Clearing the Clutter of Christmas Past

ornament_storageChristmas is over and a new year is on its way! That means it’s about time for us to put away the decorations, the tree, the paper, the bags, the ribbons, the wreaths, the…well, you get the idea.

But we’re not going to just sling all our Christmas decorations and such into a box and worry about it next year, are we? Of course not. (At least, not on my watch!)

So here are 10 tips for cutting the clutter of Christmas Past so we can usher in the New Year with a very gracious, and organized, “Welcome!”

  1. Pictures — Before we take the any decorations down, we’re going to take pictures of all of them. Why? To use as a reference next year for even quicker decorating time. Equally helpful is the ability to reference them when shopping to know what we already have and/or what we may need next Christmas.
  2. Batteries — Next, we’re going to remove all batteries used in any of our decorations to help preserve the life of the battery. But we don’t want to have to go looking for the batteries next year so we’ll simply store them with the object we just removed them from.
  3. Red and green bins — Let’s use red and green containers so that next year we can quickly identify which of all our storage containers hold the Christmas décor. And let’s try to use the same type/size bins so they will stack easily; no random sized, willy-nilly storage for us!
  4. O Christmas tree – It may be tempting to use the box your artificial tree came in to repack the tree in for next year, but that’s not the best idea. Those boxes begin to deteriorate over time, which makes them more prone to insect infestation. Better to purchase a commercially available Christmas tree bag or box for safekeeping.
  5. Together is better — Best way to store decorative items? Together according to the room or area they are used in. For example, all decorations for the mantle go in the same container so you don’t have to search through numerous boxes next year to locate all the accompanying items.
  6. Fragile or Durable — Store fragile items somewhere in the house to help protect them, but store the rest of the décor in a garage, attic, or some other remote spot. We want to save the prime real estate in our home for more frequently used items; therefore, our once-a-year Christmas decorations head to a more difficult-to-access location.
  7. To keep or not to keep — Now would be a good time to decide if there are any decorating items you want to let go of. Let’s not keep packing away those items we don’t really want to use, or don’t use, because they’re taking up valuable real estate place themselves.
  8. Trimming the attic (so to speak) — To make the most economical use of our space, we’ll hang our wreaths on a nail in the attic, and the same for garland. Just cover the garland and wreath with drycleaner bags. Drape the garland over a hanger and hang the hanger from a nail in the attic to keep the garland and wreath from getting squished with other decorations and in other storage places.
  9. Year round use — When you pack away the wreath, don’t pack away the wreath hanger. We want to keep that in a more accessible location so we can use it throughout the year for our other seasonal wreaths.
  10. Light ‘em up (or not) — Store your lights in a Ziploc bag or some other container to keep them from tangling with one another. Write on the bag with a permanent marker where each bag of lights is used, and whether or not they are in good working order.

And now 2015, we’re ready for you. Please come on in!


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