After Christmas shopping

My wife is rather thrifty. I figured this out long ago, but one of the things she is accustomed to doing is heading out to local retailers the days after Christmas to purchase deeply discounted holiday storage products.

In the past, she has scored a couple of ornament boxes, a wrapping paper storage case, and she always comes back with a few new ornaments and decorations to replace ones that didn’t survive the season.

If you’re heading out to shop and take advantage of the sales here are some tips:

  • Plan out a list before going to keep you from impulsively buying items you don’t need.
  • Try to stay true to the one-in, one-out policy. If you do find a great deal, make sure to get rid of its replacement item.
  • Before you take to the stores (if you go at all), check out our list of tough questions to ask of new acquisitions.


This post has been updated since its original publication in 2008.

12 Comments for “After Christmas shopping”

  1. posted by Lindsay on

    This is a good idea if you do need some decorations or storage, but for the sake of decluttering I have actually stopped doing this. It is worth the few dollars I might have saved on Christmas cards, for example, for them to not be taking up space in my apartment for the next 11 months.

  2. posted by Peregrin on

    I might go shopping at JoAnn’s soon–they had a gift wrap storage unit that looked nice, and it would be a great replacement for the horrible Rubbermaid under-bed box I use right now….

  3. posted by Keter on

    Gift wrap = waste. I just don’t use it for family gifts. I keep a few reusable gift bags on hand and some tissue paper, which are folded and put away again after the gift has been presented. Most of the gift bags came from gifts I was given, so I hardly ever have to buy more. For “outside” gifts that must be wrapped, I have one roll of elegant silvery-blue paper that is suitable for almost any occasion and a few silver-gray bows. It all fits in a wrap organizer that hangs in my closet and takes up less space than a coat.

    My Christmas tree and decorations are in the same set of ordinary stacking Rubbermaid tubs they’ve been in for the past decade. I haven’t bought anything new in at least five years.

  4. posted by Deb on

    I ended up not even decorating the tree with my ornaments this year. I unpacked a shoe box full of my new husband’s ornaments, put them up and that was good enough. I had cooking and cleaning to do in the time crunch between grading finals and serving Christmas dinner! My crate-full of ornaments was all tissue-packed and sits back in the garage waiting to be put into storage. I’ll enjoy them twice as much next year!

    My 73-year-old mother wrote me that she has taken her tree to the Goodwill now. It was so much trouble to get that heavy box out of the attic and decorate it. This was the last year. She sounded sad but I can picture smaller displays, such as a door wreath, for some of the pretty ornaments she has.

  5. posted by Beverly Williams on

    While I still love Christmas, I gave up on a big decorated tree three years ago. I decorate my 7′ tall fake bamboo with a string of lights, a lighted star top and a dated ornament for the current year. I checked with my grandkids before I started my “avant garde” decorating scheme and they said it was fine with them. I still have my 7′ Mountain King and several boxes of ornaments and lights but I no longer have the energy to put them up. Christmas is about sharing and family togetherness . . . much more important than decorated trees.

  6. posted by Sarah on

    I’m doing the one-in-one-out think for all the items coming my way this month (it’s my birthday as well as Hanukkah as well as Christmas as well as…). I’ve received some obviously re-gifted items, some of which will stay, some to be re-re-gifted on the appropriate occasion. De-cluttering is hard to do, but I’m trying.

  7. posted by Suzi on

    DH had surgery earlier this month, and I only got out the decoration DS and I could put up. I found that I could achieve a festive look by filling crystal bowls with shiny ornaments, use red candles and ribbons, and some greenery.

  8. posted by purpledot33 on

    It looks like stores are starting to put the holiday decorations storage items on sale. Organize It has all of the holiday storage on its site at 20% off.

  9. posted by sky on

    A few years ago we bought a 3.5′ artificial tree after Christmas. It stays decorated and lives in my coat closet all year. The other decorations – nativity set, snowglobes, etc. are in a Rubbermaid box on the shelf. My one wreath hangs in the attic. My grandchildren think it is so cute and we can have everything out and done in 15 minutes. I don’t have the energy to do the huge tree, drag it all out of the attic and then put it all back.

  10. posted by drdrew on

    One of the best things I’ve ever done so far as holiday ornaments and knick-knack storage is to take a picture and leave it in the box. My wife used to have to wait until I was around because she “just couldn’t get things to fit like you do” (thank you Tetris). So take a picture of the items arranged in the box, or of it unpacked showing only what goes in it, print it, and toss it in the box. Now when you’re packing it back up, everything fits perfectly!

  11. posted by timgray on

    I found a lot of stores are not putting decorations on deep discount this year.

    The after holidays deep discounts are not like they were in years past.

  12. posted by Sheri on

    For the past 2 years I’ve had to work Christmas eve and Day so my husband and I didn’t assemble and decorate our 12′ tree. Of course at our ages, 71 and 62, it’s getting more and more difficult for us to do. We haven’t missed the tree at all!!!!! I haven’t bought any ornaments, wrapping paper (when my Mother passed away she had a plethora of Christmas wrap which I’m still using) or storage boxes in years and I don’t go to the after Christmas sales since I detest the crowds. Needless to say I’m saving a ton of cash that I can use to pay bills or groceries!!!!

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