donating toys after Christmas

After-Christmas Declutter 101: Get Organized For The New Year!


by Bonnie Azoulay Posted on December 27, 2023

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about decluttering your space and storing all those Christmas decorations. Sure, putting out the decor is one of the most exciting parts of Christmas. Taking everything down, however? Not so fun! Still, when all that post-Christmas clutter is managed, you’ll feel so much better and ready to take on the new year! 

So how do you organize after Christmas?

First, take stock of everything you have and separate your Christmas-specific items by category. You’ll probably throw some of your latest holiday items out along the way (unusable wrapping paper and Christmas cards from friends and relatives, for example, can be tossed or recycled — and don’t forget to recycle boxes still lingering from all those pre-holiday deliveries!). 

Find and label boxes or other storage containers with descriptions of the items that you plan to store in them for next year. Put your outdoor lights in one, your ornaments in another, your holiday dishes in another, etc.

Then, choose dedicated spaces for any new items you were gifted over the holidays, so they don’t become clutter later on. Some items, like white elephant gifts (aka dirty Santa gifts), may actually get used on a regular basis if they’re within reach.

Insider Tip: If you feel like you’re running out of storage space, get creative with wall hooks, zip ties, plastic tubs, and other extra storage ideas from the PODS blog
Three piles of clothes with sticky notes that say discard, donate, and keep to help with post-Christmas organizing

How do you declutter after the holidays?

The thought of overcoming the yearly post-Christmas mess, not to mention organizing Christmas decorations while you’re at it, can be enough to make your head spin. Adding decluttering to the list? That must be crazy, right? Wrong. Now’s the perfect time to do a whole-home declutter! It’s simple if you just start small with the easy wins

Walk around your home and make a list of any room or closet that has more “stuff” than you’d like. Pick the space that you find easiest to confront and get decluttering. Sort all the items by type and then go through each pile, getting rid of (or donating) anything that you don’t need or want (or haven’t used in a while).

What is the fastest way to organize clutter?

Get the whole family involved! Put out bins labeled “discard,” “donate,” and “keep,” so everyone can toss things where they belong. Want to go a step further? Make it a game by rewarding everyone with a family movie night once the bins are full.

How do you deal with Christmas clutter specifically? It’s just like everything else in the house. Start by getting rid of Christmas decor you don’t love and think someone else would get good use out of. If anything is broken or unusable, toss it in the trash or recycle bin. You can also try the two-for-one method for organizing: For every one thing you add to your home, choose two things to donate or throw out. 

Three boxes stacked together with organized Christmas decorations in them and a Santa hat on top, making it easy to find for next year

Want to get organized even faster? A PODS portable storage container delivered to your driveway, serving as a sorting space to go through your things, makes decluttering a cinch. And once your home is decluttered and the stuff that doesn’t spark joy is donated — the container makes a perfect space for storing Christmas decorations and the things you just can’t part with. Load ’em up and PODS will take them to a secure storage center until you need them next year. Easy-peasy!

Bonnie Azoulay Elmann is an NYC-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to the PODS blog. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Health, and Parents, among others. She is an extremely driven digital storyteller who may or may not have a slight obsession with fanny packs.

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