Christmas Decorations: Thinking Through Your Needs

source: wintersoul1
source: wintersoul1

This series was first run last year. I’m updating and reposting it now so that you have time to think through your needs and make a plan before you begin packing away your Christmas decorations. Taking the time to organize your ornaments and other decor really does make a huge difference when it’s time to decorate the following year!

Whether you get the itch to take down your Christmas decorations as soon as Christmas is over or you prefer to keep them up as long as possible, at some point you’re (probably!) going to take them down. To get a headstart on next year’s decorating and make your life easier, take some time to plan how you’re going to store your decorations so they stay organized and easy to find.

1. Look at the decorations that are still packed away.

Why didn’t you use them this year? Was it just temporary circumstances that kept you from unpacking all of the decorations? Are they sentimental but not things you wish to display? Have they been sitting in their boxes for a dozen years because you keep thinking that one year you might want to use them?

Depending on your answers to the above questions, you’ll want to either keep them in storage, repack them or consider donating or tossing them. While you don’t want to make a decision to get rid of things that you’ll later regret, there’s no point in just keeping them around if you’re never going to use them anyway (with the exception of family heirlooms and other sentimental items).

2. Decide how to designate your Christmas decorations in storage.

Is simply writing “Christmas Decorations” on the box or on a piece of masking tape on the box enough to make them easy to find come next Christmas? If you have trouble sorting through your boxes in storage (and we’ll talk about organizing storage at a later time!), then you might want to go for a more creative method, such as wrapping the boxes in wrapping paper so that they’re easy to spot. You could also tie a red ribbon around them, attach a Christmas tag or purchase colored bins. The goal is simply to make them easy to find when next year rolls around.

3. Set aside the decorations that are most important.

If you find yourself short on time or energy next year due to circumstances beyond your control, which decorations do you want to be able to get to quickly and easily so that you can still enjoy a simple Christmas? Pack these separately in a marked box so that we know right where they are.

4. Consider keeping a written or picture inventory.

Keeping a written or picture inventory of all of your belongings — not just your Christmas decorations — is a good idea  While none of us like to think about the worst-case scenario, if you need to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance due to a fire or burglary, having a detailed inventory will make your life so much easier and also ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

How detailed your inventory is will depend on your needs and desires. Some people may find that simply listing everything or taking pictures and saving them in a secure place is enough. Or you may keep a more detailed list that shows exactly which decorations are in each individual box to make unpacking (and repacking!) easier.

Throughout this week, we’ll be looking at the different methods for organizing and storing Christmas decorations. I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite tips as well as some great ones from around the blogosphere so that you can pick and choose and get started organizing your way!