Empty Nester’s guide to packing up the holidays.

Now that every last bit of Jolly has been wrung out of the holiday, it’s time to put in your ear buds and pack up those decorations.  Before you break open the plastic bins, keep these helpful tips in mind:

Cut the Fat

Just like our waistlines, it may be time for your holiday décor to go on a diet.  Now is a great time to get rid of stuff you didn’t use this year.  Schedule a donation to the thrift store; you’ll have a little extra space to store after-holiday bargains.

Start a Box for your Kids

Being empty nesters means coming to terms with the fact that our holidays with our kids are probably numbered.  I’ve started packing boxes of special ornaments and decorations for each of my children to take to their own homes some day.  I’ve also started putting aside those handmade “treasures” they made me over the years.  Someday the grandkids might get a kick out of them.

Don’t get caught up in the frenzy

For years, I aspired to the magazine ideal of having each room of the house decorated with a special holiday theme.  The kitchen would be whimsical holiday candies and gingerbread men; my daughter would have a pink ballerina tree…  As a result of my many-themed obsession, I ended up with a little of everything and no cohesive look.

If you have the time and money to invest in this kind of decorating and it makes you happy, please don’t let me steal your joy.  But, for most of us, holiday theme decorating becomes a special kind of torture.

Keep it simple my friends- red and green or blue and silver or whatever color combination you love- do that in every room you choose to decorate for the holidays.

This way you can move items around from year to year, retire some and add others, and be on the lookout for missing pieces.

Repurpose household items for the season

One of my favorite items to include in seasonal décor is a large, glass jar.  We use one for coffee year-round and another to hold bath salts by the tub.  At holiday time, glass jars can become candleholders, miniature winter scenes, or bright, holiday candy holders.

Look around your home and think about other items you can repurpose for seasonal decorating such as kitchen bowls and mugs, baskets, and picture frames.  With a little ribbon and a few accents- you’ll have magic without spending any more.

What’s on your playlist for taking down decorations?