Take the stress out of this holiday tradition with these super easy elf on the shelf hiding spots; perfect for when you forget to move the elf…again!
Does the thought of an elf sneaking into your house every night to make a mess while you sleep kick your OCD into overdrive?
Me too, but my kids love their little elf!
So, what’s a mom to do?…..
Today I am sharing my favorite completely mess-free Elf on the Shelf hiding spots so your kids can have fun and you can have your sanity.
The Best Elf on the Shelf Hiding Spots
Ok, let’s get real here for a second.
I simply do not understand the messy Elf on the Shelf ideas that you see all over Pinterest.
- First, you have to go to the store and buy all the items involved in the nightly mischief. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have extra money to spend during the holidays.
- Second, you have to be insanely creative on the daily in order to come up with new shenanigans every night.
- Lastly (and this is the part that blows my mind) YOU have to clean up the mess that little sneaky critter makes – every morning!
Sorry, but this busy mama ain’t got no time for that!
That being said, my kiddos absolutely love their elf (his name is Squiggles).
Without fail, they start asking about his day-after-Thanksgiving return each year as soon as Halloween hits. As soon as they ask, I brainstorm and try to come up with a creative (no-mess) elf on the shelf hiding spots.
I am sure the same thing happens in your house, and that’s why I am here to help.
Stop straining your brain to come up with Elf on the Shelf ideas (we all know he can’t just stay put on the shelf). I’ve come up with a bunch of great elf hiding spots.
Easy Elf on the Shelf Hiding Spots
To take the stress out of the situation (because really, who needs more stress during the holidays? Not me!)
I am sharing over 50 places to hide your Elf on the Shelf. These elf hiding spots are easy and don’t require a trip to Michaels or hours of preparation in the middle of your Christmas madness.
These last-minute elf on the shelf ideas are just what you need to surprise the kids while keeping your sanity. I promise your kids will smile, you will enjoy it, and everyone will stay on the nice list this year for Santa!
(Speaking of Santa, grab these free printable secret messages from Santa and have your Elf on the Shelf deliver them for a fun surprise!)
Finding Perfect Elf on the Shelf Hiding Ideas
First, there are a couple of ground rules I’ve made for Squiggles. This is how the Elf on the Shelf works in our home:
- No, silly pranks.
- No disasters to clean up.
Each night the elf is still moved to a different location in the home. He does something that makes us all smile. This keeps all of the fun of the Elf on the Shelf Tradition without all the added stress and mess.
Simple and busy-mom approved!
In the morning the kids cannot wait to wake up and discover where Squiggles has hidden after his return from his nightly journey to the North Pole to report back to Santa.
The key is to have him hide in hysterically funny spots around the house.
The idea is to keep the Elf on the Shelf tradition creative and fun, but no clean-up required.
If you’re wondering how the whole Elf on the Shelf tradition began, there are several books (below) that can help you get the backstory of the elf.
The basic premise is that the elf is a “spy” for Santa. He sits on the shelf keeping an eye on kids as it gets close to Christmas.
Many people had these elves growing up, so they were somewhat traditional Christmas decorations. Then thanks to the book “The Elf on the Shelf,” people started to get creative with these little guys, and the elf moved from the shelf to other elf hiding spots around the house.
Some people have the elves create a ruckus around the house—pouring out flour on the floor, leaving footprints around the house, and doing quite a few things that would generally get them added to the naughty list.
If that sounds stressful, it can be.
But the Elf on the Shelf tradition doesn’t need to be that way. It can be easy and fun. Learn more by checking out the books below (and get yourself an elf), then check out the list of mess-free Elf on the Shelf hiding spots!
The Best Places to Hide your Scout Elf on the Shelf
No-Mess Elf on the Shelf Hiding Ideas
Here’s the deal:
- You’re a mom
- Your days are already packed with to-do lists, work and kids activities
- At the end of the day you are exhausted
Do you know what you need to be doing at night in the weeks leading up to Christmas?
Not scurrying around your house, setting up some elaborate scheme for your Elf on the Shelf.
Trust me on this one – just move the elf to a funny spot and the kids won’t complain one bit.
(Unnless you have already set the bar high with craziness and treats – then you’re gonna have to slowly wean them from their expectations).
Your kiddos will still be amazed to find your family’s elf in one of these no-prep, last-minute hiding spots that you can shove that elf into quickly and easily. In the morning, they’ll be delighted to find all the Elf on the Shelf hiding spots you’ve come up with.
50 Elf on the Shelf Hiding Spots
1) In the butter dish
2) Under a washcloth “blanket” in the freezer
3) Tucked into the end of the toilet paper roll
4) In the utensil drawer
5) On top of the ceiling fan blades
6) Wrapped through the handle of the milk jug
7) Inside the box of cereal
8) In their underwear drawer
9) Hiding among their stuffed animals or other toys
10) Sitting inside a remote-control car
More Elf on the Shelf Ideas:
- Get your Elf on the Shelf to Help Declutter Before Christmas
- Elf Yourself – Holiday Body Tracing Art for Kids
11) Hanging from the rear-view mirror of the car
12) Holding on to the Christmas tree topper
13) Hiding in the branches of the Christmas tree
14) Inside the mailbox
15) Placed in a sandwich bag with the bath toys
16) Tucked between the cushions of the couch
17) In the kitchen utensil holder
18) Inside the toothbrush drawer
19) Buckled into the car seat
20) In the opening of a tissue box
21) Peeking out between the window blinds
22) In a shoe
23) Hiding in their favorite mug or sippy cup
24) Hanging from the top of the showerhead
25) Popping out of the top of their backpack
26) Tucked inside their lunchbox
27) In their sock drawer, using a sock as a sleeping bag
28) Sitting on the bathtub faucet
29) Lounging in the holiday wreath
30) Chillin’ in a bin of Legos or blocks
31) In the nativity scene
32) In the arts and crafts drawer
33) Hanging from the curtain rod
34) Hanging from the shower curtain
35) In the cookie jar
36) Sitting on top of a gingerbread house
37) Hanging from the outdoor Christmas lights
38) In a dollhouse
39) In a baseball glove
40) Playing a musical instrument
41) In the dog kennel or bed
42) Exploring the jungle of houseplants
43) Under a pillow
44) “Stuck outside” (peering in the window)
45) On top of the TV with the remote
46) Wedged between books on a shelf
47) Lined up with a Nutcracker or another Christmas friend
48) Perched under a lampshade or light fixture
49) Sitting atop the family portrait or a mirror
50) Listening to headphones on the stereo
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Good luck with your Elf on the Shelf ideas! Remember that the hiding spots for Elf on the Shelf don’t need to be complicated or messy. Have fun with it and keep it silly and simple.