ORGANIZING CHRISTMAS… and more

Taking down Christmas decorations and putting them away can be quite a chore! I knew there had to be a better way of storing and organizing Christmas… I was throwing all the decor in big plastic bins and it was getting so out of control!
I used to keep a list of what was in each mammoth bin… but that got so overwhelming. And digging through each huge bin to find the few things I wanted was such a waste of time… and made a mess!
This year I am putting away and organizing smarter… here’s how…

First… I am getting rid of most of my big bins!
They are just too big and bulky and  full to make finding things easy! That being said, a few things just fit into those bins better.. so I’m only using them when I absolutely necessary.
The smarter thing, for me, are smaller, see-through bins.  Most of my Christmas decor are smaller elements, so they fit better in smaller bins.
I separated like things into boxes, I’ve been collecting boxes as they go on sale…

I’m sorting and editing EVERYTHING!
The next step was to label each of my boxes.
I labeled each box that hold Christmas decor CHRISTMAS and then assigned the box a number.
Then under the main label I wrote a general description of what was in the contents of the box.

They will go down to the basement and be organized on metal shelves… I’ll post about this later!
Having that done… I needed an easy system to keep track of all the Christmas decor…
So here is what I came up with…
I took a picture of each box, trying to get a good view of the content in it…and labeled each picture with the name of the box, and the content…
Then I put them all in a file in my computer labeled Organization/Christmas.
Now I have a complete visual inventory of my Christmas decor in one easy to access place!
As I add to or edit the boxes I can take a new picture, edit the description and put it in the Organization/Christmas file.
I don’t have to run up and down the stairs to search through big bulky bins!
I can even take my ipad to the basement with me and search for what I want before I even get into the boxes!
Another great bonus is I can search my inventory on my computer when I am looking for element to use as a tablescape or for any other decorating without searching through big bins! HURRAH!
It will also be easier to put things away too! I have a basket designated for collecting things that go to the basement… all I have to do is look up their home on my ipad or computer and I can easily put them away!!!
As I organize my basement this year (one of my New Year’s resolutions) I will convert all my bins to smaller, see-through boxes. I’m making a very big effort to PUT AWAY… GIVE AWAY … AND THROW AWAY every last thing in my basement and garage! 
I’ll keep you posted on my progress and how this system works. This may be a little too intense for some of you, but I need a system that gives me an easy way to find things almost effortlessly, so I don’t mind a little extra work and expense on the front end to keep my life in order! There are few things that can frustrate me more than not being able to recall where things are… and the time wasted in searching for them!  Hopefully, this system will help!
I’d love to hear your best organizing tips!!!
Remember TUTORIAL TIPS AND TIDBITS is here tonight at 8:00 pm.
I hope you will join me!!!

Comments

  1. says

    Yvonne, that is so smart! My Christmas is all packed up for this year, but I will be implementing your system next time for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Great minds think alike! I just began converting blue rubbermaid tubs to transparent/clear rubbermaid tubs in various sizes to organize my craft room! I hate not being able to find crafting scissors…ribbon…scrapbook paper…rubber stamps, etc. AND purchasing duplicate b/c I couldn’t find something in a deep box! Smart thing to do with Christmas decor as well!

  3. says

    Hi Yvonne, Loved reading this post. I’m a big bin person, but would love a basement to organize such stuff. One further thing I do is take pictures of how I’ve decorated to help give me a jump start in decorating next year. Not that I don’t make changes but life is challenging and I forget from year to year! I print the main pictures on one piece of paper and put that in the storage box o I can find it. I’ll also write a note or two to remind me of something I wanted to remember about the decorations! I probably didn’t need these steps twenty years ago!! Happy New Year!

  4. says

    Oh Yvonne you are preaching to the choir, today is take down day and I am dreading the task. I have most of my tree decorations in small bins but the garlands etc. have to be in big bins. I love the numbering system and plan on using that too. I just wish I had some busy little elves to help me out. Onto the task at hand,
    Happy Tuesday,
    Kathysue

  5. says

    Today is my put away and get ready for next year day, too. I have tried the large tubs and decided to use smaller, clear, and lighter weight containers. The extra information that your readers have sent my way will certainly help. My sister in law gave me a great container that holds my ornaments last year. It made setting up this year easier and the putting away, also.

  6. says

    I love this type of organization-I find it also helps not only in sewing areas but also in my office for extra supplies to prevent buying new and finding the old usually within a day of purchasing new-LOL

  7. says

    This is something I am considering too. My only problem is categorising! I get in a proper kerfufle, especially if something fits multiple categories! Clear bins are such a boon though!

