Day #1: Holiday Un-Decorating & De-Cluttering (Christmas Organization)

Happy New Year!!!  Are you ready to get 2012 kicked off cleaned up and organized!?  Well you are in luck because today begins our 14 Days to get Clean & get Organized Challenge!  I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and I can’t wait to see all your transformations throughout the next few weeks!

Christmas has come and gone.  The presents have been unwrapped, the new year has come, and it’s time to take down all of the Christmas decorations!  Well, that’s what we are going to do today for Day #1 of our 14 day challenge! A little christmas organization!

I’m always sad to see the twinkle lights and snowflakes get packed away but when I’m done it always feels good to have everything organized and put away for next Christmas.

First things first, the decorations need to be put away.  If you still have all your Christmas decorations stored in old, rickety boxes, then this is the year to upgrade.  Target, Wal*Mart and other stores always have their plastic bins on sale this time of year.  Go splurge and buy yourself a couple.  I got 2 last year for under $15!  I also found some on clearance this summer, 3 for $10!!!  Woo-hoo!
Here are a few tricks for packing away your ornaments and other decorations:
#1 For large, glass ornaments I always save the boxes they come in to use for future storage purposes.  If it’s too late, and you’ve already thrown them out, you can use my friend Becky’s idea and store them in apple containers.
#2 For smaller, glass ornaments store them in egg cartons.  They are the perfect size and they are thick enough to protect ornaments.
#3 Pack larger, flat ornaments in your stockings.  You will already be packing your stockings so you might as well put them to use!  Tuck ornaments into the stocking and then fold it over to protect each one.  I can fit 5 large snowflakes in each of my stockings, which means I can pack 15 total!

 

#4 For taller items, like my water-less snow globes, or Nutcrackers, pack them in wine boxes.  You can pick up wine boxes at most grocery stores.  They are great for storing large, taller items because the cardboard is thick and will protect your decorations.  Plus they are box-ie and will fit nicely into your storage bins.
#5 I always laugh when I think about the episode of Friends where Monica saves all the wrapping paper to re-use it.  She was a little extreme {ironing all the wrinkles out} but saving the large pieces of wrapping paper is not such a bad idea.  Instead of packing your decorations in newspaper or tissue paper, why not use left over wrapping paper.  Most wrapping papers are thicker and sturdier then newspaper & tissue paper; and they won’t leave black grime on them like newspaper does!  Plus you’ve already bought it so it’s free!
Now here are a few tips for packing the bins:
#1 Start by packing large, box-ie items at the bottom of the bins.  Think of it like a puzzle.  Piece as many boxes, egg cartons, etc. as you can in the bottom of the bin and then continue to add layers.
#2 When you get to the top of the bin fill in all the extra spaces with garland, small artificial trees, etc.  These items are easy to bend and wiggle into unused spaces.
#3 Put the lid on the bin and then make sure to mark the sides of the bin clearly with a label.  This will make it easier to know exactly what’s in there when it comes to decorating for Christmas next year!
The next step in the un-decorating process is to clean.  Before getting out the next season’s decorations take an hour, or two, and do a major clean.  Take this opportunity, of having nothing on the shelves, mantle, tables, counters, etc. to dust, vacuum, mop and wipe down everything.  It always feels good to start the new year with a clean slate!
Now it’s time to do a little de-cluttering, I call this “Out with the old, in with the new.”  Christmas is a time where we all get new things.  Unless you get a bigger house every year {which I doubt is the case} then it’s time to get rid of a few things.  My daughter always gets tons of stuff for Christmas so I go through all of her toys and box up the things she doesn’t play with anymore.  My daughter is only 2, but if your kids are older then get them involved.  Have them go through their old toys and decide which ones they want to donate.  The fewer toys they have the less messy your house will be!  Same goes for you to!  Did you get 3 new sweaters for Christmas?  If so you might want to consider getting rid of the other 2 or 3 sweaters that you hardly wear anymore.  Make space in your closet for your new clothes, they deserve to be loved too!
Congratulations, you have completed Day #1 of the 14 day Challenge!  Come back tomorrow for Tips on Dusting and a giveaway!!!
You can find the full list of the 14 Day Challenge HERE!
About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. 1

    I usually take the end of the rolls of wrapping paper, wind them tightly (twist from inside the paper to tighten its spiral), and put them inside the cardboard they were wound around. This way the cardboard keeps the paper clean and undamaged for next year.