Another holiday is behind us – the New Year is knocking at the door. I know people that take down their decorations the day after Christmas (that’s a whole other topic for me – Christmas lover that I am.) The majority of people will take them down on New Year’s Day – or within that first week of January. Whenever you chose to pack up the holiday’s, it’s an excellent time to make preparations now so that when you go to get the bins down from the attic or out of the basement next year things will be easier.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to put out a client’s decorations and spend a good portion of my time (time that I’m being paid for) to sort through bins full of items that are just haphazardly filled. I spend hours untangling lights and ornaments, changing burned out bulbs and all that fun stuff before I can even begin to decorate.
Putting things away in a neat and orderly fashion not only protects your gems it makes getting them out much less stressful.
Here are tips and tricks that I use when stowing away my Christmas trinkets (and remember I have five trees – so I have a lot of them!)
- Banish the cardboard boxes – rather than a ragtag collection of boxes invest in some nice storage bins – many retailers put them on sale starting the day after Christmas. They are more durable than boxes and you can get them in uniform sizes.
- Discard anything broken
- If you don’t want it anymore donate it or give it to a friend or family member
- Wind your lights – you can use pieces of cardboard, wooden paint sticks, or a storage bin made for lights. I typically wind them neatly around my hand and then connect the ends together.
- Replace as many burnt out bulbs as you can when you take the lights off the tree or mantle. (spending a few minutes doing it now means you won’t have to do it when you go to put them up next year!)
- Try to put things in bins as neatly and compactly as possible. I wrap a lot of my items in tissue or plain newsprint.
- Be mindful of where you store your decorations. Best not to place items that are sensitive to warm or cold temperatures in bins if you store them in the garage.
- To the extent I can I discard as much extraneous packaging as I can – unless of course it is an item of value or a collectors item that having the original package adds to its value!
- Make a list of items that you know you will need next season when you bring the bins out – having this list is helpful if there are items you will be looking for in the off season – either at tag sales, thrift stores, antique stores, etc.
- Take photographs of everything before you disassemble – I find this useful for when I’m particularly happy with how a display or arrangement looked and want to duplicate it the next year.
I do hope you find these tips helpful and that they not only help you put away your holiday items more efficiently – but that they save you unnecessary stress next season!