    Happy New Year!
    Deborah C♥

  8. says

    Excellent. Hubby needs to see this. I haven’t decided when our tree will come down. Ours went up late (Dec 21) because my mother has been dying. I didn’t have the energy while sitting with her all day and coming home only to sleep and bathe. Daughter #1 decorated when she was off for the holidays. Mother died on the 28th and the funeral was the 31st. I slept all day yesterday, so today is the first full day that I have been able to enjoy all the beautiful decorations. Our sunroom (w/the tree) looks like a winter wonderland with many of my snowmen sitting about the tree, plants and furniture. Delightful.
    Beckie

    • says

      We used to put our tree up late because we are musicians and are often very busy during December. There were many years that the tree didn’t come down until Valentine’s Day because we enjoyed it so much during cold winter days and nights. Remember that there are no Christmas police and you can keep your tree up as long as you want to, especially if it gives you solace in your time of grief. I’ve been there too…

    • says

      Thank you. I finally got the virus that has plagued my sister’s family for the past week, but glad to have avoided four the family. I like your thinking. I do find a warm feeling while seeing the decorations.
      Beckie

  9. says

    Utterly envious of this level of thought and organization. I read this post after my kiddo and I dragged 9 boxes of unorganized Christmas items upstairs:} big hugs, olive

  10. says

    I been sorting my Christmas decos like what you have now but not in a see-through boxes. This will be implemented at D´Box soonest §:-)

    I kept away my Christmas decos, right after Christmas day. Good, that we don’t have the real Christmas tree inside this year, as I am getting allergic into it and hubby had astma. It getting worser when the real Christmas tree, big or small.

    Thanks for sharing your great tips. We been checking your posts every week :-) specially hubby.

    Hope you had a great New Year.

    Greetings,
    /CC girl

  11. says

    Hey chickadee!!
    Okay I have to admit I am putting off taking down christmas decor simply for the reason I hate putting it up and trying to squeeze everything into totes! I am going to give this a go! Thanks for the little nudge! Haha

    Toodles
    Sarah

  12. says

    i’m no where near that organized but i have been using clear bins as they are so much easier to tell what’s in them….i also use color coded bins (orange for fall/halloween; pink or lavender for easter, etc) and clear for christmas. i also made up index cards and taped them inside the bins on all 4 sides so we could easily tell what’s in them. the only problem is i only started doing this last year and there are still too many bins unlabeled or not clear so we have to look through all of those as well. i know i have way too many decorations and need to go through all of them to pare down…hubby hates taking stuff down from the attic and it’s hard for me to get all of them down at one time to go through but that’s what i’ll have to do…eventually.

    happy new year….looking forward to seeing your posts in 2013!

  13. says

    Great tips! I was planning on doing something like this but while I was grocery shopping my daughter asked if she could pack up a few things and I told her to go for it! By the time I got home, she had packed up everything except the tree. It may not be organized the way I wanted it but it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it for another year!!!

  14. says

    Yvonne,
    I did that very same thing with one exception!
    I still use the card catalog method.
    Former librarian before technology!!!
    My tubs are on the shelves.
    Today as I put together a tablescape,
    I just opened up three boxes and was done in a flash!
    Life simplified!!!
    I’ll be posted something else this evening
    for Tutorials Tips and Tidbits!!!
    See you then!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

  15. says

    I’ve got to do some big purging before I put things away this year. I love your idea of smaller bins Yvonne, mine are so big I can’t lift them anymore. Thanks for the great inspiration.

  16. says

    Wow – I am in awe of your organization. I do store in clear plastic boxes – but all of them are mixed up Christmas and I have to go through all of them to find anything. I think your idea of smaller boxes is certainly the way to go. Great ideas!

  17. says

    fabulous ideas! My hubby and I just took down huge, non-clear totes filled to the brim. Wish I had read your post first lol. Ah well, next year =)

  18. says

    I do something like this for all season. For Christmas,I label my boxes by rooms. So if I am ready to decorate the kitchen, I pull out the kitchen box. Other seasons are just labeled whatever season. I think I should own stock in Rubbermade or Sterilite.

  19. says

    Great idea Yvonne, but I don’t think I’d make it through all of my decorations! Way too many boxes. But you do have me spurred on to take some photos of my boxes as I put them away.

    Happy New Year.

    - The Tablescaper

  20. says

    Great!!! Smaller containers will be a lot easier to get in the attic. Since I am the one to climb the ladder. Now if I can a purge and get rid of LOTS of things.

    Cathy’s Cupboard Calamity

  21. says

    Now that we are moved into our “forever” house, I have the decorations sorted in boxes by the room they go into. That makes it easier to do one room at a time. This doesn’t mean that I don’t move things around. I also take photos of the rooms once they are decorated for the holidays so I can remember what I did in previous years that I liked.

