As an organization professional, I see a lot of chaos around the holidays. There’s joy and festivities, of course, but holiday decorations can begin to take over, particularly when it comes time to set them up and put them away again. The good news is that I have a lot of organization tips to share when it comes to keeping holiday decor in good order.
Here are some of the best organization tips I’ve compiled over the years:
I can help you have the tidiest holiday season ever with these hints and tricks. Let’s get started!
Before getting started, it helps to put everything in neat categories. This will allow you to find what you need when it’s time to decorate, and it will also help you later when it comes time to put it all away for next year.
As you take out your items, make note of whether you need bigger or different boxes to group your belongings. For example, your ornaments should all go in one box (or two if you have a lot), your lights can go in another, your candles in yet another. If you have special serving platters or dishes, keep them together. If you find you need more bins or boxes, you can often get these on sale after the holidays. I recommend labeling boxes to make both packing them and unpacking them easier.
If you already have a custom garage, now’s the time to use those overhead storage racks, cabinets, and other components. You can put holiday decorations up high, since you’re really only accessing the space twice each year: once to take the items down, and once to put them up. If you currently keep these items in lower cabinets and you need that space for something else, go ahead and move them up higher.
Some items that will do well in a garage include a Christmas tree, inflatable decorations, and outdoor lights. You won’t want to store any seasonal foods or anything that could be damaged by weather extremes, such as items made from paper.
Your custom closet system may have extra space to accommodate smaller decorations, such as the boxes of ornaments, the tree topper, your menorah, or even non-perishable holiday foods. Adjustable shelves and bins placed on the highest shelves are great for this.
As a side note, if you don’t already have a custom closet, you might consider purchasing one for yourself or someone special for the holidays this year. I find the winter to be a good time to get this done, since many people are less busy after the holidays, and there aren’t the scheduling issues we often encounter in the summer, when our customers tend to go on vacation.
When you put up your decorations, keep a list of what you’re using. Also, be sure to mark down if you’re missing anything. For example, if some of your ornaments are broken or if you don’t have enough lights, having this written down will allow you to take advantage of post-holiday sales.
You’ll also want to inventory what goes into each bin or box, as this will save you time later. Start the process as you pull out your decor, and make sure it’s complete and accurate when you go and put the items away.
You can do this with an analog system. Just grab a notebook, and write down what you have and what you still need. Another option is to use a digital system as described on Refined Rooms.
One of my favorite and most effective tips to share is to downsize and declutter at the end of the season. Any decorations that didn’t get used this year might be ready to find a new home. If they’re broken or in bad shape, it’s time to toss them, but if you simply changed your color scheme or you had too much of a certain type of decor, donating them is a good idea. It will allow someone else to enjoy them and prevent them from causing clutter in your own house.
If you’re struggling with holiday decoration clutter, I’ve shared a handful of tips I think will help. Divide your items by category, use your custom home organization systems to help, keep an inventory list, and be ready to purge items you’re no longer using after the holiday season is over. You’ve got this!