How to Get Organized After the Holidays

The holidays: full of family, food, good cheer—and chaos slowly engulfing your home. Happy chaos, but still.

With the holidays behind us it’s time to do some after-Christmas organizing. Luckily, many of the easiest ways to organize your home after the holidays can also be used to stay organized throughout the year ahead.

Drink up the last of that eggnog and use these strategies to get organized at home even when Santa’s not watching.

Downsize Your Decoration Collection

We all have those decorations we dread having to haul out of storage every year. Before putting away your decorations this year, sort through them and determine which you really want to keep and which are just filler.

Offer the excess decorations to friends and family, then donate, sell or toss whatever they don’t take. Christmas organization will be much easier without so many extraneous items and next year’s holiday decorating will be much merrier.

How to Keep It Going All Year:

This principle doesn’t only apply to holiday decor. Any time you have an opportunity to sort through a particular type of belonging, like removing your seasonal clothing from your closet, use it to weed out the items you no longer use or want.

Pile of Christmas ornaments. Pare these down to be more organized.

Surely this is excessive?

Store Your Holiday Decorations in Order of Use

Stashing your various boxes, bins and bags of decorations in order of use is a simple way to organize your Christmas decoration storage area. For example, if you always decorate from the outside in, store your ornaments in the back and make your outdoor lights the first thing at hand when you enter your storage area.

This will save you time that would ordinarily be spent rooting around your storage area to find the decorations you need when you need them.

How to Keep It Going All Year:

This technique can easily be used to get organized throughout your home. For example, arrange the toiletries in your medicine cabinet in the order in which you use them every morning. You can also organize by frequency of use. For example, if you only use your slow cooker for potlucks, store it behind appliances you use more frequently.

Store decorations in use order to be more organized.

Easier decorating makes for a less Grinch-y holiday.

Give Your New Gifts a Home

Your gifts can’t stay strewn around the living room forever. One of the easiest ways to organize your house after the holidays is to give each gift a permanent “home”—whether that’s in a closet, on a particular shelf or in a specific storage bin.

If you can’t find a home for it, make one by getting rid of something else you no longer want or need. Your house will be organized and you won’t have to dig through clutter to find those gifts when you want to use them.

How to Keep It Going All Year:

Organize your house year-round by finding a spot for your new belongings as soon as you return from a shopping trip. Continue to get rid of old belongings as necessary to free up space.

Gifts under a Christmas tree.

They look neat now. Giving them a home will keep them that way.

Immediately Donate Extraneous Gifts

You, and probably everyone in your family, are bound to get at least one gift that you don’t really need or that doesn’t suit your tastes. No matter how guilty you may feel, there’s no sense in letting them pile up as clutter.

A much better plan is to designate a particular day as “Donation Day” and let those items go to someone who will enjoy them. You’ll get organized at home and you’ll be doing a good deed for someone else.

How to Keep It Up All Year:

Keeping this process in place for all gift-giving occasions is a great way to stay organized throughout the year. For every birthday, shower, graduation or other occasion your family has coming up in the year ahead, mark your calendar with a specific day on which you’ll donate any unwanted gifts.

Santa's hand, writing his list.

Ditch those dud gifts. Santa won’t mind, we promise.

Need more holiday help? Learn the best way to dispose of a Christmas tree or get room-by-room decluttering tips to make organization a New Year’s resolution you’ll actually keep.