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Organizing Solutions for Holiday Decorations

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If the term “holiday decorations” brings only Christmas to your mind, you probably think the timing of this article is a mistake! My experience shows this topic is much broader than one specific event.

There are folks for whom the term “holiday” includes each special event from Valentine’s Day to Independence Day to Thanksgiving and everything in between. I know people who vary the knick-knacks they display by season—winter, spring, summer and fall. You can imagine the amount of storage space dedicated to decorations for someone with this much love for holidays; perhaps you know the exact space needed because you also love to have your home reflect the time of year.

The most efficient way to keep these decorations organized is to purge while you decorate. As you unpack items that no longer appeal to you, fill a box for donation right then. When the holiday is over, organize as you put things away. The packing is never as much fun as the unpacking, but resist the urge to just get things in boxes willy-nilly. Next year you will be so glad you took the time to do it right.

Unfortunately, this plan only works if you own a reasonable amount of decorations. For my client whose storage room was 12 feet across, three rows deep, floor-to-ceiling boxes holding Christmas decorations, this approach wouldn’t succeed. November and December are simply too busy to devote hours to de-cluttering that much stuff. In this situation, time needs to be set aside in the off season to focus on sorting through each box to determine what pieces you still truly love. When you find things that tend to stay in storage year after year rather than making it onto display, pass them along to someone who will love them as you once did.

Keep in mind your current phase of life when evaluating your holiday decorations. If your kids are grown and flown, you probably no longer need those stuffed animals wearing holiday-specific clothing. Be honest about the amount of decorating you want to do. If you truly love changing décor several times throughout the year, then by all means keep it up; but sometimes we do things because “it’s what I’ve always done,” even when the joy of doing so has waned.

This year, early April brings Passover and Easter. With the exception of July 4th, we are in the off season from April 8 to October 1. That is a lot of time to get all your decorations in perfect order!

Keys to Organizing Seasonal Decorations
• Generic plastic tubs work great for most things; you don’t need orange boxes for Halloween decorations, red lids for Christmas, etc.
• Item-specific boxes, such as wreath and ornament containers, can be found online year-round.
• Wrap fragile pieces carefully to avoid breakage.
• Pack like items together; or pack based on the location things are typically displayed.
• Label the boxes according to the holiday or season; if you have several boxes for one celebration, add a bit of description about what is in each container to the label.

Written by: Joanie Nicholas

Organizing Coach Joanie Nicholas, owner of All Things Organized, is not an ordinary organizer. She approaches your home from a soulful place. For over 20 years, Joanie has led people across the metro area in creating lasting, positive changes to their space. Joanie brings professional guidance, enthusiasm, empathy and humor to her hands-on work with each client.