Where Do I Put All This Stuff? 6 Tips to (Easily) Pack Away the Holidays ...
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
So ... the holidays are over .... and you are thinking "Where am I going to put ALL THIS STUFF?!".
Before we go any further, I am in this exact same boat. I look around in dismay, and wonder where my Christmas tree(s) and all these ornaments, reindeer and gift boxes will go. I actually find myself here every year. Come January, I throw things in random plastic bins, and use a whole bunch of Home Goods and Target bags for things that won't fit in the bins. My ornaments are mixed in with my faux greenery and there is some random ribbon strewn into the mix. I just want to throw it all in there, and not look at it again until next December (maybe November, or maybe even October. Let's be honest, we are decorating earlier and earlier every year).
This year, I decided I would do it differently. Come next December (ahem, October/ November), I don't want to struggle to figure out where everything is. I want an easy system that I can use each year. I'm not trying to be an organizing ninja, but I want to do things orderly enough that eliminates the mayhem and confusion next holiday season. After messing up every single year, I'm sharing what I've learned.
Below are 6 easy tips that will help you pack away the holidays. Here is what you will need:
1) plastic bins of large and small sizes. The stackable kind are the best.
2) ziplock bags of various sizes (these are your best friend)
3) plastic bags (the Home Goods and Target kind are great)
4) packing paper
5) masking/painters tape and a sharpie (for labeling)
Let's get started:
1) Scan your holiday rooms. Before you take anything down, take a look at the decor you currently have up, and think back to when you were putting it up. If you made a note to yourself that you wanted to get rid of something, or that this was the last year you were going to use something, label these in your mind, or add a post it note to these items. When you take these down (step 2), these will go into a pile called "throw/maybe I'll donate this". Similarly, make a mental or actual post it note of the things you absolutely love and will use year after year. These will go into the "keep/I will never get rid of this" pile
2) Take things down. You can do this in whichever order you like. I prefer to take things down room by room. In each room, group your items into categories. The motto here is "like with like". Make "garland", "picks", "ornaments", "ribbon" and "knick knack" piles that you are going to keep and one large "I'm pitching this" pile on the floor. This is absolutely key and will help you with step 3.
3) Once you have taken everything down (or if you are taking a break), start putting things away. Again, "like with like". For large items like faux greenery and medium/large sized ornaments, use bins. You can choose to color coordinate your ornaments, but this is a step I usually forgo. I like to mix and match color combinations to come up with new ideas for my holiday decor each year, so I eliminate this step. If your ornaments are breakable, you may want to put them in bins with grids or wrap them in packing paper for safe keep. For super glittery pieces that make a mess like your picks, group them together into subcategories of "gold", "silver", "champagne" or "red berry", wrap them in packing paper and put them into large plastic bags. Wrapping these will protect the picks from getting bent out of shape and won't leave a trail of sparkle dust all over your house. Once wrapped, these can go into a bin labelled "picks". For smaller items like miniature ornaments, use ziplock bags.
I like to save my ribbon each year by smoothing them out and placing them in small ziplock bags. I also save all of my ornament hooks and command hooks by organizing them into small ziplock bags. This saves me from having to buy them every year, especially if they are still in good condition. As your bins get full, label them with what's inside, and put them in the I'm done corner. Plan to group all your full ziplock bags and place them all into a small bin called "ornaments", "ribbon" or "hanging stuff". Similarly, take all your larger items, like reindeer/Santa figurines/holiday houses or wreaths and put them into a bin called "figurines" or "wreaths".
When it comes to labelling, I am pretty detailed. I will write things like, "gold garland" or "metallic reindeer". Organizing your holiday decor by item will allow you to easily locate where things are and will make decorating for the holidays next time around much easier too.
4) Now for that "throw" pile. Sort through this pile. Really think about whether these items are in good shape, if you can re-purpose these for other seasons or if you want to use them again for the next holiday season. If you find yourself frowning at these pieces or giving them a dirty look, chances are you won't use them again. In that case, I suggest bagging these items and donating them to your local Salvation Army, Goodwill or Value Village. Holding onto these items will only: a) take up space, b) take up time next year as you go through the decision making process again as to whether you need it or not and c) add to the holiday frenzy and confusion when decorating.
5) What do I do with the new decor I bought during "after Christmas sales"? If you are like me, you love a good sale. I actually purchase 90% of my seasonal decor after a season is over, because I LOVE to save money. I usually don't open and put this decor out until the following season, so it goes into a bin I label as "new decor". This is the one bin where I don't mind mixing items.
6) What if I use my holiday decor during other times of the year? I love to use non-holiday decor as part of my holiday decor, because a) it saves me money and b) because it saves on space. Before I pack all of the holiday away, I take out my staple pieces (eucalyptus or floral stems, versatile vase, all season throw) and put them into a bin that is easy to reach. This way, I don't have to dig through my holiday decor and don't have to unpack anything that has already been organized.
And there you have it! 6 easy steps to organizing and packing the holidays away. If you find these helpful or have other ideas to share, I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below, tag me in your Instagram photo using #thisissimplicite or email me.
With much love,