It’s 65 degrees here in central Virginia, so it seems crazy putting up holiday decorations, but that’s what I’m doing. I don’t have days to tackle this job, just little snippets of time between appointments and other tasks. Luckily, I have a few strategies that make decorating easier so that I am not swimming in boxes and bins for days at a time. If you have a busy family, you know what I am talking about!
I have packed my holiday bins so that everything I need to decorate just one area is all packed together in a single bin. This is different that organizing items by category which is much more typical. In Bin #1 I have everything I need to decorate my front entry: the greenery that goes around the door, the large balls and bows, the outdoor lights and the timer that turns them on from dusk to dawn. Other bins contain my indoor decor (including those lights), and tree ornaments. You might have bins for mantle decorations, trimming the stairs, or the dining room buffet. Each bin is numbered so that I can decorate in the order I prefer.
Just so you don’t think I’m a genius (which you will if you haven’t figured this out for yourself already) this system grew quite organically. Before I was married, I had just one box of decorations that covered my apartment and my tree. Once we were married, my husband and I started collecting ornaments from our travels. We grew from one box to two. One day I asked my husband to bring down a box of decorations from the attic, and when he asked “Which one?” I wrote a 1 and a 2 on the tops of the boxes – a system was born. I now have 5 bins but I have clients with many, many more who really enjoy this system.
One last hint. At the end of the holidays, you invariably discover that something didn’t make it back into the holiday bins before they were packed away: the elf on the shelf, the candles on the buffet. If your bins are too difficult to access (say the top shelf in the garage), you can designate just one area to be the collection point for items you forgot to pack or new items bought during the year. This could be the corner of a cabinet or a box in a closet. I say just one area because all too often that bag of wrapping paper bought on sale or the perfect gift found in June ends up stashed willy-nilly anywhere there is a space. If you need a reminder come next December to retrieve the items from their collection point, leave a note to yourself in Bin #1.
Happy Holidays! Peggy