Holiday Decorating and De-cluttering Tips


The countdown to December 25th seems to start earlier every year.  As a kid I remember thinking it would never come but as a parent I now realize it’s a mad dash to the finish line for most.  Getting organized for the holidays means different things to different people but it’s safe to say that decorating is on everyone’s list.  Here are some tips for decorating and organizing your home for the holiday…

Take stock BEFORE starting. Although it seems like Christmas was just last week, a year is a long time and it’s unlikely you will remember that you discarded all the non-working lights. Nothing worse than discovering you need more lights for the tree when the family is queued up and ready to decorate it.

Identify your Focal Points.  Focusing on the key areas makes more of an impact than lots of small holiday tchotchkes spread around the room.

Consider your Color Scheme. There is no law that says Christmas is red and green. Create your own holiday palette using hues already incorporated into your décor.

Develop a Theme and stick to it. Rustic country holiday or mid-century modern chic? It’s nice to add to and update your holiday decor from year to year but try to avoid collecting a mishmash of items. Mix and mingle at a holiday party? Yes. Holiday decorations? No.

Keep it Simple and Add Greenery. The simplest way to add holiday cheer is to tuck greenery around existing decorative items.

Jazz Up the Lighting. Drape a garland or hang a sprig of mistletoe from light fixtures to add a festive touch.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words! Love how you arranged your mantel last year but can’t remember the exact layout? Before taking down your decorations take pictures of your tree, table, front door, landscaping, and any other areas you typically decorate. Create a digital folder called “Holiday Decorations” and use these photos as a guide for next year.

Designate a Spot for Gift Storage. Have you ever cleaned out a closet and discovered gifts that were stashed during the year but you forgot and never gave? Or, needed a hostess gift but no time to shop? Use a gift closet for all gift-giving occasions and avoid over-buying.

Pre-Holiday De-Cluttering. Before decorating consider putting away certain every day items to avoid excess clutter. It’s also a good idea to de-clutter and organize closets, cabinets and playrooms to make space to put new things.

Label! Label! Label! When packing away decorations, wreaths, lights, etc. remember to label the boxes.  And, avoid wasting time untangling twisted up strings of lights. Use specially made plastic spindles for wrapping lights or you can wrap lights around hangers or rectangular pieces of cardboard!

Hope these tips and ideas get you started on your way to a festive and relaxing holiday season!

Happy Holidays!


Certified Professional Organizer® Andrea Walker is passionate about helping her clients. As owner and founder of Smartly Organized, LLC, a professional organizing firm headquartered in New Jersey, Andrea has been helping discerning clients accomplish their organizing goals since 2010. Her attention to detail and high level of service set her apart from her peers. Contact her at 917.846.9953 or

A Smartly Organized move is the smartest move you will ever make™.

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