TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “Undoing” Christmas is a lot less fun than decorating. But, taking time to organize your holiday decor now will make for a more pleasant decorating experience next holiday season. Professional organizer Sarah Doering of Simplicity Organizing Solutions provides this list of cost-effective organizing suggestions.
- Wrap lights around your forearm and secure them with a twist tie.
- Doering doesn’t recommend the Pinterest-popular cardboard-wrapping technique. “In Florida, the humidity is going to wilt the cardboard and it’s not going to be strong enough to help you be able to tightly wind your Christmas lights,” she said.
Artificial Christmas trees
- Doering recommends placing it back in to its original box. If you’re having trouble fitting it back in, invest in a couple of ratchet straps from your local hardware store and use them to cinch the tree until it’s small enough to comfortably fit back into the box.
- If you haven’t saved your box, use the cinching method, then wrap the tree in an old sheet before storing it in your garage or attic.
- Rather than tossing out a tree you don’t plan on using again, consider donating it.
- For trees with failing lights, consider cutting those sections of lights off (after unplugging the tree, of course), and adding a new strand of lights next year.
Ornaments and small decor
- Doering suggests categorizing ornaments and small decor by room.
- Wrap each item in a paper towel to keep them separated rather than investing in expensive ornament storage boxes.
- It’s not necessary to keep the original boxes for ornaments, unless they’re collectibles. Those boxes, explains Doering, take up space.
- Inexpensive containers for storing ornament hooks can be purchased at local dollar stores.
- Purchase inexpensive 18-gallon tubs and assign one tub per room.
- Labeling is key! Doering says label makers are great, but if you’re storing tubs in a garage, attic or outside shed, the stickers won’t hold up well in heat. She suggests using chalkboard stickers with a chalk ink pen (available on Amazon.com). Or, for the most cost-effective method, use good-old tape and a Sharpie.
- There’s no need to purchase wreath boxes!
- Extended wall hooks from a hardware store can easily hold two or three wreaths at a time.
- Those hooks can also be a useful way to store garland. Use the same wrapping technique mentioned for lights and loop the garland over the hooks.
- Utilize the upper portion of your garage and mount hooks as high as you can.
Other suggestions from Doering:
- For in-home storage, consider utilizing the space under beds or cabinets that are inconvenient to reach on a daily basis, such as the space above your refrigerator.
- If you have decorations you didn’t use this year, consider donating those items or throwing them away.