Just like everything else, holiday decorations will become just another headache and burden if you do not organize them. Take the time now to get them in order so that pulling them out each year will be a joyful holiday tradition instead of the nightmare before Christmas or Halloween. Here are the 8 easy steps to organize your holiday decorations.
Assess What You Have
When you pull out your decorations, take a good look at what you have. Discard any items that are broken or no longer usable. Write down a list of any items that need replacing. Get rid of items you no longer like. Sell them, donate them or throw them in the trash, but don’t let them hang around any longer. When you are done, assess what you have and how much storage space you will need for them.
Repurpose or Purchase Good Strong Plastic Containers
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You will need strong and sturdy containers to hold your holiday decorations if you don’t already own them. Rubbermaid and Sterilite have several great options. The clear ones help you see what is inside, but they are not required. As you shop around make sure you have a good idea what needs to be stored in the containers as well as where it will fit in your home. It is always better to have a little extra room in the container for future purchases! If you can hold out, shop after the holidays for some great deals on storage!
Discard Boxes and Wrapping
The next step is to discard all unnecessary boxes and wrapping that came with your holiday decorations. I repurpose a few small boxes for lighting and garland, but other than that, recycle the boxes. The boxes and the items inside will just get beaten up and broken if you try to store your stuff that way.
Keep Like Items Together
It can be hard to do, but try to keep all similar items together. Keep all garland in one box and lights in another. I always pull out the extra light bulbs and fuses and immediately put them in a bag and label the bag to remind me which decoration they go to.
You see only holiday decorations once a year so it is very easy to forget what you have and which pieces go to what. Always label extra light bulbs and fuses so you know what they belong too. This year I stuck a label on the small timers I use for the Halloween lights because I could never remember how to set them. I grabbed my label maker (read about my favorite home organization tools here) and stuck a small tag on them to help jog my memory. Label the outside of your storage boxes as well. In the past I have used my label maker tags or masking tape with Sharpie, but they were just not withstanding the Nevada heat in my garage. This year I used super strong chalk board labels and a white chalkboard marker. So far so good.
Take Pictures or Notes
Another great way of remembering how to set up your holiday decorations and store them is to take pictures or jot down some notes. I always snap a picture or two of the inside of my storage boxes before I pull any items out. I do this to help me remember how everything gets put back. If there was a certain way we set up the extension cords for the lights I take a picture or place a note in with the decorations once they are put away so that I can remember what we did.
Don’t Lose the Instructions
While not that many holiday decorations have complicated instructions there are a few you may need to keep. I have a timer for my outside lights that has step by step instructions. If I lose them the timer is worthless. You can scan the instructions, take a picture, laminate them or tape them to the item they are used with. The instructions never get lost or destroyed if you do this.
Pack Your Storage Containers
After following the above directions you are ready to put your items into the storage bins. Always put the items you will need last in the bottom if you can. Be mindful of any glass or fragile objects. Keep your like items together. Packing storage containers can be like solving a puzzle so you may have to repack items a few times to get everything to fit.
I promise that taking a few simple steps now will keep you sane as you dive into the holidays!!!