Whew!!! Yup…that’s me…Monday afternoon after spending all day packing, storing, cleaning and reorganizing Christmas 2011! By the way….were you able to take some time PRIOR to the holidays and get your “Stuff” organized and ready for the Christmas season? Do you recall the posting I did in November “Organization for the Holidays”? If not…you should take a peek.
Now many of you probably think I am horrible for tearing down Christmas so soon. However, I put up Christmas right at Thanksgiving. I have an artificial tree and I do love the Christmas season and want to enjoy it as long as I can. Once Christmas is over…I don’t mind cleaning up and ready for the New Year. Since I do own a business and work full time, I figured it is best to do while I’m at home and by New Year….I can relax and enjoy the festivities.
Sorry….I was talking about organizing your holiday decorations et al…If you didn’t have a chance to get things organized BEFORE Christmas (and read that blog about organizing)…NOW is the time to do it right before you put it all away. Review what you have and take note of what you are not utilizing anymore. Is it something you could give to charity? A Church? Friends or Family? If you find certain pieces you are tired of or not using anymore see if your family or friends would be interested in OR by all means if it is trashed…throw it out.
We tend to want to hang on to things because we paid a lot of money for it or someone special gave it to you. However, if it is out used its usefulness… (Am I just making up words now) by all means donate it to charity and take a right-off.
So here are some tips, tricks or things to think about in organizing your holiday décor.
ü Take the time and go through your holiday décor. Is there anything that needs to be thrown away, donate, given away etc?
ü If you have empty tins or containers, are you able to use them for next year’s cookies, treats or other baked goodies. If not, donate, have a garage sale or throw out.
ü Make sure you are keeping only strings of lights that are working. If not, take the bulbs (if you can use them on other strands) and throw the strand away.
ü Organize your strings of lights with cardboard. Cut a piece of cardboard in the shape of a rectangle and write with a sharpie pen what the lights you are going to wrap on the cardboard are to be used for next year. Such as, tree, indoor garland wrap, backyard etc. Then you wrap you string of lights so you are not dealing with knots like Clark Griswold.
ü Organize your ornaments; you can purchase great storage solutions for ornaments at Wal-Mart, Target, IKEA or specialty organization stores. If you have large storage bins and don’t wish to buy more storage dividers…make your own. Get a flat piece of cardboard and cut to fit inside your plastic bin. Get the plastic cups (I like the solo red cup size) and glue to the cardboard in rows. Now you can wrap your ornament and place in the solo cup. What is so great is if your bin can allow 2-3 or more layers…you can add another 2-3 layers of these cups. Saw something similar once on Martha Stewart but I thought the cups were too small they were using. So I went with the bigger solo cup. (wink wink smiley face)
ü If you have an artificial tree, take care in dismantling and folding the branches back up in place. If you take the time, you will be able to get the tree back in its original box. When I had the 9 ½ foot tree for years (pre-lit too), I always took the time to get the branches folded carefully and each year never had any trouble getting back in the original box.
ü Go through your holiday décor again and see if there is anything you are not using and please…get rid of it!
ü Be sure all linens, towels etc are washed and pressed and ready for next year. I typically will store these items with Christmas as my space is limited in the house and right now I have holiday décor in a storage facility. If you are able to store all items at home, be sure you have a place for them that is out of the way. Since you won’t need them for at least another 10 ½ months, might as well keep them out of sight.
ü Label your boxes and bins. If you have the clear plastic bins, you can tell what items are in it. However, I like to label the outside so I know exactly what is in there and which bins I should pull first to get started.
Bottom line is that you want to make it easier and easier each year when you decorate. Not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas but for all holidays and festivities in your life. I love parties and I love to entertain and when you take the time to get rid of STUFF and organize…getting started putting out the decorations doesn’t seem like such a chore.