With that first kiss of cool air after summer, you know it’s holiday season once again. If digging through boxes trying to locate decorations and lights makes you cringe, don’t worry! As a professional organizer, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that make both the decorating and organizing process a breeze and I’m so excited to share them with you! Once your decorations are organized, you will save time and energy every holiday season for years to come. No more stress when it comes time to unpack those holiday boxes. It’s the gift that keeps giving!
First, you need to know what you have. Take inventory of your decorations and assess how they are currently stored. Do they fit in the boxes you currently have? Are they divided by holiday or mish-mashed together? Is everything in good condition and working properly? It’s important to know your starting point so you can make improvements. Be sure to eliminate any items that are broken, damaged, or don’t fit in with your holiday aesthetic. While you have everything laid out, make a list of the decorations you will keep and display. (Hint: you will need this list later!)
The next step is to group items together by either holiday or season and then subdivide by room or item type if needed. For example, “Fall Decor: Pumpkins” or “Christmas: Living Room Decorations”. The size of your collection typically dictates whether or not storage boxes need to be subdivided. It is better to have a few small boxes that are easy to manipulate rather than one giant box you can’t lift safely. Utilizing several small boxes also allows you to divide your storage across multiple spots such as under the bed, a high shelf in the closet, or in a spare bedroom. Pack the boxes so that they make sense for the size/type of items going into them. Don’t place heavy objects in the same box as delicate heirlooms. Clearly label each box so you know what’s inside without having to look.
Use Command Hooks to hang wreaths, garland, twinkle lights, and so much more. The adhesive is safe for walls and doors and can be put up or taken down in seconds flat. Plus the hooks and clips are reusable from year to year! You only need to replace the adhesive.
Pack a small box or resealable bag with holiday decor spare parts: extra bulbs, fuses, ornament hooks, etc. and place it in your holiday storage box so they are easy to find and access while decorating. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find those tiny parts and not knowing where they are. It really kills the holiday vibes!
Improve next year’s set-up time by taking a picture of each room once it’s decorated. Include a printout in the storage box when you pack up. Laminate the inventory list you created and include that as well. This will be your packing checklist so you know you haven’t forgotten anything. Lastly, take a picture of your decor once it’s in the box. This way you know how to best arrange the items so that they fit correctly every single time. Print this picture and put it in the box or use it as a label so you know at a glance what’s inside.
When putting boxes away in storage, arrange them according to which holiday comes first. For example, Halloween decorations would be placed above or in front of Thanksgiving decorations because you need access to them first. Keep in mind that anything that is heat-sensitive (like candles) should be stored indoors where the temperature is controlled. Lastly, mindful storage also means sticking to the space you have to store things and not encroaching on other storage areas. This is a toughy! But I’ve found that a simple in/out rule usually helps to keep people on track. If you take advantage of post-holiday sales, do a trade-off. For every one thing you add to your collection, donate something else. Limit yourself to a set number of storage boxes for decorations or a specific storage area and don’t go beyond that!