With that many decorations, it easy to see how the process of decorating and undecorating could be pretty overwhelming and stressful--especially when you are a recovering perfectionist to boot! Last year I decided to get really organized with storing my decorations in order to make the process easier and more enjoyable (after all, who wants to be stressed out over decorating for Christmas?). Here's what I used:
- plastic totes (Use the normal sized ones and not the extra super large--I learned that lesson the hard way. The extra super large ones are impossible to carry once filled!!)
- clear packing tape
- index cards
- paper and pen/marker
Tote with labels on side and end, and index card labeled in same manner with contents noted on it.
Close-up of index card
Finished produce on shelves in garage (you can also see the brown u-haul storage box with the "1" on it--that is box #1 containing financial files...which also has an index card in my file that notes exactly what's in there!) You will notice that the boxes are not placed on the shelves in alphabetical order. My sweet husband is the lucky one who gets to haul everything to the garage and get it put on the shelves. I don't stand there demanding that they go in alphabetical order--but you can if you want! :o)
Once you are finished with the process, you will need a place to keep all of the index cards. I keep mine in a plain file box along with the index cards for the boxes of financial records I have stored and for the other totes of "stuff" that I have stored. That way they are all in one place and easy to find.
The process is a bit time-consuming to set up, but it's oh-so-worth-it in the end. When I was decorating right after Thanksgiving, it was so easy to get out one tote at a time and know exactly what was in it and where I wanted it to go. For instance, I wanted to start out with the mantel and living room area. So I pulled out my index cards and flipped through them until I found which totes had those particular decorations. And since I packed things up last year in order by where those particular decorations go, I was able to bring in one tote that held everything for the mantel. That was so much better than having to bring in 12 different totes all at once and having to search through them to find what I needed. It simplified the decorating process by making it less stressful, less messy, and much more efficient.
The putting away process has been much easier this year as well. I haven't had to guess at what goes in which tote. I've just pulled out my cards, started with one tote, found everything that belonged in it, packed it up, and then moved on to the next tote.
If you are needing some organization help for your Christmas decorations, I hope you find this beneficial! And if it's clear as mud and you need some clarification, just leave me a comment and I'll do my best to make it more clear!!