Looking for easy ideas to transition from Christmas into winter decor? Here are 21 creative ideas to get the house ready for the new season in minutes.

Christmas into winter decor

Raise your hand if you are ready for the new year.

A new year?

I know, right?

I’m as surprised as you. Somewhere between celebrating the holidays and going on a cruise and watching football—2023 showed up.

I feel like I just put away all the pumpkins.

After we got home from the cruise, I spent the last couple of days de-Christmasing my house. It’s kind of hard to put away the twinkling lights. So I like to give myself a little encouragement and ease into undecorating slowly with one post-Christmas foot in front of the other.

I bought the best organizers to inspire me and left all the non-Christmas stuff out and thought about how we stress out about when to take down our Christmas decor and how it can all be a little overwhelming. So I wanted to share tips to make it easier and simple decorating ideas that I do every single year to ease into winter.

Here are 21 ideas to transition from Christmas into winter decor.

Christmas into winter decor ideas

21 Ideas To Transition from Christmas Into Winter Decor

1. Take down the Christmas totes

Let’s go all Julie Andrews and start at the very beginning (it’s a really good place to start).

If you are thinking about de-Christmasing your house and you don’t know where to begin?

Just bring down a couple of totes.

Not all of them—I started with four.

I know it can be scary to see them.  Sometimes my totes look at me with a judgemental eye and make me feel like I’m not moving fast enough to put away Christmas.  If your totes start to backtalk you?

Don’t listen.

You are the boss of your de-Christmasing project.

Take the lids off of them and leave them open in the center of your hallway.

Those open totes are step one on the journey to taking it all down.

Christmas into winter decor projects and ideas

2.  Fill up the totes with things that look like Christmas

You know what I’m talking about.

The Santas.

The stockings.

The light up blinking Merry Christmas sign.

The elves that climbed up the Christmas tree.

how to transition Christmas into winter decor

Here are examples of things that went into my Christmas bins first.

  • Anything that said Christmas.
  • Ornaments I was using to decorate with.
  • Sleighs.
  • Merry Christmas pillows.

You get the idea.

Christmas into winter decor neutral decor

3. Keep the non-Christmas items out

Here are some examples of what I kept.

  • Anything pinecone.
  • Anything greenery (except real greenery—it’s probably time to trash that).
  • Anything branchy looking.
  • Any small trees that looked like winter.

Christmas into winter decor pinecone snowflake

4.  Organize the totes as you are putting things away

This makes everything so much easier for next year.

Remember when I said to leave all four totes open with their lids off?  That’s because you want to organize things as you are putting them away so that next year when you open them they won’t look like a jumbled mess.

We are starting with four totes because it’s less overwhelming.

You can read about my organizers and what I did with all my Christmas stuff here.

You can also tape a piece of paper to the inside lid of the tote and write what you place in each tote with a pen.

Christmas into winter decor trees

5. Save the trees for last

I know this might seem counterintuitive. The trees are the largest decorating items in the Christmas repertoire.

I get it.

I understand.

But I like to take the un-decorating in small doses and when you remove all the Christmas from the rest of the house?  The trees look like cozy winter trees and the lights are so pretty at night.

This also allows me to stagger the un-decorating so it’s not so painful to see it go.

If you like the lights, you could even remove the ornaments and just leave the tree with the lights. Ease into non-Christmas decorating and leave all the twinkles behind.

Christmas into winter decor scents

6.  Clean up, fluff and make it smell good

De-Christmasing is the perfect time to clean.

It’s almost like you can’t help it.  When you clear off those surfaces and take down all the garland and it drops on the floor and counters and cabinets.

Wipe them down with a cleaner that smells like winter.

Dust off the cobwebs.

Take out the trash.

Then fluff what remains and make everything else smell good.

Here are some of my favorite winter scents:

simple winter projects

7. No sew pom pom throw

Now that everything is cleaned up, it’s time to add a little winter cozy.

And if you are looking for an easy, cute way to add a little cozy to your home, here are the directions to a pom pom throw you can make in minutes.

Here’s my favorite yarn to use with this project.

You can see it here.

8. Glue pinecones onto branches

Here’s another idea for winter decorating with pinecones that you can combine with acorns, too.

Create art with branches from the yard.

You can see how I DIY’d them here.

9. Replace Christmas wreaths with felted wreaths you can make from sweaters

I love a good Christmas wreath as much as the next person. For winter you can just remove the ribbon and the berries and just leave the Christmas wreaths as winter wreaths.

