Happy New Year, friends! Welcome to a fresh year with a new start! Maybe you had a little too much fun last night and are taking it easy today. Or maybe you’re like me and organizing is on your agenda? Personally, I’m working with a very fun client and then spending a good amount of the weekend dismantling our Christmas decor. If you have the same goal in mind for the coming weekend, I have some tips for containing holiday decor.
A few months ago I partnered with Modernize by writing an article for their readership about holiday decor containment. You can read the article here on their site, but I also wanted to share it myself on my own blog for safe keeping. I’ve been contributing to many outlets, including Redbook Magazine, and one of my 2016 goals is to keep better accounting of the articles I write and also share them with you guys so you know that I am writing and sharing in other places too!
Modernize is a great inspirational website full of content for homeowners looking to upgrade their home. Currently their focus is primarily on energy efficiency upgrades like solar panels, windows and roofing as well as improvements in the kitchen and bath. But they are growing and just getting started!
If you’re looking for some tips on containing holiday decor this weekend, I hope you’ll find something to motivate you here!
There is nothing more satisfying than decorating your home during your favorite holidays. It greets your guests (and those just passing by as well) with a special welcome and creates loads of additional cheer to your own time at home. While some of us are low-key when it comes to decorating and others go over the top, no matter what, when the season ends, we have to pack it all away. This is the time when organization counts most. The manner in which you pack away your holiday items not only preserves them safely, but more importantly allows you to find them with ease the following year. Without the hassle of digging or making a mess before the real mess of decoration has begun!
As a professional organizer and lover of simplicity, you can imagine my tips for packing away holiday items run parallel with my motto.
Use Clear Containers
More than likely your decorations will be stowed away in a storage unit, garage or shed. These spaces tend to have minimal light. Packing items away in solid colored bins not only further darkens the space, but makes it impossible to see the contents. Make it easy on yourself by investing in clear containers. An additional advantage to clear containers is that you don’t need to add a fancy label. You can see the contents with little to no issue.
Use Color-Coded Lids
Most clear bins have the option of adding a color-coded lid, especially when you purchase them around the holidays. A great tip is to plan on updating your holiday bins over the course of one year. When Easter rolls around, grab the bins with a pink or light green colored lid. During the Halloween season, grab a bin with an orange or black lid. Or as shown here, for Christmas you can grab a bin with a red colored lid. There is no need for a label and you’ll know exactly which bins to grab and bring into the house each holiday.
Ornaments are so fragile and often some of your most sentimental pieces as families purchase them over the years, give them as gifts or they are handed down from loved ones. No surprise that the best way to stow these priceless gems away is within soft compartments housed within a hard bin. You can find these special types of bins everywhere to contain your fragile pieces. If you’re worried about the bottom row of ornaments, just add a layer of tissue paper on the bottom.
Re-Use Gift Wrap As Packing Material
After your gifts have been opened, you’ll notice how much wrapping there is to recycle or put away for future holidays. Tissue paper has a short lifespan for gift-giving, but is great when re-purposed as packing material. Whether you ball it up as a cushion for fragile items or wrap decor completely in it, this is a great way to re-use something that would otherwise end up in the trash. Also consider using hard-sided gift boxes to contain fragile decorations. You’ll be protecting your items while also reminding yourself you have a box you can re-use for another gift during that season.
Use Clear Plastic Bags
For smaller items or decorations that tend to slide around or get lost in a large bin, clear plastic bags with a zipper allow you to contain it all. And again, see exactly what’s inside. These bags are great for extra ribbon, ornament hangers, small candles and other small items like candle fillers. Everyone has these on hand!
Wrangle Those Christmas Lights!
Nothing is worse than spending hours untangling strands of Christmas lights from the previous year. Save yourself the headache by putting them away correctly at the end of the season. An easy way to wrangle these is by coiling the strand into a circle, wrapping both ends around the middle, and then plugging the plugs together to keep the bundle in place. You can simply place the bundles into a bin so there are no headaches the following season.
Bag Up Large Items
If you have items that are too large for a standard bin, don’t purchase a bin specifically to accommodate it. These days clear storage bags come in a variety of sizes. Some even start out large and can be vacuum-sealed to significantly reduce in size by removing the extra air within the bag. Putting these items in a bag also keeps them flexible so they can sit on top of bins to fill in open spaces and gaps on a shelf.
Before packing it all away, take a closer look at your items. Did anything break this season? Did you fall out of love with the piece? Is it weathered outdoor items? Are you just ready to part with it to make room for something new next year? This is the time to take a deeper look at your stash. That way when you open that bin next year, it’s one less thing to deal with, you’re sure to love it all and feel that much more excited in your decorating efforts.
Hard to believe the holiday season is over already. No need to worry about the stress of organizing everything, so hopefully these tips will make it easy to pack it all away quickly and find it just as easily next year. Or should I say THIS year! Wow!
Happy organizing AND New Year everyone!