I love Christmas and I love decorating, but I also love the day that I get to put everything away and reclaim some order and normalcy in my home again. This week the newsletter is dedicated to organizing your decorations. If you want next year to be a breeze — and who doesn’t? — the best way to do that is to put your decorations back in a way that’s safe and organized.
Here are some tips on taking control of your decorations.
- Purge — Before you put anything away, make sure you have sorted and purged through the items you didn’t use this year. There is no sense in keeping them and have them take away space from something that matters. Donate, recycle, or give away to other family members or friends.
- Categorize — Group your decorations into categories, there are a number of ways to do this. I personally like to categorize my decorations according to the room they are in, so anything that went on the mantel I place together and label the bin, “Mantel” (more on containers in a moment). But I also have categories for my outdoor decorations, a separate bin for Christmas ornaments and tree accessories and a separate bin for all of the wrapping supplies. The point is to always find what you need, so make the categories make sense to you.
- Contain — One of the reasons I find my Holiday decorations so easily is because they are color coded and labeled. Everything Christmas related is either in a green or red bin. And everything is labeled by the category. You may not need to have everything color coded but having the bins labeled will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Almost any home store will have storage solutions, look for items with good quality and that stack well. One of my favorite online stores is Improvements Catalog, they have some great storage solutions that keep the ornaments and decorations safe and organized. I also like the Container Store and Ikea for storage solutions. With any containers, you’ll want to avoid storing decorations in areas where the humidity and temperature vary throughout the year if possible, to prolong the life of your treasures.
Note: One of my organizing rules is to never buy containers until after you have purged, this goes with holiday decorations, too - purge and then shop!
**Bonus Container Tip: Remember how you decorated a space for next year by taking a picture of it and placing it the bin with that category! Next year, you won’t have any problem finding what you need and you won’t have to recreate your decorating efforts.
Lights & Cards
Lights — they can get tangled in a hurry, so make sure to only keep the lights that work and keep them together. There are several products on the market today that help with organizing christmas lights but if you are not in a position to buy new product, I suggest simply wrapping the lights together in a an organized fashion and placing each string in it’s own plastic storage bag. I have also seen people wrap Christmas lights around cut-out cardboard to keep the strings from tangling up around each other. Both are simple ways that will help your next holiday season start smoothly.
Christmas Cards — a common question I hear is what to do with all of the Christmas cards and letters? It feels bad to recycle them, I know, but it also doesn’t do any good to stack them in a pile or toss them in a box to never be looked at again. My suggestion is keep the ones that mean the most and put them in some kind of scrapbook or scan them into your computer and create a Holiday Card file that you can refer back to. You could also place the cards that have pictures into photo albums and have the photo album categorized by the year. For the rest, there are lots of ideas on the internet on how to recycle and reuse greeting cards, google “Recycle Christmas Cards” and you will find plenty of options!