

Holiday cards can have a lot of sentimental value if they’re from a special friend or cherished family member. If you can realistically see a card becoming a special memory that will bring a smile to your face in the future, then go ahead and save it. But that card from your work acquaintance or client probably won’t end up being a special keepsake. Our advice? Toss it.

Trash: Old Lights That Don’t Work

If you’re still trying to get your money’s worth out of your old, tangled, incandescent string lights, it may be time to give up the ghost. But hey – don’t just throw them away. Recycle them.


Modern LED lights save a ton of energy, and they’re designed to last a lot longer than your old-style bulbs. Pro-tip: this year, use Velcro cable ties to keep your new LED lights tangle-free. You’ll thank yourself later.

Life Is Better Without Holiday Clutter

Holiday decorations bring cheer and get you into the spirit, but there’s no need to hang onto unnecessary clutter. We hope these tips help you keep the important stuff and get rid of everything you won’t miss!

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Matty is the Content Marketing Specialist for He's a newly minted homeowner who currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife. When he's not working, he enjoys writing fiction, working on the house, and enjoying the amazing nature that the city has to offer. He is also the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency.

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