The sparkle and glimmer of festive holiday décor brings us abundant joy each year, but once the season is over and you are ready to put things back the way they were, it can be a time-consuming, boring chore.
Lea Schneider, author of Growing up Organized and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, has this to say, “If you take the time to stow decorations properly after the busy holiday season passes, next year will be easier.” So, as you tear down tinsel and unravel strings of lights, consider these helpful tips to make your storage more effective and preserve decorations.
1. Repurpose household objects
Wrap string lights or beaded garland around cylinder objects, like cardboard paper towel holders or cans. This is an effective alternative to cramming them into a plastic bag, where they are likely to twist and tangle.
To store artificial holiday wreaths, invest in a hard-shell plastic case or try this DIY storage solution: Hang your wreath around the top of a sturdy coat hanger and repurpose a plastic dry-cleaning bag to drape over the top, tying it off at the base. Now hanging like a coat, your wreath can store vertically rather than getting crushed and bent out of shape.
To store your artificial Christmas tree put it back in its original box to keep it clean and dust-free during the year. If you have thrown away your original box, you can purchase Christmas Tree Storage bag at places such as Amazon.
2. Use clear packaging
If you store décor in smaller bags, go for clear packaging with a zipper (sandwich bag) or use clear reusable bags. It will be simple to identify the contents of each, making it easier to stack them in boxes by weight and helping to prevent shattered glass.
Vacuum-sealed bags have a narrow profile when stashing cloth garments like a tree skirt or seasonal holiday clothing such as favorite ugly Christmas sweaters.
Regardless of the storage you use for holiday decorations, labeling all bags and boxes with permanent marker or a label maker ensures you have an easier time unpacking decorations when the holiday season rolls around again.
To store and organize dainty ornaments, try filling an empty egg carton and sealing the lid shut with tape. If you are ready for a more complex DIY project, Martha Stewart has an ornament storage system which involves using disposable cups and cardboard to create a safe storage system for all sizes of ornaments.
4. Get rid of Christmas clutter
Before you pack up and store your holiday decorations, you will need to take the time to toss things that are tired or broken. You will be happier come next December when you do not have to wade through storage bins full of unnecessary items.
Included in this de-clutter list are the following:
- Broken Tree Lights: Instead of holding onto lights that no longer light up, get rid of them.
- Old Christmas Cards: Don’t hang onto the pile of cards and box them up for another year. Cut them up and reuse them as gift tags for next year, recycle them or scan the ones you really want to keep.
- Unused Baking Supplies: Ditch all those old cookie cutters that you do not use or need anymore.
- Unwanted Novelty Gifts: Try re-gifting or donating unwanted gifts. Do not store them away because they won’t look any better next year when you unpack them.
Back in May, 2019, RE/MAX Metro realtor Estelia Mesimer featured a blog titled, “Hoarder or Just Disorganized… The Difference”. The biggest takeaway from this article is that you don’t become a “pack rat” overnight; it was a habit that you built up over time. So don’t fret about trying to change yourself in a day or week. Work on finding and changing the little habits that all contribute to your pack rat nature. If you work on changing your habits one at a time, your progress will be more sustainable.
Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, by Gail Steketee and Randy Frost
Declutter: How to Organize your Life, Maximize your Productivity, and Enjoy a Clutter-Free Life, by Jennifer S. Edwards
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondō
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If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one and are thinking of selling, talk to The Mesimer Team.