organizing holiday decorations

Keep the clutter out of your holidays. Don’t be tempted to buy any new holiday accessories. Use what you have and keep it simple. If you need more filler, use fresh cut seasonal blooms and foliage with a bit of ribbon to decorate the house. The beauty in your backyard will amaze you.

01. Review Unused Decorations.
Toss, donate or recycle the stuff that isn’t on holiday display. If it’s not up, it’s out. If it won't turn on, toss. If it doesn't light up, lose it.

  • Donate Unwanted Seasonal Décor and Wrappings.
    Wrapping and Ribbons can be donated to your local schools for craft projects.
    Ornaments, Swag and Outdoor Displays can be donated to a local charity or posted on Freecycle. Many charities will pick the stuff up. Just give them a call. Freecyclers are more than happy to grab and go from your front porch.
  • Sell Holiday Collectables.
    Snap a photo and offer your trinkets on Ebay or Craigslist. Give yourself a deadline. If you haven’t posted by a certain date, donate.
  • Toss or Recycle the Anything that Remains.

02. Choose the Best Storage Container for You.
Storage bins and boxes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and materials. Choosing the right storage container can be a challenge with so many options.
If your storing stuff in the basement or garage, use plastic to protect your collection from dampness and water.
If your storing your stuff in the attic or elsewhere above ground, use what you prefer.

  • Keep Containers the Same Size.
    Bigger is not better in this situation. Don’t be tempted to purchase the largest bins because they hold more stuff. Large containers make accessing contents clumsy and organizing inside difficult. Same size storage bins keep items neatly stacked and saves space.
  • Consider Color.
    Color is a quick indicator of the contents of a storage container. Pick your seasonal color and keep all seasonal items in that color or use colored labels on a neutral box.
  • Consider Style.
    Too many stores offer seasonal storage items only available for a limited time. These items vary in shape, style, material, size and color. IMHO these types of items are not good organizing choices. Organizing is about consistency and simplicity.

Resist the urge to purchase seasonal specialty storage bins. It’s hard to stack and store different shapes and sizes. In addition, there is nothing more frustrating than needing “just one more” when they won’t be available in a few weeks, let alone a few years.

my decorations are stored in a plain kraft file box from uline. The size and shape of these boxes make for simple storing, access and transporting. I love these boxes because...

  • They are basic, no logos or graphics to clutter the eye.
  • The size, shape and design of these boxes are simple and user-friendly.
  • They are available year round and the design has not changed in years.
  • They are inexpensive. (Even less expensive options are available if you don’t mind the graphics.)

Keep a note of the size and style of your storage boxes handy. That way, if you stumble across a great deal on storage bins, you will be confident they will work for you.

03. Organize and Label Storage Boxes Clearly.
Simple decorators - organize and label decorations by season. (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.)
Avid decorators-organize and label decorations by holiday. (Christmas, Valentines, St. Patrick, Easter, Patriotic Celebrations, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the list goes on.)

My decorations are organized Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Christmas. I have boxes of Christmas stuff, but I only have a few seasonal decorations for the rest of the year. When I have enough items for one holiday to fill a box, it is assigned a dedicated storage bin. Christmas decorations are stored by subject.

  1. Ribbons and Swag
  2. Ornaments
  3. Indoor Lights
  4. Outdoor Lights, (stored with additional extension cords and outdoor outlets)
  5. Cherished Trimmings (these are special heirloom ornaments, stored all together for a quick grab and go.)

04. Take an Inventory of Holiday Decor
Take stock of all your holiday trimmings before you pack them away for another season. Many of these items have value and having a record of them may come in handy for insurance purposes. Snap a photo and note value. You could upload it to your flickr account for safe keeping.

05. Neatly Wrap Cords, Ribbons and Lights.
First, test any string lights you didn't use. Then, take the time to neatly wrap all cords and light strips. There are many products that will help you keep these item from a tangled mess. However the stuff you have around the house including pipe cleaners, garbage bag ties, even ribbons work very well.

Decorations, Gatherings, Holiday, Organize, Storage

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