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Decide, Decorate then Donate

Whatever the season, most of us have a bin or two (or more) to sort through to pick out the décor that make us happy when we decorate our homes for the holidays. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, we dig out the boxes and display decorations that make us feel festive. But what about the unlucky items that don't make "the cut" anymore and live in the bottom of the bin... year, after year, after year... Sure, we might have used them in the past, but why aren't we still using them?

Oftentimes when we finish decorating for a particular holiday, we look in the box everything was stored in, see the left overs at the bottom and think "Maybe I'll use that next year", or "I'll take toss/donate them when I put back the décor that I am using this year". But, you know what? When that time comes, we are so "done" with the holiday and in a hurry to reset our home to "non-holiday" status, that we end up throwing everything back in the box and keeping all the leftover/unwanted decorations. You know you really should had gotten rid of those items, but you're just too busy to do it. And guess what? You'll be seeing them again next year lying at the bottom of the box with all the other rejected décor, loose parts and glitter.

Usually, its difficult to go through holiday décor when it is "out of season", because the box is tucked neatly away in a dark storage area, and its easier to let it just peacefully hang out there until it's time to decorate with it again. Out of sight, out of mind. Not to mention, that some donation sites don't accept big donations of out of season décor, like a Christmas trees in July, because they don't want a shelf with "off season" stuff that isn't going to sell. So, how do we break the cycle?

Starting this year, right after you set out all the décor that makes the cut, evaluate what is left in the box. Ask yourself: "When was the last time I used this?" "Is this damaged and I really should throw it away?" "Does it fit into my current style of décor that I'm using?" "Am I keeping this because my (grown) kids liked it and might want it later?" "Am I keeping this because I'll feel guilty if I get rid of it?" Some of these questions are easier to answer than others. If you do identify items that can be donated or let go, do it! Donating holiday décor BEFORE the holiday gets those items into the hands of someone else will begin using and enjoying your donations right away. and helps the donation center turn over seasonal inventory quicker than if you donate "off season".

When you put your "every day" décor back in it's place, evaluate that as well. Do you still like the look/style of it? Do you have something that you'd like better in it's place? Each time you decorate or re-decorate your home is an opportunity to declutter your décor. If you don't like/use/want it anymore, pass it on to someone else that will.

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