Organizing for Next Christmas by Pepper Phillips

2014-12-28 17.39.56It’s that time of year when the Christmas Decorations need to be taken down and put away for next year. But not yet, for me. I love the look of Christmas in my living room and will keep it up until January 6th.  That date is known as the feast of the Epiphany or Twelfth Night. So, Christmas isn’t over for me until then.

The scene above looks tranquil and calming, but on Christmas Eve, the night we open gifts to each other, it’s jammed with close to thirty people. In order to fit everyone in, all the furniture is moved back, the coffee table is removed to the hallway, the beaded pillows that decorate some of the chairs are put away and as you can see are still not on the chairs. Room must be made for kids with size 13 and 14 shoes, as there are some big galoots in the family.

But everything is moved back into place on Christmas Day, the day the children visit their spouses’ families, the day we spend in relative quiet, the day we fix Christmas dinner, the day we relax and enjoy the spirit of Christmas.

But this year when I begin to put away the Christmas Decorations I’m doing it different. I generally unplug the three trees and hoist them into rolling garbage bins, lights and all. This year I’m taking all the lights off, untangling them and putting them in those plastic bags I get for groceries. It took me hours to undo the mess from last year and I don’t want to go through that again.  The big tree this year didn’t get ‘arranged’ to my liking, so it looks lopsided, but that will change.

I don’t know exactly how many garbage bins I use, but I’m going to finally organize them this year. I have decorations that I didn’t even use, so I have no idea what I really have, so it’s time to get organized . A spreadsheet is in order.

We have a huge hook that we use to hang the wreath over the fireplace. At the top, the bricks of the fireplace have some drainage holes in them, and you have to insert the hook in one of those holes so it doesn’t fall. This year, they couldn’t find the hook. So the hubby made a new one. Then they found the old one caught up in a fireplace screen that you can’t see in the picture. So now there are two. But where are they? The spreadsheet will tell me which bin they are in.

When I take down the Christmas stuff, the Mardi Gras decorations go up. But I don’t know what garbage bin those are in…so it’s time to get super organized.

My weapon of choice is Duct Tape. I’m going to run a band of color across the top of the lid of each garbage bin to let me know what’s inside at a glance.

Red and Green = Christmas – I’m going to mark on the tape what number that particular bin is. Such as #1…of course #1-#3 have Christmas trees sticking out of them, so no lids for those, but the rest will let me know what room that particular stuff goes in or what’s stored in that bin.

Yellow and Purple = Mardi Gras – Those are two of the colors associated with the season, green is the other color, but since I have green on the Christmas stuff, I’ll leave it off. There are over six weeks from Epiphany until Mardi Gras, February 17th, so it’s a nice time to decorate as it’s pretty gray and gloomy most of the time.

Pink and Light Green = Easter – Yes, I decorate for Easter as well. Right after Mardi Gras until Easter.  So that’s mid-February until April 5th.

Orange = Halloween and that’s about it.  Though I do have some Thanksgiving stuff, I’ll have to think on what corresponds with that holiday.

I have some decorations that need fixing, replacing (usually lights – and if I were really smart I’d buy them now while they are on sale) or over the hill items that need to be tossed.

The thing is “Do It Right The First Time and You Won’t Have To Do It Again”…I usually just want to get it over with.

But it’s time to get organized.

What are your organizational tips to prepare for next Christmas?

11 thoughts on “Organizing for Next Christmas by Pepper Phillips

  1. I have recently moved and am using left-over boxes to organize. One for my Christmas china, several for all of my Christmas ‘objects’ and figures, one for the Christmas lights (which my man rolls carefully), and one for the stockings and similar decorations. Years ago I bought a Frontgate storage box just for ornaments which has saved many a glass ornament from destruction. These organizational aids definitely help the season be a bit more jolly. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy cow, that’s a beautiful living room. You could fit my whole house in there.
    If you could see my living room right now, you’d know that I’m not organized. Besides the decoration, we’ve got toys and artwork everywhere, and no place to put them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I took all my Christmas stuff down yesterday and packed it away. I use the large plastic storage tubs, one red and one green, to store everything in. Lights, garland, and stockings in one bin, decorations in the other. I don’t go all out because there are usually just six of us here for Christmas, and sometimes it’s just the hubby and I. When it’s just the two of us, I don’t usually decorate at all, and I don’t bother with a tree. I don’t decorate any other time of the year, either.

    I need to go through my decorations and toss the stuff I don’t like or don’t use, but I probably wont do that now until I pull everything out again for next Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My children all left yesterday. It was bittersweet, because our family was sick and many of our traditions just didn’t happen the week they were here. I usually spend New Years Day taking down the decorations, but in the past, I found it too sad to do it by myself after everyone was gone. This year I hired my grandsons to help me (a dollar each). I got my sons to take out the tree. We didn’t know if the trash man would take it, so we watched from the curb as he put it in his truck. We all cheered and gave him a tip. Now, the family has gone. We’re back to being boring and quiet. The house still needs major cleaning, but at least the decorations are down and the tree needles have been swept up.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. First..I love your living room. Beautiful and spacious. I have so much to catch up on, I took down all decorations yesterday. I do like leaving them up until New Years, but without kids in the house, I wanted to get organized to clean and that included removing decorations. I have all my decorations in tubs. I’m down to eight now.

    I miss the feeling of Christmas in the house, the tree twinkling, the table set in gold, green and red. I need time to re-organize my house. A room at a time. Tax season is approaching and that’s another issue to deal with.

    Your spreadsheet sounds great! It’s too easy to lose track of decorations and who has time to search every year. Good luck. Enjoy Christmas as long as you leave the spirit in place.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful living room, large and cozy.
    I still have my children and grandchildren until Dec 31st in the morning. Then on January 1st I am entertaining some twenty-five friends. The decorations will stay until Saturday, and then I’ll remove everything and clean.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for enjoying my room with me. Just going into it, makes me happy, and that’s what counts. With six kids and thirteen grandkids, along with four spouses/groom-to-be, a couple of boyfriends or girlfriends and it doesn’t take long to fill up. Believe me when I tell you it’s easy to keep clean. There is no television in that room. When the kids come over, which they do often, we sit in talk in there or when the weather is nice, outside on the porch. There’s no television out there either! LOL


  8. I got all of my things put away today, well they are in their boxes sitting in my entry, lol. Tomorrow I will move them to the shed and then I will be officially undecorated and reorganized! 🙂

    You sure make a gorgeous holiday presentation!


  9. Pingback: Organizing for Next Christmas by Pepper Phillips | Pepper Phillips

  10. I usually keep mine up until Twelfth Night, but this year I took everything done yesterday. Just wanted to get going with the clean-up. I cleaned out my Christmas decorations before I decorated this year. Went from a dozen bins down to 6. Plan to do the same with everything in the garage, closets, and cupboards at both houses. You’re an inspiration, Pepper.


  11. Love the idea of keeping Christmas decorations up until 12th night and then decorating for Mardi Gras. How wonderful to have such joy in your home! Happy New Year, Pepper!


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