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3 Steps To Purge Decorations You No Longer Use For The Holidays (Any Holiday)

By September 25, 2022May 29th, 20249 Comments

We are about to enter that time of year when some people decorate the inside and outside of their homes with seasonal decor. It seems we hit the pause button on seasonal decorations during the summer but once the temperature starts to drop it’s time to decorate again. Like everything else in your house it’s a good idea to only keep the decorations that you truly love and to purge decorations that you don’t use.

Here are 3 steps to take to purge decorations you no longer want to use

1. Find the decorations

Find all the holiday decorations you have stored in your home.

Look in the basement, attic or garage and pull out any container or bin that has holiday decorations saved inside.

Do you have holiday read aloud books stashed somewhere on a bookshelf?

Are there holiday themed placemats or tablecloths mixed in with your other table linens?

Remember to look in the kitchen cupboards for any holiday related mugs, cups, glasses, plates, or platters.

Your mission is to pull together all the various and sundry holiday decorations from all over your house.

2. Sort the decorations

The next step is to sort the decorations.

First sort them by holiday.

Then go through the decorations for each individual holiday – one holiday at a time. It’s easier to purge decorations when you are only deciding what to keep and what to release for a single holiday.

Decide which ones you think you will use this year.

When the holiday rolls around, you may reevaluate the decorations you have set aside to use.

Ask yourself these questions as you sort the decorations:

Are there any decorations you don’t want to use because they are either broken, too shabby looking, or you don’t like anymore?

Set those aside.

Are there decorations you still like but will not use this year?

Put those decorations in a different pile.

3. Purge decorations you no longer use

The final step is to evaluate the decorations you have set aside.

If the decorations are broken toss or recycle them. No one else will want broken decorations.

But if the decorations are merely a little long in the tooth or those you no longer like, go ahead and donate them. This is the time of year when people are actively looking for decorations. Yours may feel old to you but they are new to someone else.

It can be difficult to purge decorations that you have used for years, maybe decades. Some of them probably pull at your heart strings. I know I have a few remaining decorations that my children made for me when they were in kindergarten. That was easily 30 years ago. However, I know that every year as I am thinking about decorating my house for the holidays, I purge decorations that are either broken or no longer speak to me.

If you would like guidance or accountability as you purge decorations for your home, consider joining the Clear Space for You virtual clutter support group I run with Jonda Beattie. Contact Diane for more information.

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia


  • I always enjoy this time of year when neighbors begin decorating. It’s fun to see the colors, lights, and creativity. Holiday decor is not something I do much of, but have helped many clients sort through and organize their seasonal decorations. For some families, this is a significant event and for others, less so. Your instructions for how to sort and decide are terrific! I especially appreciate the guidelines for deciding what to keep, toss, or donate.

  • Julie+Bestry says:

    I’m always fascinated by the depth and breadth of holiday decorations people have. Growing up, we only ever had a few decorations for the glass storm door — an articulated paper skeleton and pumpkin for Halloween and a similar set of articulated paper Pilgrim/cornucopia/turkey decorations for Thanksgiving. Once “collapsed” and folded in on themselves, the whole kit and caboodle fit in a craft envelope. For people who embrace decorating for holidays, these tips are absolute essentials!

  • This is a compact, easy-to-follow tutorial for decluttering. And it would work with anything, not just holiday decor!

  • Seana+Turner says:

    Such a timely post because, as you said, now is a great time to donate holiday donations. Don’t wait until January because many charities won’t want to fill their shelves with items for a holiday that has just passed by.

    I could stand to do a little decorations purging. I have some in my boxes that I don’t put out. You are challenging me to finally let them go this year!

  • Great reminder, Diane! I decorated with fall decor recently and only used 1/3 of what I had this year because I decided to create new DIY decor for the home. I’m going to revisit the other things at the end of the season and get rid of the things I don’t want any longer.