The presents have been unwrapped, and the wrapping paper thrown away. The cardboard boxes have been broken down, and the garbage cans are headed to the curb for weekly pickup — a lot heavier than usual. It’s the inevitable aftermath of the Christmas holiday.
That also means it’s soon time to take down the tree and all those decorations (although we know some of you may not get to this task until springtime…). But when the time comes for you to start putting away all vestiges of the holidays, here are some tips for doing so in an organized fashion. This approach will not only help you protect your seasonal décor, but it will also make things a lot easier for you when you drag everything back out to decorate next year.
A good place to start is by decluttering what you currently have. Go through and consider tossing out items or decorations that you haven’t used in ages. That will make things a lot easier when it comes to storing what remains.
First, here are three general tips to guide you in your post-Christmas organization scheme:
• Store holiday decorations in clear, sturdy boxes to keep fragile ornaments and such from breaking. This will also keep your pieces organized and easy to access next year.
• Label all your boxes to easily identify what’s inside.
• Keep all your decorations in the same place, such as a bedroom closet or attic. If you simply don’t have enough space in your house to keep all that Christmas stuff in the same spot, consider renting a storage unit. Or utilize one that you may already be renting.
Let’s get a little more specific about some of these tips…
• If you have an artificial Christmas tree, consider keeping it in the original box (if it’s big enough) or in a specially-made bag or box designed for such a purpose. Some people fortunate to have enough space keep their trees upright and decorated (but out of sight, in a closet or attic, perhaps) all year long.
• Ornament-storage boxes can offer padded storage that keep your precious decorations from banging into each other. They also help protect from cracks and scratches, and some offer customizable compartment sizes to accommodate a wide range of shapes and sizes.
• Storing wrapping paper and supplies is always a challenge. One tip is to repurpose magazine storage racks that are designed for shelves and closets. These are great for storing squares of wrapping paper and gift bags.
• If you keep your Christmas stuff in a closet, you can maximize the space’s potential by hanging racks on the inside of the closet door. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for storing wrapping paraphernalia as well as small decoration items.
• Clear garment bags are good for storing wreaths.
• Before storing strings of lights and garland, wrap them around cardboard rectangles. This will help everything unroll easily next year and save time spent untangling nasty nests of lights and tinsel.