How to Organize your Christmas Decor for Storage December 26 2011, 1 Comment

Well, the hustle bustle is finally over and you are left with the daunting job of putting away all of your Christmas Decor to be used again for 2012.  UGH!  Most of us are excited to put everything up in late November or early December, but the job of taking down and storing everything for the following year is not on the top of our "fun to do" list, so here are a  few tips to make the job a little easier for you this year and next!

Tip #1  Take pictures of your Christmas displays before taking them down.
This may be the most important detail of all.  This will make it so much easier and less time consuming the following year when you have to reset everything in it's proper place.  You can include a physical picture or disc in your cartons when you store them or you can have a folder on your computer with these pictures to refer to.

Tip#2  Sort and Purge
Don't make the mistake of just putting your pieces in any box or carton that they seem to fit into.  Next year when you are taking them out, everything will be in many different boxes.  So we suggest you  organize them by putting them into groups for each room or area. At the same time, purge all of the items that you do not really want to use any longer.  This is a great time to donate the pieces that you no longer love to a family member or a great charity. With what you do still love, use packing labels on each box with as general or specific list of contents in each box as you feel you will need to.
For instance:
     Outdoor.....would include lighting for outdoor bushes and trees, wreaths, free standing items and any other items that you only use outdoors.
     Kitchen....would include your Christmas Dishes, glasses and such.  It would also include anything that you display in your kitchen area such as table decor.  This may even include  tree decorations if you have one in that area.
    Main Christmas Tree Decorations....everything on your main tree including lights and ornaments, garland and tree skirt.Make sure to wrap your ornaments well so that they do not break while being stored.  You can use egg cartons to store small ornaments.
     Linens......any items that you use in your bedroom such as bed linens, bath linens, throws and toss pillows.  Add a dryer sheet or two to keep them smelling wonderful!
     Wrapping Items.....includes paper, bows, gift bags, boxes, scissors and tape.  You can include Christmas cards that have sentimental value to you, left over Christmas cards and your addresses for sending Christmas cards the following year. 
     Childrens items.....could include books and Christmas movies, stuffed reindeer, snowmen etc. or anything that relates to your children and grandchildren only.

You know what you have so group them any way you see fit for your particular instance.  These are just general examples of how to group the pieces.

Tip#3  Sort through your containers.
Buy new containers only after you know what you need. This is the perfect time to look at your containers and their sizes as almost every big store will have Christmas containers on sale right now. They come in variable sizes and shapes.  Some are specific for certain items like wreaths, paper, ornaments and more. You can analyze what you still need and go get them!  They have specific colors such as Red and Green so when they are stored, you will know which containers you will need to pull out next year. It saves a lot of time every year.

Tip#4  Number your boxes as to which ones to open first.
You will want to know which container will be needed first like the one with your advent calendar, left over Christmas cards and such.  This will help you to  be able to, for instance, grab the tree stand before you open the tree and ornaments, know where the Christmas cookie cut outs are before you make the cookies,  etc.  You may want to decorate one room before another.  This may seem silly, but it will help you to save time later.

Tip#5.  Survey what you are missing and replace it.
Take the time to make a list of what you are missing from your box. What either has been broken or you just need more of.  If you need more ornament hangers, snow, stocking holders, boxes or the like, this is definitely the time to go searching for them.  Everything will be at least half off now so stock up for next year! Be sure to put them in the appropriate boxes for storage.

And flexible!  This will be very time consuming but while you are using precious time this year, the following years you will find that you save way more time! 

Antionette King
Pezzo Bello Interiors