Or you can make a new wreath for winter. All you need to make this wreath is some wool sweaters and a dryer.

You can see the project here.

And once you learn how to felt wool, the sky is the limit.

You could make pillows or garlands or pinecones or appliques, too.

See the instructions above.

10. Add a pinecone under a cloche

Everything looks cuter under a cloche.

Including a pinecone.

Stack a set of white plates and add a pinecone to the center.

Here’s the cutest metal and glass cloche.

11. Add a New Year’s message

I decorated the chalkboard in the kitchen for winter.

All I did was add a layer of pinecones to the base and write a Happy New Year message. You could also add a winter wreath to the chalkboard.

This would be a cute look for a window sill, too.

simple winter projects wreath

12. Winter Twig Wreath

Here’s another winter wreath you can make, too. I know I’ve shared this before, but it is SO worth repeating.

All you need to do is shop your yard and add a little glue and spray paint.

This craft is basically free.

You can see the instructions here.

pinecone decorating ideas wreath

13. Make a wreath from pinecones

Take your winter wreath to the next level with a wreath constructed entirely of pinecones.

You can use mini pinecones or regular pinecones.

See the DIY instructions here.

Also found the cutest version here if you don’t want to DIY.

(total aside: you can also glue pinecones onto a cone and make a tree, too).

simple winter projects pillow

14. Pom Pom Pillow

Drop cloth holds up really well when used on a pillow.

You can see this pillow project here.

Here’s my favorite yarn to use with this project.

You can see it here.

15. Snowball garland

Pom poms are cute on pillows, but what about pom poms that look like snowballs?

I got you.

See this DIY pom pom snowball garland here.

pinecone decorating ideas dough bowl

16. Decorate a coffee table with a pinecone-filled dough bowl

Leave out your jingle bells and add pinecones to the mix for winter. In the family room, I filled the dough bowl with rusty jingle bells and pinecones.

There is nothing better than a rusty jingle bell.

You can see the rusty jingle bells here.

17. DIY sweater vases

Remember when we used the sweaters to make a wreath?

Guess what you can do with the rest of your sweater?

Use it to cover a vase.

Christmas into winter decor wood slices

18. These DIY wood slice branches

This was one of my most popular DIY’s of 2022.

It’s SO EASY to make and such a quick and inexpensive craft.

You can see how to make these DIY wood slice branches here

Christmas into winter decor mantel

19. Mix it up with garland and greenery stems on a mantel

Take down the stockings and transition your Christmas into winter decor with winter greenery and eucalyptus. 

Start with these battery-operated candles here.

Then add in pinecones and pine branches and eucalyptus.

20. Make a snowflake from pinecones

This simple DIY snowflake is made with mini pinecones.

I used a vintage barn door for the backdrop.

You can see the DIY here.

If you don’t have mini pinecones you can order them here.

Christmas into winter decor houses

21. Leave out mini houses and bottle-brush Christmas trees

This is what my hutch looks like right now. I’m transforming my Christmas into winter decor now.

The Christmas houses are winter houses.

The Christmas trees are winter trees.

I think it’s going to stay this way until St. Patrick’s Day.

Here are some more of my favorite ways to decorate after all the Christmas is put away:

Here are also some of my favorite faux winter greenery that will take you from now until spring.

Sigh.

Be kind to yourself.

Christmas undecorating is hard.

Go slow and enjoy the process and spring will be here before you know it. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Image for Teresa George Teresa George

    We were away over Christmas, too, and today is my day to take down the Christmas stuff. I'm in S FL, so just like I have to decorate for Faux Fall, I have to have Faux Winter. Thanks for all the pretty ideas! I was trying to decide if reindeer with winter trees is still Christmas? Or is it just a deer in the winter? What do you think? Too Christmasy?

    1. Image for Peggy Blair Peggy Blair

      I left my white and tan “wooden look” reindeer on my table for winter along with my clear acrylic reindeer with my clear glass candle holders and white battery operated pillar candles. This still gives me that soft twinkling light at night. I used a white table runner with just a little sparkle as a bed of “snow”. I have one white wooden “forest” tree on a riser in the center of the table and I replaced my Christmas greenery with some lambs ear garland.

