• Cindy Murphy

The GREAT Holiday Decor Pare Down Challenge.

In upcoming posts I'll be discussing the real need most of us have in regard to paring down the possessions in our living environments. Paring down, editing or de-cluttering the stuff in our lives takes serious commitment and time. We have to reach a point where enough is truly enough and we're ready to live a positive, simplified lifestyle.

For this post let's start with all things holiday--ornaments, garland, trees of various sizes, candle holders, lights, themed wall decor, pillows and throws, candy jars, serving trays, holiday dishes, manger sets, and more, These are some of the things that will take over our homes for weeks during the holidays.

Opening and unpacking the tubs and boxes that have been stored away for the past year can either be an exciting task or a dreaded one. Either way, there's no better time of year to sort and pare down holiday decor.

Let's get to sorting and decision-making! Put on some holiday music, get comfortable and make room for the sorting to happen.

  • Keep. These are things you will use or things that have sentimental value or meaning. Be truthful with yourself about why you're keeping things.

  • Family (or Friends). Things you'd like to give to children, grandchildren, or other family members or friends. Always ask, don't assume. Let them look through the items and make their decisions, keeping in mind they may want nothing. It's fine. Don't take it personally. Most people have plenty of holiday decor and don't want or need more.

  • Donate. Look out thrift stores! (My little Santa ornament photo was taken at a local thrift store while I was researching thrift store content for future posts. By the way, I did not buy this ornament!) This time of year, thrift stores all over the country are putting their holiday donations on display for purchase. We buy. We use. We store away. And eventually, we donate.

  • Sell. Haven't we all attended garage or estate sales selling holiday decor? Vintage or style-trending items will sell for more than "everyday" holiday decor. Keep in mind anything you have earmarked for a sale will need to be priced and stored away until sale time.

  • Trash. Let's face it, not everything we have stored away falls into one of the previous categories. Sometimes the things we've kept are simply destined for the trash. It's okay, trash happens.

A few years ago I took The Great Holiday Decor Pare Down Challenge. That was the first cut. Then, two years ago, I rearranged my storage area in the attic and took the Challenge again! I managed to get rid of so many things. The kids came and took what they wanted, which was mostly childhood ornaments that held special memories for them. What remained was donated.

I'm sure as I prepare to decorate again this year (traditionally Thanksgiving weekend) I will come across even more holiday decor that I will need to make decisions about. There's no better time of year to take The Great Holiday Decor Pare Down Challenge! Approach this important downsizing task with an open mind and heart.

Happy Holidays!


If you live in the Greater Kansas City Metro and need help with these tasks, please contact us through the "Contact Us" page on the website or by phone at 816.358.6338 or email:

Photo © Cynthia L Murphy, 2021

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