Happy New Year friends! We are officially beginning 2015, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start this year than with some organization tips! If you haven’t put away your holiday decor just yet, I’ve got some organization & storage tips to help you tackle the Christmas chaos and get a head start for next year!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. We sure did! It was relaxed and fun, which is just the way I like it. I got smart this year and put my camera on the tripod and set it to take one photo every minute while we opened gifts. I’m usually trying to take pictures and juggle gift wrap and enjoy the moment, and there are never pictures with me in them! This year, however, I was able to really enjoy the moments and be in the pictures – WIN!
This is by far my favorite picture from Christmas morning…the look on my daughter’s face is priceless!
After Christmas comes the clean-up, and usually when we take down the decorations, I try in vain to organize as I go, then end up with huge, heavy boxes full of stuff we used this year and a lot of stuff that never came out of the boxes to start with!
But I got smart, y’all. And I got organized, which will save me a lot of hassle when these boxes come down from the attic for Christmas 2015! And I’m going to share my tips (and a FREE PRINTABLE) with you today!
6 TIPS FOR STORING & ORGANIZING HOLIDAY DECOR:
1. Sort before you store.
I think it’s a safe assumption that we all have unused Christmas decorations still in the boxes. Chances are, we didn’t use them last year, and we won’t use them again. Before you start packing up the decorations you did use, go through what you didn’t use and get rid of unwanted items. Make three piles: Keep, Trash, Donate. Be ruthless!
2. Divide & conquer.
Once you have removed all unwanted items, sort the items in your “keep” pile into categories. As you take down your decorations this year, add them to their category. This will help you determine how much storage you actually need. It might also spark some ideas for future decorating!
I didn’t put out my Christmas stuffed animals this year, but I did come up with an idea for next year, so I’m keeping them. We put an artificial 4.5 foot tree in the window ledge above our front door this year, but didn’t decorate around it. Next year, I’ll add some of my furry friends to the decor and make a Christmas scene in the window!
3. Wrangle lights with baggies.
I can never manage to cram those strands of lights back into their original boxes, so I use big Ziploc bags. One strand per bag works for me! And they don’t get tangled. I roll them up around my arm then fold them into the bags.
(Remember to test them before you store them if you have any unused strands!)
4. Think small for storage options.
I love to decorate for Christmas, and when the mood strikes, I don’t like to wait for my husband to be home to help me get the decorations down from the attic. I also don’t mind putting them up on my own, either. However, in year’s past, we’ve always used those HUGE storage bins, pack them full, and then they were too heavy and bulky for me to lift on my own.
This year, I picked up several smaller bins to make my life much easier!
I picked up these 48 quart hinged-lid storage bins for under $7 a piece. Even packed full, they won’t be too heavy (or huge!) for me to lift on my own. Plus, I like this size for keeping my items stored by category or area of the home.
I still use our big storage bins, but rather than filling them with a bunch of smaller items, I’m using them for just a few larger items, which also means they won’t be too heavy.
5. Use purposeful storage.
Last year, my husband and I bought 2 of these ornament storage boxes in an after-Christmas sale for around $5 and I’m so thankful we did. Sometimes you need storage for a specific purpose, and I think you can’t go wrong with ornament storage boxes.
I keep all of our bulbs and other ornaments in these boxes. The larger ornaments, or more delicate ornaments, get wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a separate box with other tree decor, but these are great for keeping the majority of our ornaments organized and safe from breakage.
6. Label everything.
Even if you are using transparent storage boxes, it’s still a good idea to add labels. You can’t always see everything in the boxes, anyway. I also like to add the purpose or location for the decorations in each box to the label. When we pull down our boxes next year, with a glance I can tell if a certain box needs to go into the living room, the front doorway, or outside.
I tape a sandwich bag to the outside of each storage bin and insert the contents label into the bag. It’s easy to change out each year as I add or remove decorations, or use the bins for other storage purposes.
Another thing I like to keep track of are my ideas for future decorations. I usually come up with some great ideas for decor as I’m taking down the decor from this year, so I made a little printable note that I can tape to the inside of my storage bins to remind me of my idea next year.
And the good news for you is, I’ve got both of these printables for you today!
You can print two to a page then cut them in half and use them for your holiday decor organization and storage!
*CLICK ON EACH IMAGE BELOW, THEN SAVE TO YOUR COMPUTER FOR PRINTING. Prints best up to 4×6. I printed 2 to a page on standard paper.
Use the “Contents/Purpose/Location” printable to list the items inside each storage box, and the area of your home they are typically used. Place this label on the outside of your box.
If you have ideas for particular decorations for future Christmas’s, or need to remember to buy additional items to go with what is in a certain box, print out the “Ideas/Note to Self” label and attach it to the inside of your box.
Here’s to starting your new year off with an organized bang!
What storage tips & tricks do you have to share? Leave a comment below!