  2. Image for Patti Patti

    What a great post! I took everything down on the wknd including my real tree and my house looked so depressing. I think it’s the twinkly lights I miss most. I live in Canada and it just looks weird to have white snow outside and no lights or trees on these dark January days! I immediately dug out the 2 foot faux pine tree I had on my island and covered it with twinkly lights (the tree I had just packed away!). I redid my open shelving with copper pots, battery birchbark candles, winter cookbooks and some small wintry pine trees. It looks seasonal but not Christmasy! No rules! Baby it’s cold outside! 🎄

    1. Image for Gail Cunningham Gail Cunningham

      Love what you did...I'm sure it is beautiful! I'm taking my decorations down today and the worst part is: why do I do so much decorating--because now I've got all this work to do!!! I'm sure I'll be doing it again next Christmas, LOL!

  3. Image for Diana Clark Diana Clark

    KariAnne I too have a hard time giving up the Christmas decor. A few years back I started doing what you are but with my blue Christmas that has snowflakes. I have been catching bottlebrush trees on sale every year so I'm getting quite a collection. How do you store yours? I am finding they get bent or tweaked. Any ideas on how to make them look great again? This year I did get a container for smaller ones that are used for storing glasses so it keeps them separated but the big ones are a problem.

  4. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I just packed away my Christmas and it is a sad time. I have 7 large totes, instead of 8, so I condensed my stuff. I used an excel spread sheet and listed everything inside each tote. I ran one list by tote, and one list by item and put it in a notebook so I can tell what is where!!! We also took my tree downstairs and covered it with a king-sized sheet. We are now ready for next year!!!

  5. Image for Linda Linda

    "You are the boss of your totes" "Everything looks cute under a cloche" "Be kind to yourself...Christmas undecorating is hard"...lol You NAILED it...and made me laugh out loud. Much needed for this Monday. My tree is still up, simply because the holidays were so hectic, I felt like I didn't have time to sit down and enjoy the decorations. I think I'm ready now to put it all away, but I sure needed this week to just breathe. Have a fabulous week! Thanks KariAnne.

  6. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I have been leaving some winter related items out for a few years now. My husband always teases that I forgot to put the rest of the Christmas decorations away. He never understood that winter decorating was a thing. I am saving this post as proof in case I need it to prove my point, lol! Also, I appreciate the suggestions that I may not have thought of.

  7. Image for Heather Heather

    You’ve put in the Christmas mode again. Some ideas I remembered and quite a few I didn’t, so thanks for sharing. Happy New Year, can’t wait to see what to see your inspirations

  8. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    KariAnne, I love your cabinet with your white houses and bottlebrush trees! It looks so pretty -- and such a great idea! We de-Christmased our home last week and brought out all our blue and white chinoiserie that we had stored away for Christmas. Although I hate to pack all our Christmas away, it's good to get back to normal! Have a great week!

  9. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    I put all mine away as of the 5th. I didnt keep anything out to decorate. But your house looks adorable as always. I loved your story today and smiled quite a few times...But the last line of your blog was my favorite today. 😊

  10. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I'm a pinecones and leave the trees til last kind of Christmas girl, too. We left to visit boys two days after Christmas and just returned this weekend...with full on Christmas decorations awaiting me. Tackling it all now! Happy New Year, sweet friend!

  11. Image for Jackie Ludwig Jackie Ludwig

    I had all my Christmas stuff up since November 1 (was ill and wanted to enjoy). When my boys called and said they were both sick with COVID, I realized we could enjoy Christmas at any time. While the decorations are a delight, it’s the people that matter. I am still under the weather but the boys are much much better so we will celebrate soon. My husband and I decided to take down everything except the tree and it looks so homey and happy here. Think next year will be bit different but just as happy as always.

  12. Image for Karins Kottage Karins Kottage

    KariAnne, It is always so hard to come back from vacation and get back into the swing of things but you have done an amazing job! I love all your ideas on how to transition from Christmas into winter decor. I never really thought about using pinecones after Christmas and all your ideas look so fabulous! I guess I need to pull out my pinecones out of my Christmas boxes and use them right now! I would love to have you come and link up to my linky party and share your post https://karinskottage.com/2023/01/karins-kottage-linky-party-304.html

  13. Image for Marian Marian

    Thank you for all of your winter ideas. I really dislike letting Christmas go. The twinkling lights are always so pretty. I always do exactly what I feel like. Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family.

  14. Image for Mary Lou Mary Lou

    What a wonderful article! I'm (almost) finished putting away Christmas. During an after Christmas sale I purchased two penguin statues (not too kitschy) and found that I couldn't wait to swap out Christmas for Winter. I put them on my fireplace mantle with some snowmen and scattered fairy lights around them. The black and white decor is kind of calming I think.

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