  22. says

    I am savinng this for when I get back from Fl. to refer to when I am putting all my stuff away. I do basically the same thing and label the outside of each bin but don’t have it all on the computer!!! And, I don’t have an IPAD, which I wish I did!!!! I am going to save for one. Right now I have 4 large bins just for the balls on my Christmas tree!!!! I will post abput my basement too, soon. We bought GREAT shelves at Lowes, call me if you want to get them. They are fabulous and I can tell you what to get. I am getting 3 more, we have bought about 15 so far!!!!!!!!!! XOXO

  23. says

    Thanks Yvonne, I KNEW you’d have a well thought out plan, and you certainly got my attention with the visual inventory. That is brilliant! It can be so frustrating searching and searching or WORSE forgetting some of last years purchases. I can see how wonderful it will be to find something quickly for a tablescape too. I hope to SEMI accomplish a similar system, with a visual inventory on my computer. Too fabulous!Thank you so much!
    Jenna

  24. says

    Awesome! Luv it. I will use ur tips as I finish my craftroom clutter and move on to putting up Christmas. Us Texas gals don’t have stairs going down..ours go up into firey attic space.

  25. says

    Brilliant! Nothing better than organizing Christmas, it insures a stress free time of decorating next November!
    Your wonderful ideas take organizing up a notch- I use shoe boxes with labels inside of those big tubs, but next year I’ll follow your lead and get clear plastic boxes to replace the shoe boxes!!!
    Thanks Bunches~
    xo
    Robin

  26. says

    I use see-thru clear containers for most of my basement storage. I am a visiual person so being able to find my dishes, xmas etc is best for me. It does work…However, you have taken this to another level by photographing and putting on your computer. I love this idea…it’s ingenious! I am going to do this and see how it works on my notebook…I don’t have an Ipad…I need to get my tech skills up-to-date…

  27. says

    Great post and great ideas!!! A little too intensive for me. This is what I have done…..also using smaller see through containers, but still have the large see throughs for all the ornies. I have 2 shelf units in the basement that are just for Christmas, everything in one spot!!! And I continue to purge every time I pack and unpack. Spring and Summer are on another shelf unit, and Fall on another unit. That keeps me organized and I don’t have to search though boxes, don’t need photos of it all as I can see through the containers. The important thing for me is having like items corralled in one spot. Now, if my kids would come and get their stuff out of here my basement would be perfect!!!

  28. says

    Good post! We are putting up maybe this weekend. We have had company off and on the entire time and loved every minute of it. I changed things up this year and did not use every thing. Jim puts it all away in clear bins big and large. Tossing worn out and non sentimental decorations happens for us before and after. I think we finally have our intercontinental homes merged well; it just took us 3 years after our return to Lancaster!

  29. says

    I just love those clear bins.I also started to organize my Christmas decoration this year. As I get older it makes life a little easier on the brain to be able to see what is in the bins. I strted using the clear bins for all of my fabrics and trims. I sort the fabrics by color and texture. I only wish I had a basement to store everything in.

  30. says

    Wish you lived nearby and I could hire you to do this for me….only, I don’t have a basement. I do store my decorations for other holidays in those types of boxes but haven’t weeded my Christmas decorations down enough, still have large items that need the big box….I did decorate less this year so perhaps next year, if I’m wanting to do less again, I get rid of some of the bigger items.
    Blessings,
    Mama Bear

  31. says

    I am taking lessons from you! Wow, you do a fantastic job organizing the Christmas decor. I always start off doing so great, and before I know it, I’m just stuffing it back in the containers. :) I just pinned this on both of my accounts!

    Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent this week. I am so happy to have you share, and I am featuring this great post.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Kathy

  32. says

    I have an obsession for those particular bins- I buy them whenever they go on sale, and I never seem to have enough of them! I’m still using the giant bins for Christmas, but this year I did consolidate all of the sentimental stuff that I don’t actually use into one bin so that I don’t have to rifle through it next year. That’s pretty organized for me!

  33. says

    I wish I had a basement for organizing all my seasonal items and there certainly isn’t room in the garage. All my seasonal decor must go into the attic. Since it is difficult for me to get them up and down on my own I have color coordinated the boxes. Red and Green for Christmas with labels that say which room the deor is used in; living room, guest bath, etc… Orange for Fall and Halloween, Blue for Spring and Easter, you get the idea. That way I can ask one of my boys to go into the attic and I just tell them what color boxes I need. It makes them helping me much easier. Love your idea of smaller boxes, since they are getting older and going to college I will have to start getting my own boxes, guess I start collecting smaller containers
    :)

  34. says

    Yvonne
    Your organazation skills are quite clever. Mine being lucky I got them in bins but you are right, the clear smaller ones would be much better. I wont have to wait for help to get the top bins down. Thank You

  35. Anonymous says

    How great to be so organized! I like what you are doing. We use the dark deep bins (what we had) and divide them into colorways/seasons. I have a red bin, two white, one gold and silver and a blue one. All corresponding colored ornaments go into the bins, as I decorate my trees by color. I decorate for 3 seasons: Winter, Summer and Fall. All in all, I am lucky I have an upstairs closet that holds the bins, but it could look better. Thanks for those great tips! Your home is an inspiration to me and your words, as well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *