The day you begin to put away Christmas decorations is always a sad day, isn’t it? In Vermont, Christmas allows us to fight the darkness just a wee bit longer. When the sun slips behind the mountains at 4:30 pm, darkness arrives. So, we light our trees, welcome loved ones with candles in our windows, and fill our homes with warmth. But that’s what makes decorating for Christmas so special, in part, because it’s fleeting.
Every year I hope to put my Christmas tree up early, to enjoy it for as long as possible and yet it rarely makes an appearance until the second week in December. I have A LOT of Christmas decor from the days that I offered our Trees with Ease holiday decorating service. Plus, I like using different themes and colors each year so although my decor is organized it isn’t exactly what you call streamlined.
From years of decking out several homes each December, I discovered that the key to swift assembly lies in the groundwork you lay the year BEFORE! With a bit of thoughtful packing and organizing next year’s decorating endeavors will not only be easier but also less stressful.
Instead of sorting faux greens, ribbons, and ornaments in separate containers, store all the items for one particular vignette in their own container. This is SUCH a time saver! BONUS: To speed up next year’s decorating, take reference photos of your vignettes and place them into the storage tub with those materials.
SAVE EMPTY WRAPPING PAPER TUBES
To preserve your wired ribbons, wrap them around an empty wrapping paper tube or paper towel roll. Wrapping them extra tightly will help them naturally release creases and wrinkles as they wait for reuse 11 months later.
To keep your Christmas lights from tangling and to help you easily decorate your tree the following year, wrap your lights around an
empty paper towel roll. Be sure to wrap them the opposite way you need them. For example, I like to keep the plug on the exterior. The first
thing I do is plug it in and then begin to wrap the tree.
SAVE SPACE AND TIME
Remove all ornaments from their original containers; they simply take up too much space.
Don’t buy ornament storage boxes with divided trays. Ornaments are frequently too large for the slots, or there is too much space for ONE ornament but not enough space for TWO. Instead, place a layer of bubble wrap on the bottom of a storage tub and place a layer of ornaments on top. Layer more bubble wrap and continue adding ornaments. This will keep your ornaments safe and will save you time and space.
Be sure to keep a bag of ornament hooks in EACH ornament storage container. This step saves time and frustration.
If you pack them in reverse order, the can be quickly hung in the correct order NEXT year! (TIP: Larger ornaments are tucked deep into the tree and smaller ornaments should be on the tree tips.)
EDIT AND ELIMINATE
PLEASE discard ugly, moth-eaten, misshapen, and unused decorations. They take up space and create unnecessary stress. Sorting only the ‘keepers’ will streamline next year’s decorating.
If you’re downsizing soon (right-sizing, as I like to say) sort your children’s handmade ornaments and ask if they want them for their tree. Keep the most sentimental ornaments and liberate yourself from the hot-glued, popsicle-stick star ornaments.
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Have a well-designed holiday,