Your challenge this week is to work on Christmas decoration storage and organization so you can safely store, and then find and display the items you love and get rid of the rest.
Obviously you aren't going to store your holiday decorations until the season is over but I scheduled this challenge for a couple of weeks before Christmas because there are really two parts to it.
First, we've got some work to do now, while your favorite decorations are out, to declutter what you don't want anymore, and to gather your storage supplies for later (that will be steps 1-3 below).
Then, second, after Christmas is over there's a bit more work to do, because then it's time to store the decorations away until next year (that will be step 4 below).
Are you new here? This Christmas decoration storage and organization challenge is part of the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren't already a regular reader).
As you get your holiday decorations out this year to put up, it is the perfect time to declutter and get rid of items you no longer need, want or cherish anymore.
We're slowly, through the course of this year of challenges, going to declutter every area of our home (including stuff in storage) and these sometimes sentimamental items are no different. It can be tough, however, since we can have an emotional connection to some items, especially our Christmas items.
The items listed below are the prime categories of decorations you should declutter from your home. You can donate anything that others may want to use, and this can help you feel better about parting with some of these items. However, please don't donate broken or trash items, but instead just throw them away.
You can check out my list of holiday and Christmas decluttering missions here for even more ideas.
When decluttering really try to keep only the cream of the crop of your Christmas decorations, and ditch the stuff you don't love or even like very much. You don't have to cram every surface with decorations to show your Christmas spirit, and your storage area will thank you for it 11 months out of the year!
Another thing to keep in mind over the course of the upcoming year is that you've got decorations that you traditionally put up for other holidays as well. When you're dealing with them, during the season you're displaying them, is the perfect time to organize and declutter that holiday's stuff.
So use the same principles as discussed in this article when dealing with Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving decorations, or seasonal decorations like the wreath you put out each spring, for example.
Once you've got the cream of the crop left, the next step is to take a quick and dirty inventory of what you've saved. You should write down the broad categories of items you've got left, the number of items, approximately, and how much space they will fill in your storage containers.
The purpose of this inventory is merely to make sure you've got a place for all your Christmas decorations in storage for the majority of each year, so don't worry too much on complete accuracy as much as reasonable guesstimates.
TreeKeeper artificial Christmas tree storage
bag allow you to keep your tree assembled
Here are the major categories to consider and take note of:
WreathKeeper bags can be used
for hanging regular to oversize wreaths
Once you've got a reasonable estimate of the decorations you've still got take a hard look at the containers you're storing everything in to see if you need to improve how you're storing everything.
These are all just suggestions and best practices. I'm not suggesting you go out and buy lots of storage containers or other items if you don't need them, or can't afford them. But, as you have an opportunity, or over time, these are good things to keep in mind.
The ideal storage arrangement for Christmas decorations will be as follows:
Until you place your decorations into storage at the end of the holiday season you won't be able to fully know if you've got all the Christmas storage solutions you need. However, the inventory I suggested you make above should help you identify any major areas you need to deal with, and give you time to get the right storage containers (or make something yourself) before you've really got to store everything.
With that in mind here are some things to consider before the holiday season is over, so you have time to gather all the right storage supplies you need to complete the Christmas decoration storage and organization challenge:
The final step of the Christmas decoration storage and organization challenge can't be done until after the holidays are over, but your preparations from steps 1-3 will make it an easy process.
Once the season is over and it's time to put everything away, go ahead and place everything back in the boxes or other storage containers you've designated. Separate the decorations into the major categories you listed in your inventory in step 2 so that like items stay together.
Be sure to carefully wrap fragile items in tissue paper, or otherwise cushion them so they stay safe. Make sure everything stays covered to protect it from dust and vermin. Be careful when stacking items not to place anything on top of soft or cardboard boxes containing fragile items.
The most important thing is to arrange and store things in a way where everything is easily accessible for next year, and you can find what you want quickly. One of the easiest ways to do this is to label your boxes and other storage containers, and write down on a master inventory what you've stored in each container, and where you've placed it in storage.
To help you with this task I've created a free printable Christmas storage inventory that you can fill out and keep in a safe place, such as in your home management notebook or binder.
Once you've taken these steps this year, each year's Christmas decoration process from now on will be so much easier. You'll be able to find all the boxes you need quickly and easily, pull out clean undamaged decorations, and enjoy the process of decorating your home for the holidays.
Please note that over the years I've tweaked and (hopefully) improved the Organized Home Challenge, and as part of that process it I combined this week's challenge with another one, to organize wrapping paper and gift bags. So head on over to that article as well to also read how to do this part of the task this week.
I would love to know how this week's challenge about Christmas decoration storage and organization is going for you. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized this area of your home below in the comments.
I also love before and after pictures, and would love to see some of yours. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall Of Fame. You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!
A couple of readers have already shared their ideas for storing holiday decorations here, so you can also check them out for more inspiration.
We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from the Christmas Decoration Storage Challenge that we're doing this week.
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!