This time of year is full of anticipation and excitement – and things to do. From shopping and baking, to cleaning and decorating, the list of holiday tasks seems to grow longer each year. But after Christmas has passed and the New Year has come, you may feel a little ba-hum-bugged yourself when you think about taking decorations down and putting it all away for next year. Using some of these simple tips will not only make this year more organized, but also help next year be less stressful, too.
1. Try to make holiday decorating a fun, family tradition. Play Christmas music, serve family-favorite snacks, and hot chocolate. If the weather cooperates, light a fire in the fireplace.
From the get-go, designate each family member to be in charge of a specific task based on age and ability: carrying bins out of the storage space; taking decorations out of the bins; storing holiday decorations away; and later, putting the bins back in storage.
2. Store your holiday decorations all in one space. Whether it’s a designated space in your attic, garage, or spare room’s closet, keep your decorations in as few containers as you can and store them together, and out of the way. You only need them once a year, right?
3. Label each of your bins, identifying the room in which the decorations will be used or the specific category of items (candles, for example). While buying colored bins may seem like a good idea, clear bins are more versatile. They can be used for storing anything, whereas red and green bins will always make you think Christmas, even if you use it for another purpose later.
4. If you decorate the whole house, it’s a good idea to organize and pack décor by room. When you get your bins out of storage, place each one in the appropriate room.
5. Be sure to keep packing materials in each box. There’s no need to replace this stuff each year. Bubble wrap, newspaper, and egg or tomato cartons are simple and affordable options for keeping fragile decorations safe. Consider using plastic cups for ornaments. You can also use these packing materials to keep your year-round decorations safe from breaking or chipping.
6. Consider having themed rooms: all the snowmen go in the guest room; all the nutcrackers go in the family room, etc.
7. If you have any decorations you don’t use, consider donating them to a charity or passing them on to other family members who might appreciate them. You don’t need to spend time every Christmas digging through boxes of decorations that you don’t like or need. However, if you can’t bear to give these items away, keep them in a separate bin labeled “memories” or “extra.”
8. Before you take down Christmas, take pictures! Keep the pictures in a holiday journal or store them in the matching room’s storage bin(s) for easy access.
Taking pictures this year will make it easier to remember what you liked next year so you can replicate it or change what you didn’t. It might be helpful to take pictures before you decorate for the holidays, so when it comes time to replace the year-round decorations, you will know exactly where things belong.