Holiday Storage: Steps to keep your sanity

Have you already decorated for Christmas? Now is the time of year to get out the holiday decorations and gift wrap and prepare for what is hopefully a joyful season! 

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If you're like most of my clients, you have way more Christmas stuff than you need and actually use. Chances are, you have leftover Christmas gift wrap from years ago, maybe a second artificial tree that you haven't put up in years, and certainly enough Christmas ornaments to decorate multiple trees. Do all of your light strands work? If so, congratulations, you are the top 1% of human beings. For the rest of us, here are some tips to take stress out of the equation. Time to get organized for good.

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1. Take all of your holiday stuff out of storage. Hopefully it will all be stored in the same location, but if not, this is the year to make that change. Pull out all of it, yes, ALL OF IT, even the stuff you don’t plan on using this year.

2. Sort everything into categories (e.g. outdoor decorations, indoor decorations, lights, garland, ornaments, gift wrap, entertaining pieces, gifts you didn’t give last year, etc). 

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3. Decide what you’ll use this year and decorate. Hopefully it can be a family or group job so the loving ornamentation of your home is an experience that can be shared.

4. Come back to your categories and look at what remains. Why did you choose not to use it? Just like the KonMari Method, we're only going to keep what truly sparks joy, and discard the rest. Are those hooks a pain to use? Does that strand have lights that need to be replaced? Are there more pine needles missing than present? Can you honestly ever see yourself using it again? Do you only keep it because it was a gift? If so, accept the sentiment of the gift and let the object go if it’s not your taste. Consider donating your gently used decor items (ahem - not that tangled light strand!) to local non-profits. Christmas lights that don’t work can be recycled at austin resource recovery. Please don’t send them to the landfill.

5. When the season is over, and it comes time to store it away for next year, look at the items that you have and decide the best way and place to store them. Usually sorting items by material and shape is a good way to go. Cloth-like things should be folded, string-like things should be wrapped neatly around something and fastened so loose ends can’t get tangled. Delicate things like fragile ornaments should be wrapped in paper or stored in a box with dividers. Most likely once you get rid of what you don't need, you'll find you have plenty of storage if you reuse and repurpose what you have. 

That being said, in recent years retailers have caught on to their shoppers' desires to live more organized. These days, you can find very specific storage containers for all your storage needs, if that is your preference. Either way, investing time to organize your holiday items this year will make life easier and more joyful for years to come! 

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I hope this has been helpful. If you would like a consultation for holiday storage, don’t hesitate to reach out!