Starting Off Fresh – 5 Tips for getting organized after the holidays
It’s that time of year again – that is, that time of new year – when we put the holiday season behind us, make resolutions for the months ahead and start off fresh. Of course, first things first, we all have the ‘fun’ task of putting away all the holiday decorations and getting re-organized.
Between tangled lights, getting glitter everywhere, and handling fragile ornaments, putting away all the holiday decorations isn’t exactly the most exciting task, but it’s a necessary one. After all, no one wants to be that neighbor who still has their Christmas lights up in February, right!?
If you’re putting off putting away all your decorations, whether you just don’t want the holidays to end or you’re overwhelmed by the task ahead, here are 5 tips to get you started and to make the process a bit easier.
1. Discard unwanted decorations
Before you start putting away your decorations, first ask yourself if you really love all of them. If the answer is no, then this is a great opportunity to purge, donate and/or discard any unwanted or un/rarely-used items.
What better way to start off the new year than by giving to people in need!? Of course, this applies to all categories! It makes me genuinely happy knowing someone will enjoy and get use out of my things, so I like to use the new year as an opportunity to donate not just unwanted holiday decorations, but also clothing, shoes and other items from around the house that I no longer need or want.
A general rule of thumb is to not keep items that don’t bring you joy or that you don’t like. And do this quilt free! One quote I like to keep in mind is “the secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” (Socrates) The feeling you get from helping someone and ridding yourself of clutter is far more rewarding than holding on to something “just because.”
2. Get Creative with your storage solutions.
Holiday decorations are beautiful when they’re on display, but can often create a glittery, tangled mess when put in storage. Thankfully, there are some simple, affordable storage hacks you can use to pack items away safely and efficiently.
I recently helped a client get organized and put away all her Christmas Decorations, and while the items I used where from The Container Store, there are resources available no matter your budget. In fact, one such resource can even be found in your kitchen!
Empty paper towel rolls are a nifty tool for putting away your Christmas lights. You can wrap your shorter length lights (mantle) around the empty paper towel roll, then cut a 1” slice on both ends and tuck each end of the wire on either side. This will help prevent any tangles.
For ornaments, I recommend storing your smaller ones in an empty egg carton and your larger ornaments in ‘ornament organizers’, or simply store them in plastic drinking cups, take out containers, or muffin containers! Get creative with it!
3. Take Photographs
While the next year’s holiday season might seem ages away, we know all too well how quickly a year can go by. It will be time to break out the holiday decorations again before we know it, and one mistake we often make when putting things is storage is overestimating our long-term memories.
To avoid any confusion or unnecessary digging around through storage bins next year, I recommend taking a photo of your items as they’re organized in their bin/box/bag, so you know how to restock them in each storage vessel.
I also recommend taking photos of the decorations as they are displayed. Print out the photo & put it into your storage container so you don’t have to struggle to remember how it was set up last year!
4. Don’t forget to label
Any time you’re putting something into storage, I recommend labeling. It’s a quick, easy step that will save you lots of time and frustration down the road.
Speaking of prepping for next year, while you’re labeling and documenting, take a moment to update addresses from this year’s Christmas cards. Believe me, you’ll be thanking yourself later!
5. Involve the family
The holidays are a special time that can bring the family together, but frankly, it can also be an exhausting time, especially if you’re the one responsible for all the shopping, decorating, sending out the holiday cards, cooking, entertaining, etc.! Many of us bare the tiring, albeit rewarding burden of making the holidays a magical time for our families, but that doesn’t mean you have to take on the burden of cleaning up after all the magic.
Make getting organized after the holidays a family affair. Get everyone involved and assign age-appropriate jobs to children. This not only takes some of the weight off your shoulders, but it also helps everyone get back into a productive mindset and form healthy habits for the new year.
Lastly, when you’re thinking how time-consuming, mundane, and boring this task is, take a moment and pause; be grateful and thankful for the holiday you spent with your family. I’m sure there were laughs and big smiles you can look back on to help make the process a bit easier.
Still not ready to tackle the post-holiday organization spree? The good news is you don’t need to do it alone! If you need an extra hand getting organized after the holidays, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. Organize With Lisa are experts in helping you live happier, healthier, clutter-free lives.