How to Put Away Christmas Gifts the Organized Way

Today we’re going to talk about all those wonderful presents we get for Christmas.  Did you get a new sweater?  Maybe a bathrobe?  Or how about a CD or slippers?  Candles, books, kitchenware?  And the kids?  I bet they got new clothes, books and of course toys.  Oh the toys!   The anticipation of Christmas morning and opening it all up.  Seeing the excitement on their adorable little faces.  So magical and fun!


… we have to do something with ALL.THE.STUFF.


Back the truck up just one minute.

Did she just say put it all away?

Yep it’s time.

And no I’m not talking about throwing it into the bedrooms and letting it all fend for itself.   Those toys just like to party, no way will they put themselves away.

But here’s the trick to keeping clutter at bay.  Remember we are fighting the war against those clutter pests, and you CAN have the upper hand here.

This is how we do it.



Easy right?

Take that new bathrobe and hang it where your old robe use to live.  Take that old robe and add it to your donation station.  (You do have a donation station, right?)

And yes I totally understand that your old robe is still perfectly good and wonderful and you can’t possibly toss it just yet.  But this really is the PERFECT time to part with it because nobody wants to buy a tattered old robe at the thrift store.  You just made someone’s day a whole lot nicer my friend!!  Now doesn’t that feel good?  It’s nice to share :)

So now how about those candles?  Now I know what you’re thinking.  “She is crazy for cocoa puffs if she thinks I’m donating candles I’ve not even had a chance to burn yet”.  Yep that’s me, crazy girl!!  If you have all the space in your home to store candles to the roof and back than by all means don’t let me stop you.  But something tells me that if you had unlimited storage in your house you wouldn’t need to be reading my blog now would you?  Most of us deal with limited storage and more stuff than we know what to do with.

Now what is it I always say?

Only keep what you love and use AND that you have the room to store.

Did you catch that last part?

That’s why we need to purge until it fits.

Trust me, it works.

So where was I?  Oh right, three candles in, three candles out.

One sweater in, one sweater out.

Five toys in, five toys out.

Now you’re getting the idea.

You are now winning the clutter war.

You are winning!

Clutter has no power over you.

Can I get a whoot, whoot?



Oh ya friends it’s going to be a wonderfully organized year.  Stick around, we’ve only just begun!!

Here’s what I’m parting with today.  How about you?

christmas purge pile


Filed under: Clutter Control, Organizing Basics, Purging


26 Responses to How to Put Away Christmas Gifts the Organized Way

  1. 1
    Mel says

    Question…where do you donate to? Do you have a favorite place? We use Big Brother Big Sister or Vietnam Vets but I always get concerned if they actually donate to people. I have heard some places toss or pulp the clothes and I would hate to see clothes pulped if there are people in this country who can barely survive with the clothes on their backs.

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      I always donate to our local thrift store because 100% of the proceeds go to support our local hospital by purchasing new equipment etc. Most communities have a thrift store that takes donations.

  2. 2
    Dawn says

    I’m starting to do this. I got a new skirt for Christmas. So I took the two old skirts that don’t fit anymore and put them in my donate pile.

  3. 4
    hsmominmo says

    we are working on this around here this week, with the final push being today. Thanks for the extra boost!

  4. 5
    Shannon says

    Shout it from the rooftops! I love this post!

  5. 7
    Tiffany says

    Please email me your address so that I can pickup”your junk”! Lol!!! I love your craziness!!

  6. 8
    Hilda says

    I. LOVE. THIS. POST!! I had started purging a lot before Christmas so that I would not be as overwhelmed when it came time to put all the gifts away, but then I got sick and got behind schedule. I’m glad I did as much as I did when I did it though! We’re definitely purging more this weekend as we put everything away :) Thanks for putting all these “rules” in one spot!

  7. 9
    Alli says

    This is great post. And a wonderful reminder. I tried tackling the one out part before Christmas, and it didn’t work so well with out youngest. After Christmas was much easier, because he had those tangible reminders of why he needed to choose items to give away.

  8. 10
    Carol Bayersdorfer says

    Donate through so you know the stuff is going to someone who actually can use it and doesn’t get shredded and sold to foreign countries and stays out of landfills.

  9. 11
    Candice says

    I love the 1 in 1 out rule! This holiday season I was able to purge way more toys from my son’s playroom than ever before, it was almost like 1 in 2 out!! You gotta love that! Plus it’s nice that I’ve always involved my son in purging his own stuff, so he knows that other kids are going to be able to have lots of fun with the toys he’s giving up.

  10. 12
    LuAnn Braley says

    One in, one out is one of those logical ideas that are usually far, far from my mind when it comes to keeping organized when there is a new influx of “stuff”. But I may have to make up and print a little sign from the computer and stick it up in the apartment as a reminder. :O)

  11. 13
    Susanne says

    I keep my candles in the bottom of the display cabinet. When it’s full it is time to purge. When I offered up a whole bunch of candles to my dayhome parents to take that were barely burned they couldn’t believe it when I told them my little “rule”. LOL. The look on their face was quite amusing. Some of them were darn expensive ones too that I had got at Winner’s (discounted of course). It felt so good though and now I only have the ones I truly really enjoy burning.

    I still have a hard time with following the one in one out rule with books, though. But I have made my self stick within the boundaries of my book shelf space for books I’m keeping after reading. So hard when it’s my “addiction” area.

  12. 14
    Jenny says

    We support our local thrift store by donating and purchasing from there! I second Laura’s recommendation to seek out a goodwill, salvation army or similar secondhand store running by an established community group in your hometown.

  13. 15
    Christa says

    Great advice. I try to follow it. The part that is difficult for my kids is the one toy in, one toy out rule. While they may get 20 toys for Christmas, and they give away 20 toys, the 20 toys they give away are much smaller than the 20 they get. I might have to institute a same size rule when it comes to the toys.

  14. 16
    Robyn @ Living the Simple Life Now says

    Great stuff!!! I’ve already added some gifts to the donation pile. I completely agree with donating rather than trying to sell or hang onto “just in case.”

    My biggest issue is my boys’ room (ages 7 & 8). They are not really on board with the “1 in, 1 out” rule. But they go back to school on Jan. 6. I have a feeling some things may magically “disappear” that they no longer use but claim that they do then. :)

    • 16.1
      Margaret C says

      Don’t do the “magically disappear” thing unless you are going to do it for them all their lives. We have a “share day” and I get three boxes…one for my nieces, one for my handicapped daughter’s classroom, and one for people we don’t even know (Goodwill) and I ask my 2 girls to fill up the 3 boxes. They don’t have to comb through everything…just enough to fill up the boxes. When they finish, we put them all in the trunk to be delivered ASAP and then go out for frozen yogurt (a RARE treat in our household). We do this 4 times a year…Easter break, when school gets out, when school starts, and at Christmas.

      • Laura Wittmann says

        Yes I absolutely agree, it’s so important for kids to practice decision making skills when they are young. I cannot stress this enough. It is more work for mom to walk them through the process but certainly it pays off in the long run!

  15. 17
    Deborah says

    An idea for those with kids who believe in Santa,…. We always told our boys that Mrs Claus would come by the house on New Year’s Eve to pick up any toys they did not want. She would bring them back to the elves to refurbish for next Christmas….and she always let Santa know which kids donated…. Then I would box them up, hide them in my trunk and visit goodwill the next day. My boys let go of the toys easily!

  16. 18
    Linda says

    I realize this is a year later…but I LOVE Deborah’s Mrs. Claus story!!! Want to pin that :)


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