Friday, December 7, 2018

12 Days of Christmas - 9 Ways to Organize the Holidays

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I love organizing, well, everything, but holidays in particular.  You should have seen me packing up Halloween, everything is in labeled matching boxes and packed by room, to make set up next year a breeze.  I have a similar system for Christmas, but on a smaller scale since we just don't have as much.  Here's what I swear by:

1. Ornament Box I love our ornament box.  It has dividers to make a separate compartment for each ornament, which is perfect since so many are breakable.  It's also hard-sided so it keeps everything safe.  I cannot tell you how much I love not having to keep original boxes for each individual ornament or having to wrap everything in tissue paper and stack them all together.

2. Gift Wrap Storage.  I like to buy one type of neutral wrapping paper and use that for every event.  Right now, I'm on white.  Plain white paper.  But since I use it all year, I need someplace to store it.  This is true even if you use Christmas specific wrap.  You're bound to have some leftover, along with ribbons, bags, and gift tags.  My mom uses a long, clear bin for these things.  I prefer this zip up bag, because it's smaller for me to tuck away into a corner in the closet.

3. Lists and/or Planners.  It's hard to keep everything organized without some sort of calendar, list, or planner.  Or all three.  Particularly if you host or travel, there's a lot of moving parts.  I recommend searching Pinterest for Christmas planners, because there are a ton of free options you can print out to keep track of things like what you need to cook for Christmas dinner or how many gifts you've already purchased and hidden around the house.

4. Clear Bins.  Clear storage bins with lids are always the best no matter what you're storing.  You can see exactly what's inside them without having to open them and rummage through everything, so you can bring out what you need when you need it.  It also helps to keep things neat.  There's just something about clear bins, even when they're packed out of sight - you take more care putting things into them neatly because you can see it from the outside.

5. Label Maker Whether the bins are clear or not, I still label everything.  This is especially helpful if you stack boxes or store things on shelves.  Labeling the outside will help you find what you're looking for right away.

6. Wrap Lights You cannot just chuck a string of lights into a box and expect that it'll come out just fine next year.  Don't do it.  Take the time to wrap them around something so you don't get broken bulbs and don't spend 2 hours untangling things next year.  They do make specific light storage options for this, but you could even take a simple piece of cardboard off an Amazon package and achieve the same result.

7. Tree Bag.  I prefer fake trees.  Real trees make me sick, it makes my allergies act up.  Plus they shed pine needles all over and then you just chuck them at the end of the season?  Seems wasteful.  Fake ones last forever, when you invest in a good one.  And that means you also have to store it properly.  If it didn't come with a storage bag when you bought it, you need one to pack it away in.  It makes it easy to store and transport, but it also keeps stuff off the tree, like water that might seep in or any bugs.

8. Wreath Box.  Same goes for the wreath.  I prefer fake.  They now make a ton of great storage options to keep it looking nice and not get crushed under the weight of your other decor.

9. Master Shopping List.  I would say this is one of the main ways I stay organized.  When I say shopping list, I mean a list of the things you need for 2019.  If you want to stay organized, you have to stay ahead of the game.  The best time to shop for Christmas supplies is after Christmas, so keep a running list of what you need so you can take advantage of the sales.  I also recommend doing the same with a gift list, because you can buy sweet Christmas pajamas or mugs on sale that will still be perfectly good for next's year's gifts.

What do you use to keep the holidays organized?  What's your biggest organizing hurdle this time of year?

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