While we’re still technically in the Christmas season (the Christmastide or “12 Days of Christmas” lasts until Epiphany on January 6), many people will choose this weekend to take down and store their Christmas décor.No matter when you choose to pack up everything Christmas, keep these tips in mind:
Document your décor. When I get a particular room or an arrangement just right, I take a photo of it so that the next year, I can remember what I did and either re-create it or improve on it.
Revisit the past. Before you take one ornament off the tree or remove one light from the roofline, take some time to go through what you didn’t put up this year. Why didn’t you use those items? Are they broken? Worn out? Has your taste changed? Did you inherit it from a relative, and it’s just not “you”? Do see yourself ever using a particular item? Perhaps it is time to donate those items to charity or sell them on eBay and bless someone else’s home next year. Give yourself permission to let it go.This step is particularly important if you purchased new Christmas items this year. OIf your storage is already maxed out and you need to make room to store the new decorations, use the “one in, one out” rule: for every new item you bring in, one has to go out.
Evaluate your storage options. If your holiday decorations are stored in cardboard boxes, consider gradually replacing them with clear plastic bins as your budget allows. Most stores will put them on sale this time of year, so watch the Sunday paper for good deals. The bins are easy to carry, see-through and last much longer than cardboard, which can harbor little creepy-crawlies. There are bins with little compartments for ornaments, and durable nylon bags for wreaths and even trees; find out what works best for your situation.When evaluating your storage, also consider where the container will go. For example, are the shelves in the garage or storage room deep enough and tall enough to hold the bins? Can wreath bags be hung on an empty wall in the garage?
Collect and sort. One of the guiding principles of organization is keeping like things together. With this in mind, collect all the decorative items you placed around your house and corral them in one location such as the dining room table. Natural groupings should emerge. For example, put all the kitchen items in one corner, keep all the nutcrackers together, etc. – whatever makes sense for you and your belongings. Remember those photos you took of the great vignette you created? Pack those items together and a copy of the photo right in the bin.For the ornaments, remove them from the tree and pack directly into bins or boxes. Remember to collect all the ornament hooks into a zipper bag and pack with the ornaments. If the ornaments fall into natural categories, such as a specific colors or themes, consider packing them together. Next year, you may want to do “themed trees” for different rooms in your home.
Pack and track. Pack away items in appropriate containers and store them in the appropriate locations. For example, you may not want to keep Grandma’s porcelain angel in a garage or attic that has extreme temperature swings. Try to find a place in an interior closet for such delicate items.Remember to wash any holiday linens and towels before storing them. Space-saving, airtight plastic bags (such as Space Bags) are perfect for condensing these items for storage.While you’re packing, make an index card for each bin or box and detail the contents; mark the box or bin with a corresponding letter or number. Taking the time to organize the “tear down” will make decorating the house that much easier next year. Keep the index cards in a desk drawer or in a section of your recipe file box – wherever it makes sense for you.
Return to your regularly scheduled décor … or not. Your walls, tables, front door and vanities may look a little bare once all the Christmas décor is taken away. It’s time to convert back to your everyday look. However, this is the perfect time to refresh any tired or tattered art and accessories. Look at your towels, rugs, knick knacks and other accessories with a fresh eye. Is it time for an update? Even if you don’t buy anything new, you need not return the same accessories to the same locations. Mix it up! Rotating items you already have is an easy and economical way to make a room look fresh.
Happy packing!Read More