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Here is ASSIGNMENT #2. (Need to catch up? See previous posts in this series HERE).

ASSIGNMENT #2: Decorations

It’s time to pack away Christmas decorations, so we might as well start by purging and organizing them while we do it!

1. Go to your house and get everything Christmas-related and one place. This includes ALL of your storage bins as well! EVERYTHING!

2. Make sure anything that needs to be washed before it’s put away, such as Christmas tablecloth, towels, etc.

3. Walk around the outside of your house and collect all Christmas decorations that are outside.

4. Collect your Christmas cards that you received from others wherever you might have displayed them and put them away in your scrapbooking pile to put in your scrapbook for later.

5. If you have Christmas related pictures that you display only at this time of the year – if you switch out seasonal pictures – be sure to collect those all in a stack as well.

(This is something new I’ve starting to do, because we have SO MANY pictures, and I was starting to feel like our house was being taken over! So, I’ve started to use up some of my collection of frames and fill them with specific seasonal shots (like you see here below) and only display them with that season. Now I don’t feel as guilty that I spent all that money getting a bajillion pictures AND I used up some of my leftover random frames!)

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6. Collect all your little breakables decorations that you might need to wrap before packing away all in one place.

7. When I am putting out my holiday decorations at the beginning of the season because of space I have to sometimes pack up my regular decorations to have room for it all. Now is time to pull off your regular chotchkies out of your decoration boxes and set them aside.

8. Before going any further, before packing anything away, go through Moore storage boxes of what you did not take out or use the season. Purge, throw away, or reorganize. Decide what you want to continue to keep, what did you not use because you forgot you had it (need to organize), what’s broken or out of style or does not fit your house or your kids have aged out of or you just no longer want (throw out). Complete this step before going any further.

Set aside the things you’re going to keep, and the things that need to be reorganized. Make a list of any items that might need to be replaced or fixed next year. Throw out anything broken or that no longer works, and make a pile of things you might want to donate or pass along to a new home.

christmas-organization

Here are a couple of the piles I came up with: A) Christmas plates and serving dishes – KEEP. B) Cookie tins – KEEP. C) Leftover Holiday cards and “Letter”paper. I tend to use Photo Cards now (who has time to write a letter anymore?) – TRASH. D) Random Santa hats and extra stockings, and seasonal hand towels for bathroom.(All great for wrapping breakables in!) – KEEP. E) Ziplocs. – DEFINITELY KEEP. F) Some of the girls’ holiday crafts from when they were little. – KEEP. G) Instruction manual from their nativity – KEEP. H) Extra candles for the advent wreath. – KEEP.

8a. One great tip: I keep all of my holiday books and movies together with the decorations for that particular holiday.  These are put in baskets under the tree, until presents take their place on Christmas Eve! This keeps all like with like, but also because these toys and movies and books only get to be seen and played with during that particular holiday season, it keeps everything fresh and new and fun to play with.

9. Start breaking down any items and packing them up. Ziplocs and cling wrap cam be great friends during this!

Seran wrap (plastic cling wrap) also works great for items that are too big for ziplocs. Here is the “before” of one of the girls’ nativity sets.

And here is the after! Easy Peasy!

10. Start packing everything away back into your bins!

10a. I use any holiday related cloth items to wrap up my breakables. This saves cost and space. I also have older stockings that we no longer use comma Santa hats, that I use for this purpose as well. (See picture above!)

11. Set aside anything you are going to re-purpose elsewhere (extension cords for example). Put it all where it goes!

12. Check all the strands of lights to make sure they work before packing them away. This way you can add it to your list of to-do for next time if you need to replace anything, and can watch out for seasonal sales.

13. Label your boxes! Trust me, this makes it so much easier when you have to send someone to pull them back up out of the basement and he brings half-Christmas, half-Halloween and then grumbles as he has to bring other items  up/down over and over.

Not that I know this from experience, of course!

14. Reorganize all your wrapping paper. Etc. Our container has gotten quite junky since the girls have started wrapping gifts as well.

15. Put all the boxes away til next year!

BONUS: Lather, Rinse, Repeat for ALL SEASONAL/HOLIDAY DECORATIONS YOU OWN! If you do not do this NOW, you will need to stop and do it as you go through each set of items through the year.

My Update:

Happily, I survived!

I was able to get rid of one large bag of trash, and I was able to collect one large bag of items to pass along to someone else! This actually reduced our Christmas bins down by one! Yeay for me!

Here are some of the items I’m able to pass along to another – including some Christmas videos the girls decided to pass along as well!

Next up: Creating “Stations”!  See you soon!

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