Get Organized: Post-Christmas Tear Down
That is the most boring title I have ever, ever come up with. But it gets straight to the point. What’s the best way to tear down all that Christmas cheer? How can I make my life easier by making this dreaded task easier?
It never fails, every year comes the dreaded post-Christmas clean-up. Many years went by once we had kids that I didn’t even do any decorating for Christmas. I was way too tired to even care, so whatever lights and bulbs made it on the tree were there from my husband’s effort.
Now that my kids are a bit older and able to participate, and I’ve acclimated to operating while fatigued, I’ve gotten more motivated to provide a festive atmosphere for the kids once the holidays roll around. We usually spend a good part of the weekend following Thanksgiving transitioning our house into full-blown Christmas mode. That means by the time Christmas has come and gone, I am very ready to pack it all away and say goodbye to falling tree needles, errant glitter, wrapping paper and the constant twinkling of lights.
I have found that the more organized my storage options are, the easier and quicker it all goes. Here are some tips to help ease some of the pain out of this task, for those that do NOT get excited to put it all away:
Keep the packaging - Clearly there has to be some forethought with this one, but whenever you bring new decorating items home for the season, if the packaging is easy to use and convenient, consider keeping it to store the item(s) in once Christmas is over. This is particularly true of things like figurines and collector sets like Dickens Village. We have this Willow Tree Nativity, and I just love it. I kept most of the original packaging, which as been great in helping to keep our pieces in great shape.
Smart bulb storage - Growing up, our bulb storage was something to behold. A ginormous box that was a haphazard mass of old, wrinkled and reused wrapping paper surrounding all the fragile ornaments. It was a total mess. Hard to find bulbs without accidentally breaking something, and very time-consuming to re-wrap everything individually once it was time to pack up. Buy a storage bin specifically for all your bulbs. Packing them up will be a BREEZE. I use this one from Target and it is my favorite. We also have this one from Target, which is great for all the really small ornaments, and I also keep our extra ornament hooks in one of the slots. If you don’t want to buy something special and you’re handy, check out Pinterest for some great DIY ideas on putting your own together. This tutorial creates the same concept as the Target storage boxes linked above using cardboard you may have around the house.
Smart light storage - Same concept as above. Nothing is more frustrating than pulling a tangled mass of lights out of a box and then attempting to untangle the mass with your patience and sanity still intact. Pack away those lights with intention. We use these boxes for most of our lights, but I also made up my own similar system utilizing unused segments from a wire storage cube set, and keep them in a big plastic tote. You really just need something sturdy to wrap the lights around. You could even use cardboard! Get creative if you don’t want to spend the money on storage, but be sure to be thoughtful when putting them away. I even plug the lights in after wrapping them up for storage to make sure they still work. Manhandling lights seems to end up wrecking them over time, so I’m always checking on their working status. DO NOT KEEP LIGHTS THAT DON’T WORK. Throw them in the trash immediately. Also, TEST THE LIGHTS BEFORE PUTTING THEM UP. I feel it necessary to add that little tip as my brother recently pulled a Clark Griswold and put lights on his house before plugging them in and realizing they were all broken. True story. Don’t let that happen to you.
Smart wreath storage - Is this getting redundant? I promise, this is not a sponsored post for any storage solution brand, but if you have invested in some nice wreaths you want to reuse every year, consider something made specifically for this shape. I put mine in a giant box, and they sort of flop around in there and it takes up lots of space. It’s only a matter of time before I get a couple of these special bins to store them in.
Plan the tear down - Instead of spending the two weeks following Christmas with this nagging task looming over your head, putting it off day after day, put it down on the calendar. Better yet, if you happen to use a maid service or cleaning crew that is regularly scheduled to clean your house, spend the day before their arrival packing everything away. If you have a real tree, it usually leaves a very real mess afterward. Save yourself from having to sweep and vacuum up the mess and your tear down will be all the more pleasant!
This is what Target looks like after Christmas immediately when you enter. If you don't have appropriate storage for your beloved decor items, high tail it over after Christmas to shop this sale if you just can't handle the thought of blowing money on storage. A couple $4 bins may just be all you need!