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Christmas in July? Organizing Your Decorations...

When the pool feels like a warm bath and it’s too hot to do anything outside, it’s the perfect time to deal with your accumulation of Christmas décor. For starters, you can go through the boxes while listening to the Beach Boys instead of Christmas music.  The supercharged nostalgia of the season is still months away – – and all the usual spectators will leave you alone.

Most of us have enough Christmas ornaments to outfit multiple trees and décor for multiple surfaces. And if you’re like me, Christmas celebrations have changed since the pandemic, and many have moved to more minimalistic celebrations.

In the last five years I’ve downsized, combined households, and come into possession of three generations of Christmas stuff. It's such an overwhelming amount that I’ve avoided putting up ANY decorations for two years!

Your situation might be different from mine, but I’m ready to reassess my Christmas stash. I’m taking a weekend in July to make it happen . . . here’s my plan of attack:

1.      Gather everything Christmas.

2.      Find whatever is worn, torn, stained, chipped, cracked, etc., and repair, patch or discard it.

3.      If you use Christmas dishes and linens in your kitchen and dining room. . . decide if you can divide and share with other family members, or if you can use anything in a new way. Pack bathroom linens separately from kitchen items. Repack all linens together in a dust proof, mouse proof, container.

4.      Separate candles and flat surface decorations. Get creative and try new groupings to use throughout your home. Determine if anything can be used for a different season if you have too much. Narrow down your collection to your favorite things. Consider gifting anything new that you can’t manage to incorporate into your decorating.

5.      Christmas pillows and fluffy toys take up lots of storage space, so look carefully at these items to see if anything has passed its useful life. Try surface cleaning dingy items and take advantage of bright sunny days to air dry and freshen whatever you decide to keep.

6.      Outdoor decorations typically get put away quickly and we don’t always clean or repair items before we put them away. Now is the time to clean off the dirt, check for faded flags, leaky inflatables, and burned-out light bulbs. In the cool of your air-conditioned home, you’ve got an opportunity to take inventory and determine what will need to be replaced or retired.

7.      Christmas ornaments are the final sort. Only you know if something has enough sentimental value to make it worth repairing or repurposing, but doing this now is far better than waiting until it’s time to deck the halls. At my house, everyone got one new ornament each year, with the idea being that eventually kids would move away and take ornaments with them (sometimes it works). I added small memorabilia like library reading medals and tokens from vacations to my ornament stash for each child, so I had lots of ornaments before inheriting ornaments from two other generations. By taking time now to regroup and repack ornaments, you will be able pack things more efficiently and in whatever configuration you hope to employ during the upcoming season.

8.      Label everything.

Of course, we all hope to gain some storage space, but this reset process might just make your next holiday season manageable and merry!

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