Whether you crank up the Christmas music the second Halloween's over, or you restrain yourself and stick to fall decor at least until Thanksgiving, now is the time of year that your bins of holiday decor have come down from the attic or out from under the guest beds. Rather than waiting until it's time to put it all back and bemoaning the amount of stuff you have that, once again, you didn't use, go through it now.
Rule #1: Keep What You Love
Obviously, you want to keep the decor that makes in into your home on display year after year. These decorations have passed the test of time — they're the things your heart is happy to see again, the touches that make your home your holiday home, and the details your kids fondly recall in their mind's eye decades from now.
There may be some other things that, though they may not get featured in your holiday decor vignettes, are precious to you, like the Italian lace tablecloth that you might use, might not, when you're hosting a gathering. But it came in your great-grandmother's trunk from the old country in 1912 and it's not going anywhere.
Rule #2: Everything Else? Donate It
Then there's the that motion-sensing Santa that laughs every time someone walks by. You never liked his eyes (no pupils! creepy!) and the "jolly" laugh puts you in, well, it's not the holiday spirit. Where did it come from, anyway? Put it in the donation box so someone (surely, there's someone) else can enjoy it — this year. Along with the wreath you never reach for and the garish napkins blazoned with ho! ho! ho!s.
These items have the potential to become part of another family's holiday traditions. Let them out into the world to be found. In a couple months when you go to put away your holiday decor, you'll be nestling beloved ornaments and cherished pillows into bins that take up so much less physical space in your home.
And next year, without having to dig for them, you'll greet all (and only) your favorite things one by one by one.