5 foolproof ideas to control Christmas clutter!
For many of us, the post-holiday cleanup can really be a chore. When the joy of the Christmas season winds down, it can be difficult to tackle the clutter that is left behind. Often, we find ourselves pressed for time and paralyzed with indecision about where to start. It feels like there is too much to put away. While we start with good intentions, those quickly fade once we are up to our elbows in ornaments.
But that doesn’t have to be the case! There are some simple tips and tricks you can use to help you get a handle on all that Christmas clutter. The best part is that when you pull your Christmas decor out next year, it will be neat and organized, which makes decorating that much more enjoyable.
1. More Purging, Less Packing
Christmas decorations often seem to multiply in storage. If you aren’t using something in your home, you shouldn’t be packing it up and storing it every year. Get rid of broken or non-working items, decorations you don’t use or anything that you don’t really love. This is especially true if you’re adding new decorations to your stash every year. In order to feature your favorites, you need to get rid of the ones you aren’t crazy about!
2. Organize by Function
Keeping items that you use together packed in the same place makes them easier to find. Although packing up all the lights in a single box marked “lights” may seem like a good idea, in actuality the lights you use outdoors would be more helpful in the box with the other outdoor decorations. Packing by function limits the number of boxes you need to pull out in order to decorate any given space.
Packing up your tree? Don’t forget to throw in the tree skirt, stand, tinsel, angel, garlands and any other related accessories. This means you won’t have to pull out the “lights” box along with the “ornaments” box and the “tree skirt” box. Organizing by how an item is used makes it easier to pack and unpack every year.
If your kids help decorate every year, make a designated box for non-breakable items that they can pack and unpack. This lets them feel included without putting your fragile items at risk.
Keep sets like Christmas villages, nativity scenes, holiday dishes and outdoor decorations stored together so you don’t have to search through multiple boxes to find all the pieces.
3. Organize by Style
If you have used many different styles of decor over the years, you may want to consider sorting your pieces into related styles. Your ornate gold Victorian angel may look out of place nestled into your rustic woodsy decor. By keeping all decor of the same style together, you can quickly and efficiently decorate a space with a unified theme. If you store all your farmhouse Christmas items in one spot, you can immediately see exactly what you have without having to dig through your colorful retro decorations to find everything.
Sorting by theme also allows you to pass over decorations you may not want to use this year without the need to sort through them individually.
4. Make a List and Check It Twice
If you have many, many boxes of Christmas decor, it may be a good idea to keep a paper inventory of what is inside each box and a master key of where everything is stored. That way, if you’re desperately searching for the stockings, you can immediately target the right location instead of opening every box. You may also want to write a detailed list of contents on the outside of the box itself—however, unless you repack everything in the exact same box, you’ll have to scribble out or erase your list every year.
5. Store Stuff Safely
When it comes to long term holiday storage, plastic bins work much better than cardboard boxes for keeping out moisture and pests. When wrapping delicate items, using blank newsprint is superior to wrapping items in actual newspapers, since the dirt and ink can easily transfer onto your items. Always store heat-sensitive items like candles or candy in a cool place. Attics and garages are not ideal. Keep all your boxes grouped together so nothing gets overlooked when you are pulling it out.
When you head into the post-Christmas cleanup with a plan, it is much easier to tackle the mess head on. Making sure you are systematic and organized doesn’t have to take a lot of extra time now, and the payoff when you can easily find everything next year is worth it!
With her three kids and a busy home life in the San Francisco area, Kim Six is a DIY home improvement blogger who keeps her eye on home organizational techniques. Kim writes her home lifestyle and organizational tips for Home Depot. If you are preparing for the holiday season with an eye toward keeping your plans trendy and storage friendly, you can review ornaments on the Home Depot website here.