Check off one of your New Year's resolutions by ending the holiday season organized and ready for the coming year!
If you really like the way your home looks this season and are happy with where all the decorations were placed, the first thing I recommend you do, is walk around the house and take pictures. This could include the tree and even outside décor. Have them on your phone for quick reference next year.
The next step is to take inventory. Walk through your home and assess all the decorations. Do they have proper storage? Is it time to buy a new bag for the artificial tree, ornament boxes, or if you’ve never stored any of your items in bins, now is the time to start. Make a list and remember you can always return unused bins or keep one or two for future organizing projects. If you’d like specialized containers, shop on line. Amazon is a great place to find a nice variety at a good price. I always recommend clear acid free containers. Trying to pick colors for certain holidays is time consuming and unnecessary if you label the bins. Also keep size in mind when you purchase the bins. Ask yourself, what will go in it, can I manage the size, and is it the right size for the storage space?
Many people have decorations that don’t get put out and get repacked over and over. Now’s the time to go through all the decorations and realistically only keep the ones you’ve used in the last couple years. It may be difficult to get rid of them because they have sentimental value. If there are handmade items from the kids you can’t part with, place them in their keepsake boxes. If you haven’t started keepsake boxes for your kids, now is a great time to begin. Buy a sturdy medium to large bin for each child and label it with their name. As the years go by add items from the first blanket to their first ornament. When they move out the bin goes with them. If it’s an heirloom decoration from your grandmother who passed away, find someone in the family who would love to display it in their home. Everything else can be donated. I don’t recommend holding onto holiday decorations for garage sales. Unless you have the sale right before the holiday, more than likely it won’t sell.
On the flipside, if you need to replace items or just want a new look, after Christmas is a great time to get deals. If you can’t find the items you are looking for, keep the list for next year. Mark your calendar and remember to make a note about where you put the list. Then around October when the stores are in full holiday mode you can pull out the list and start shopping. It may seem early but that’s when the stores have the best selection. Make sure new items get put in a bin with the rest of your holiday decorations so you don’t forget about them.
Save and reuse tissue paper from Christmas for wrapping breakables and leave a little extra room in each bin for new items you may pick up. When packing up your decorations, label all the bins with general descriptions so you know what’s in each bin. For example, “family room and mantel.” If you are like me, it’ll take a couple days to get the house decorated and if you don’t have to pull out all the bins at once, it makes for less mess and stress! If you don’t have a label maker, get creative and make your own on a computer or handwrite on masking tape.
When it’s time to store everything, to save space, cover or bag wreaths and hang them on a hook in your storage area. Tall decorative items that don’t fit in a bin can be stored in garbage bags and laid on top of your bins. If you have centerpieces or vases that are put together without fresh greenery, store them on shelves in a closet or armoire. This way they are put together and ready for the next year. Wrapping paper can be put in a container made for their storage or in a bag. Use a piece of ribbon or pipe cleaner to keep the paper from unrolling. If using a bag, I recommend laying it on top of the bins so the paper doesn’t get crushed. Make sure to store all the bins with indoor items together and if you have an empty bin left, put it with the decorations and use it for storing Christmas presents! Outdoor décor can go in a shed or attic. If all bins have to be stored outside, make sure not to pack candles and snow globes as they will not do well in changing temperatures.
Follow these steps and you’ll have less stress and more fun this time next Year!