The holidays are in full gear now, and most of us are busy with shopping, decorating, baking, and holiday parties. Since most of us decorate our homes for Christmas, this is the ideal time to get our Christmas decorations and gift wrapping supplies better organized. This article will give you some practical tips for organizing your Christmas ornaments, lights, wreaths, other decorations, and gift wrapping supplies.
If you read my articles regularly, you won’t be surprised to read that just like any other organizing, the critical step is getting rid of anything you aren’t using. You probably have items in the bottom of your bins of Christmas decorations that you haven’t used in years. Actually, you may have entire bins of decorations that you haven’t used in years! They aren’t doing anyone any good in the bin. It doesn’t matter who gave it to you, how long you’ve had it, whether or not you “paid good money for it”, or how many times you said you might use it next year. If you don’t love it and you’re not using it, the best thing to do is to get rid of it. Be ruthless! If it’s a special family decoration, you might want to take a quick picture of it and send it to family members with a text that says something like, “I am not using this decoration. If you would like it, I’m happy to pass it along. Otherwise, I will be donating it tomorrow. Please let me know ASAP. Merry Christmas!”
If you don’t take your decorations down until sometime in January (or later), you may be wondering whether you can still donate Christmas items at that time of the year. I promise you that Goodwill or any other agency that receives donations can take them any time. They’re good at this; they do it every day! So don’t let that stop you from donating.
There are nice, specialized but slightly expensive products for storing particular Christmas supplies, but there are also effective inexpensive ways to accomplish the same result. Containers with separate compartments to store ornaments are wonderful, but you can accomplish the same effect with plastic cups and a piece of cardboard. Cut a piece of cardboard in the same size as the bin you will be using. Hot glue plastic cups to the cardboard. Place one ornament inside each cup. Cover this with another piece of cardboard that also has plastic cups glued to it. Layer these to fill the bin, put the cover on the bin, and label. Smaller ornaments can be stored in an egg carton. An even simpler method for storing ornaments is to layer the ornaments in a bin with rags, towels, or quilt batting. With this method, you may want to wrap the more fragile ornaments in bubble wrap and/or put them at the top of the bin. I have used this method for many years and have had very few ornament casualties.
For strands of lights, you can wrap each one around a piece of cardboard. Or you can put each strand inside a large Ziploc bag. For wreaths, you may want to cover each one with a trash bag or a clear dry cleaning bag to protect it. Then you can hang it up on a nail in the attic. You can use a hanger put through the center of the wreath or attached to the wreath with a zip tie to make it easier to hang.
I love the special organizing products for gift wrapping supplies. But once again, there are less expensive ways to store these as well. For long rolls of gift wrap, you can use a tall trash can or a garment bag. For the ribbon, bows, gift bags, tissue paper, etc., labeled bins will work just fine. For the gift bags, I recommend that you store them standing up on their sides, not in a large stack. If they are standing up, it will be much quicker to look through them. You might even want to separate the Christmas bags from the others. I love the idea of using a flat bin for an under the bed wrapping station. Then you can pull it out when it’s time to wrap gifts, and keep it hidden at other times.
I hope these tips are helpful for you. Have a wonderful Christmas!