Last year, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, I was ready to get my Christmas on. But, when I pulled the old decorations down from the attic, I realized I desperately needed some new ones. No problem, I figured. I’d just run to the local craft and home decor superstore and stock up. But I should have known from the catastrophic appearance of the store that I was in trouble. Still unfazed, I asked the nearest associate where I could find more wreaths, ribbon, and a few strands of white lights.
She burst into laughter. Hooted, even. The sales associate was thoroughly entertained that I thought I could buy decor for a December holiday on the last weekend of November. I was two weeks too late—and a month too late if I wanted “the good stuff.” The moral of the story? It may seem early, but now is the time to inventory and organize your Christmas decorations. And we’ve got a good game plan for getting your holiday decor act together.
1. Bring it all out.
Yes, it’s a lot of work, but getting all your holiday decorations out of the closet or attic will allow you to take a solid inventory. Enlist a couple of strong kids or a handsome husband to do the heavy lifting. Do you have other areas to declutter? Don’t miss our Home Organization 101 Series.
2. Out with the old.
Remember your snowman holiday decor phase? That’s over. So why are you still wading through 42 snowman knick-knacks you’ll never use again? If you haven’t used a certain decoration in the last three years, odds are you’ll never use it again. Retire worn-out artificial greenery such as wreaths, garlands, and swags. Their synthetic needles lose their luster after several rounds of being used and packed away (especially if they’re packed carelessly, but more on that later). If that old mantle swag is losing green plastic every time it’s touched, thank it for its years of service and give it a proper burial.
Now that you’re down to the items you’ll actually use this year, separate them in a way that makes sense to you: ornaments in a container for ornaments, lights on spools, and tabletop display pieces in appropriate containers of their own. The right system will make it far easier to put things up on decoration day and far easier to pack them away after the holidays. As they say, a place for everything and everything in its place. Consider using storage containers designed for holiday items. It’s one more thing to purchase, but the right containers will protect your investment in decor and make what you have easier to access. Tip: you also can repurpose everyday items as smart storage containers.
5. Add pieces or purchase replacement pieces.
Now that your existing decor is decluttered, you know exactly which discarded pieces to replace and what new pieces to add to your collection. Hit the stores and purchase what you need. Make sure it’s “the good stuff.”
6. Label and store.
Clearly label all the containers before putting them back in the closet or attic. That way you’ll know exactly what to grab on decorating day. Use these printable labels to make your containers festive.
Do you decorate for Christmas before or after Thanksgiving? Why or why not?