Organizing Made Easy: Christmas Decorations Ready for Next Year
This week is the time when most of us start disassembling all we did to decorate for Christmas. If you have had everything out since right after Thanksgiving you are probably ready. While most of us are anxious to get the decorations put away soon after Christmas, if takes only a little extra time to have it ready to go next year. That’s the main goal: that you won’t dread the mess that you just tossed in a box.
May I suggest a few steps that will make you feel better about the task?
Most of these ideas take only a few minutes extra, but will enable you to feel organized this year, and excited next Christmas.
Just think how much sweeter it would be to know when you open the boxes to decorate, everything will be clean and organized, not a jumble of everything.
To start, I gather the ‘leftovers’ from unwrapping. The paper has been tossed, but chances are you have boxes here and there that can be reused. Fold down boxes you want to keep. Stack them, then set something heavy on them while you do other stuff so they will be flat for packing.
Launder the tree skirt (if washable), any holiday placemats and Christmas towels you will put away for the year.
Toss any scraps of wrapping paper and ribbon that are too small to use.
Collect all the labeling tags and put them in a ziplock container.
Put an elastic around each roll of paper, then store them. You can tape them if you prefer, but then usually you can’t use the first inches of the roll. I like to store the paper in a tall plastic container like the one below, but a hanging coat cover is a great way to store wrap too. In theory we won’t have that much Christmas wrap left, so it will fit in the same tall container as miscellaneous wrap.
Store flattened boxes in a bin. Fold tissue paper and store in the same bin with the boxes. Normally for any occasion you will need the two at the same time.
Tape the ends of rolls of ribbon as you put away. If you have a lot of ribbon, you might consider bins to hold each by color. We keep green and red ribbon in separate bins, since we normally use those two colors for Christmas only. The others combine into one bin that we keep handy for year round use.
We have four bins of Christmas decor (not including wrapping paper and bows). Three hold the larger decorations that we have received or collected over the years. Since we are in a smaller space now, each year I try to use a different box for variety. The fourth box holds all the decorations for the tree, lights and all. You may have a dozen, or just one or two, but I suggest a separate bin for everything that goes on the tree.
So, for the tree decorations, I suggest you completely empty the container that holds the ornaments. Discard any broken ones, gather up the loose hangers, and throw out the loose paper and any broken pieces if you won’t repair. If you don’t have dividers, wrap breakable ornaments in paper as you pull them off the tree. I prefer to leave the ornament hangers on each ornament, so I will squeeze the ends as needed so they will stay in place. Then they are easily grabbed when you use them again. It saves time if you take them off the tree and put them straight into the bin or box.
Wrap tree lights on a piece of cardboard or a hanger. It only takes a minute, and will save you so much time next year. They should fit on top of the ornaments. Finish the bin by adding the freshly laundered tree skirt and place mats. It will be a cushion what is in the bin.
Once the tree is bare, remove it to the trash or store it. Store the bins in the garage or in a closet.
All that is left is to gather up the pine needles from the tree, then vacuum. I always feel pleased with myself when I’ve made the extra effort to pack them away properly. It will feel even better when I pull down the boxes next year and everything is there, neat and ready for use.
I love this container. It’s tall enough to hold most wrapping paper rolls, it holds plenty, and the lid is wonderful. So nice to keep the paper clean and dry, even if stored in the garage. Another plus is how easy it is to see which roll you want to use.
This suit bag makes storing wrapping paper a cinch, taking little room besides. Cotton on one side and see through vinyl on the other. Just line the wrapping paper up in a row, and hang it in any closet. So easy to unzip and grab what you need, yet they stay secure and clean.
These large bins come in a pack of 6. Perfect to hold all your Christmas decorations, and even better, they are clear so you can see what it inside each. We use them for all sorts of storage.
If you would like to save more time and use less paper to wrap your ornaments, pick up one of these. This set comes with 4 dividers to distance and protect your special decorations. So handy!