If you’re like many people, you love decorating for the holidays. That warm, happy feeling you get pulling out your favorite tree ornaments or placing stockings on the fireplace mantel just puts you in the Christmas mood. However, sometime between December 26 and January 2, those decorations have worn out their welcome and the dreaded task of packing them up until next year looms large. Try out these ideas to extend the life of your December décor and make un-decorating a little easier.

  1. Take inventory of those decorations that aren’t necessarily Christmas-themed. Pine cones, holly, and anything winter or snow-themed can easily last through February so leave them out and enjoy for a couple more months.
  2. Pack up the Christmas tree first. This tends to be the biggest task, as it requires the careful removal and packing of all those tiny, delicate ornaments. It also takes the longest amount of time. Getting this one out of the way first is a big victory and can put you in a better mental state to tackle the rest of the decorations. If you leave it until last, it can become a mountainous obstacle in your mind because you’ve exhausted your patience with the other smaller tasks.
  3. Enlist the help of others. Have a BFF down the street? Help him or her take down decorations at their house and they’ll likely return the favor. Plus, you can socialize while you work! Holiday houseguests can also be a great resource, as they usually want to be helpful as a way to thank you for your hospitality. Give specific assignments and don’t stress if things are packed up a little differently than you would have done it – at least it’s done.
  4. Leave outdoor lights for last. Pack up any inflatables or large exterior decorations in early January. Lights, however, can simply be unplugged and are not very noticeable, so it’s OK to save that task until the end.
  5. If you find un-decorating from the holidays a bit depressing, get some other fun winter or Valentine’s Day decorations to replace the holiday ones with right away.