Happy first day of 2012 friends!
For me, and I’m thinking for many of you, today I start boxing up the holiday decor. Since I still have a splint on my shattered wrist I’ll be enlisting the help of my son and hubby to pull down and pack up the Rubbermaid totes. I keep all the totes in a corner of the garage and over the years I’ve developed some pretty good foolproof packing/storage ideas and today I wanted to share those with you. Some of these I shared in my 31 Days To Clutter Free series but I think they are worth repeating.
HOLIDAY STORAGE TIPS
- Easily Identifiable – Use storage totes that are a color for that season. I use red and green totes for Christmas decorations, brown totes for Autumn/Halloween decor, etc.
- Artificial Trees – I use a 6 foot artificial tree that came in three connectable pieces. I don’t take it apart. I learned this from my sis-in-law. I fold up all the branches, tie a ribbon on the front side of the tree (helpful info when you bring out next year) and pack it up in one of the large red tree bags. It sits perfectly on my stack of double triple wide storage bins. I also have a couple of small artificial trees I display throughout the house. I do take these apart and store in separate bins with their ornaments wrapped in tissue.
- Room by Room – Store Christmas decor in bins by room. For example, I have totes marked Family Room Decorations, Living Room, and Den. This is actually very helpful because I use these totes to store the everyday decorations that I took down from that room in prep for the holiday decorating
- Formal Tree Ornaments – I do have several bins of Christmas tree ornaments for the formal tree. One bin is for a flocked tree; white lights and blue glass ornaments and the other all gold ornaments.
- Ornament Care – Use containers such as egg cartons, leftover Christmas card boxes or shoeboxes to wrap and store ornaments in before putting in the larger bin. I’m a bit anal and have to admit I wrap each ornament separately in tissue paper.
- Specialty Items – I have a Dickens Village (2 bins worth) that I don’t bring out every year, but I am keeping it as it came from hubby’s mom who passed away in 1994. It’s just one of those things I need to hold on to.
- Misc. Totes – I’m telling you I have way to much stuff. I have a totes for all the snowmen and Santa’s. I’m sure you will find decorative items that don;t necessarily stay in the same place every year. This is what I call miscellaneous.
- Labels – I use the 8X11 Avery Labels to identify what’s in the totes. I actually divide a one page into 4 equal pieces, mark them with an indelible marker and label all 4 sides of the tote
- Seasonal Linens and Towels – I keep two “seasonal” baskets in my linen closet. In one I keep seasonal linens; tablecloths, table runners, and place mats. In the other I keep seasonal bathroom towels, nightlights, etc.
- Purge as you pack. If you have the time, set aside those items you don’t want anymore. I’m kind of wishy-washy when it comes to giving up decorations. If you have the same issue just create a “not sure” bin and make it the last one you look at it next year when you are decorating.
- Paper Stuff – I keep all my gift wrap regardless of the season in a small newly-bought garbage can. I keep all my ribbon in a basket, also regardless of type. Christmas cards that are still good to use and gift tags are kept separately and stored in a closet. Label everything!
- Dishes - I don’t have room in my china hutch so I keep my Christmas dishes and glasses in a storage box in my hall closet.
- Incoming Christmas Cards – This is a good time to update your address books. You also might consider cutting up the cards you received. Use the decorative piece as a gift tag next year. If you do this, make sure you store them with the other gift tags. Also, are there any outstanding Christmas cards that may look good framed next year?
- Candles – I picked this tip up reading Better Homes and Gardens. Candles last longer if you can store them in a cool place, preferably the refrigerator. A second option is to wrap each candle separately in cellophane before storing in a cool place like a garage.
- Outside Decorations – Toss out lights that are not working anymore. Wrap light strings around old magazines or leftover gift boxes that would get recycled anyway.
- Welcome signs – I store all my signs in one container that I keep in the hall closet. I just cycle through them month by month.
- Outdoor Seasonal Mats – Make sure that you sweep them clean on both sides before storing away
- Take Pictures – I try to take pictures and take notes about my decorations. I think I’m going to remember how I did it before but I don’t.
- Recipes – Make sure all your Christmas recipes are stored appropriately. It’s easy to lose a single piece of paper that’s been ripped from a magazine.
- Impromptu Buys – It never fails. I always seem to find Christmas decorative items for a good price at a store AFTER all the decorations are put away. I keep one large basket in my spare room closet just for this reason.
I hope these ideas help you. I’d love to hear what your best storing tips are. Please share!
Happy New Year!