The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Everybody loves decorating for the holidays. Getting your home decked out with twinkling lights and beautiful greenery is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. The only thing that can dampen that mood? All the work involved in getting those decorations out and putting them away after the first of the year. Fortunately, a little organization now will pay big dividends of holiday cheer for years to come.
Easy Ways to Store Seasonal Decor
The best place to start with any organizing project is doing a good, honest inventory. If there are items you haven’t used in years or that don’t work (and we all have lights that fit into this category!), get rid of it. Recycle, donate, or dispose of them right away so that they’re not in the way of all the other work you’ll be doing.
The next thing to think about is where to store things. The attic and basement are fine, but your decor can be in the way of other things you’ll use more often. By the time Christmas is back on the horizon, you’ll have other things in the way that will make it a real nightmare to get your decorations out.
A great solution is a thor-w. It can be brought to your home when you’re ready to decorate, then taken offsite when everything has been hung by the chimney with care. Reverse the process at the first of the year to get everything neatly store out of the way and securely.
The Best Time to Get Things Out
This topic wades into one of the biggest debates on social media these days: How early is too early to decorate? Your answer to that question will help determine when you need to schedule your decorating. If you love to throw out the last Halloween candy then tear into the tinsel, aim for early November. If you insist on finishing the last turkey leftovers before inviting Saint Nick into your home, you might choose Thanksgiving weekend.
Of course, two other factors are in play here. The first is the availability of your family to work. If you have kids in college, they might only be available Thanksgiving weekend. You may have season football tickets to consider or other commitments. The other big variable is weather. Nobody wants to hang Christmas lights from the gutters while standing on an icy ladder. Allow enough time to get your outdoor work done before snow is likely in your part of the country. Having enough help and the right weather are key to scheduling your decorating work. Along with that, the end of daylight-saving time will hack one hour of available work time off of your evenings.
Keeping Decorating Stress-Free
Once you have your decorations inventoried, your schedule clear, and your staff of family elves ready, make sure you plan your decorating work. Don’t get excited and put the cart before the horse (or the sleigh before the reindeer). If it’s electrical, plug it in before you even think about where you’ll put it. Make sure it works correctly and check the bulb type so that you can maintain a list of what you’ll need to buy if something burns out.
Then do a “dry fit” of your decorations. Tradespeople use the term “dry fit” to refer to placing everything where it goes without using glue or fasteners to make sure it will all look the way it’s supposed to look. Do the same with your decor. Lay everything out on the floor where you plan to use it so that you can be sure it all fits where you think it will fit. A great way to dry-fit things is to look back at last year’s photos on your camera roll or social media to determine if you’ve been putting the animated penguins on your mantle or the Rudolph portrait by your nine-year-old. The point: Try it before you hang it.
Whether you go with bright and flashy or classic and subdued, your decorations take up a lot of space and work. Creating a system for getting them organized one time will make it easy for every holiday season to come!