We spent some time last weekend taking down all of our Christmas decorations. While it’s certainly sad to lose all that cheerful décor, it’s really nice to get some space back in our living room. Especially since I refuse to let B put my enormous jogging stroller anywhere else. He clearly doesn’t get its motivational presence.
Living in a small Philadelphia row home that is over 150 years old, we have basically no storage. The only closets we have are in bedrooms, and those were only created in the ’80’s when the house was re-habbed. We do, however, have a fairly large attic and we fully leverage this space to store things like sporting equipment, luggage, off-season clothing, and infrequently used kitchen appliances (ice cream maker, anyone?). I store most stuff in clear plastic storage bins or in a box with a large white label so I can easily find what I’m looking for. Our 3+ boxes of holiday decorations and wrapping supplies are no exception. I try to keep my holiday stuff as organized as possible, because you really only pull it out once a year which makes it too easy to forget what you have, where you put it, how you used it last year, etc.
For tree decorations, I highly recommend using boxes made specifically for storing ornaments; they really are the best at keeping delicate ornaments from breaking. I also save tissue paper from gifts each year, cut it into quarters, and use it to individually wrap ornaments before putting them in the box. Any extra tissue can be used as padding for smaller ornaments. The boxes we use have cardboard dividers that can easily be removed and folded flat so you can store other things in there as well.
I’m also a big fan of our Christmas light organizer, pictured above. Yes, it stores your lights nicely and neatly, but the main reason I’m into it is that it makes it so much easier to string your lights up in the following year. Planning in advance for anything is my forte, so this fits right in! You don’t have to worry about crumpled up wires or knots to undo; all you do is unwind the lights and string them around the tree. And even B, who has a fairly low tolerance for most of my neat-nick antics (except, evidently, when it comes to keeping jogging strollers in the middle of the house), loves this organizer. He’s actually the one who told me to blog about it because he thinks it’s so handy.
The last holiday tip I have is to think about how you are storing things, and what you can do now to make decorating easier next year. Are there certain things you like to display together, or earlier in the season? For example, I have faux pine needles, pine cones, holly berries, and mini presents that I display on my mantel every year. I make sure to store these things together at the top of a box where they are easily accessible, because I usually decorate the mantel before we’ve gotten our tree, or at least before it’s ready for its trimmings. Holiday season is busy enough; you will be happy early next December if you did some of this planning now. After all, at the time of this post, there are only 347 days, 3 hours, 49 minutes, and 47 seconds until Christmas 2012!