Sunday, January 10, 2016

How to organize your Christmas clean up

If I could choose I would probably tidy up Christmas as soon as all gifts are unwrapped. Throw it all into boxes in rapid pace and run maniac with the vacuum cleaner and dust rug in hand. But as everyone else in my family really loves the Christmas decorations, I leave them out for a while longer. And I have learned to like having Christmas for a while into January.

I find the build up phase of Christmas being my favorite part. Taking out the decorations step by step, one box at the time each advent. And as I'm not allowed to take it all down at once, this has also become my procedure when putting it all away. One thing at the time...

This weekend I took away all the bloomed out flowers, the advent chandeliers, the winter village and the shelf decorations. I take my time sorting and packaging it all in a structured way to make it easy for us to get started next Christmas. Dividing it all into Christmas Box #1, Christmas Box #2 etc... Because I know what it is like when first of advent is around the corner and the kids get eager to get it ALL out at once. Being proactive and a bit organized when packing it all away will help next year when I simply can tell the them, without feeling stressed:
"YES! Go ahead. You can take down Christmas Box #1. Lets do it!".

Because we all are a bit stressed around Christmas. We want to do so much, fix so much, decorate so much bake so much, indulge so much, socialize so much, craft so much... You get it. We want it to be perfect and it can just become a bit to much at times. To organize the decorations in boxes is a great way to reduce Christmas stress for next year, like this:

Christmas Box #1
In the first of all my Christmas boxes I put my beloved window stars, the advent chandeliers with their moss and mushrooms, the winter village houses and people and the shelf decorations.
Because these are the things that will be taken out FIRST next year.

Christmas Box #2
Here I put my Christmas wreath and outdoor decoration supplies, the curtain pole decorations and wall hangings, cookie tins and boxes, Christmas flower pots for flower arrangements and doilies.

The last Christmas Box
In the last box goes tree decorations and lights together with Christmas stockings, as those things
are the LAST ones to get out in our house. Usually just a week before Christmas itself. 

Packing up tip
I use old shoe boxes, glass jars and zip lock bags to store all the small things inside the bigger boxes. I label my boxes and carefully wrap all decorations of delicate nature in bubble wrap or gift tissue paper recycled from unwrapping gifts.

I have more than three Christmas boxes (!!! You don't want to know how many!!!) but at least this gives you an idea of how I'm organizing myself. And now I'm enjoying doing the Christmas clean up. Without stress and pressure. One thing at the time. My stars will stay up a bit longer as well as the curtain pole decorations, probably all the way to February. Just because we love them so much. But the rest will go into safe rest in a Christmas Box until next year.

How do you clean up after Christmas and organize your things? Please share. It's always fun to swap ideas and make improvements when organizing, isn't it? That is why the organizing chapter in the IKEA catalogue is proven to be the most thumbed part, right?


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  1. It's a bit the same here... Advent deco is all in one box, so that next year I only have to get that box out to get hold of the stuff. And all the tree stuff is in one box, for obvious reasons ☺! Then there's one box with miscellaneous decoration... Concerning removing the deco: I walk through the house and collect all Christmas stuff on a large table and put it all away at once.

  2. I'm afraid I just throw and the decorations into bags, boxes or whatever is available. When Christmas comes around again, I know I'll be cursing not having sorted them properly. I really like your idea of having numbered boxes. I could do with some kind of system. I shall make a note of this for next time. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  3. We have a lot of Christmas boxes too. Each one for a room in our home: kitchen, dining room, hall...and we bring them to our cellar. It is like a moving!

  4. Very, very organised xxx I take our's down just before new years day so I can start afresh so to speak. We are very disorganised every year and forget where we have put the christmas decorations from the year before lol xxx :)

  5. I love how organised you are. I must admit these days as soon as New Year's Day is over I take the decorations down. Gone are the days when I left them up until twelfth night. Your amaryllis is stunning, mine are still at the green stage! xx

  6. We don't celebrate Advent - so we get everything out at once the day after Thanksgiving. We were going to move house in 2014 - and didn't. However! I did take the opportunity to PURGE many of our Christmas decorations down to one box and one shelf in our hutch for the very breakables. We usually have everything down by New Year's Day.

    As a side note - I had $70 of 'Kohl's Cash' (gift cards) and everything is not only on 'sale' but on 'clearance' (even deeper discounts!). So! I am very nearly FINISHED with my Christmas shopping for 2016! Since I had not put all of the wrapping, boxes, etc away, I immediately wrapped everything I have purchased!

    Oh Yeah!

  7. Clever to do it like this, Annette! I just chucked all my "carefully sorted" ZipLock bags in one huge black crate - neat and upright though ;-)

  8. Sounds like a good way of going about it! Here we are all glad to take it down soon after Christmas except for a few pieces, twinkle lights and snow related items remain till I'm itching to decorate for spring. A bit more stress/work that way though. (As we have two trees one upstairs and down). We also like to do a color(s) theme each year so I store mine with like colors together, in small boxes (12in x 12in) that fit on a big bookcase (with adjustable shelves)so they slide in like drawers, labeled blue garland on one, blue wooden ornaments on another etc... The small boxes are easily taken to the tree to decorate from or to undecorated into, a one step process. I also have a huge white Ikea like free standing closet (with doors) that holds just Christmas décor, with many shelves that I keep like items together on each shelf (bubble wrap when needed). Then I have clear plastic totes for the lights which are organized by color as well. Since we also decorate with lights outside those are store in our shed with all the clips needed to hang by, along with extra replacement bulbs. The easiest way I've found through the years to keep lights from becoming a huge messy ball is to store each strand in a separate bag (grocery store type). Now if only I could get AND keep the rest of the house so organized! lol

  9. Hello Annette! This is my first time commenting as I have just started following you on IG and now your blog 😀 I love Christmas and all the decorating...but it is SUCH hard work! so I have decided to be organised...I have quite a big collection ...I have 12 😳 huge plastic boxes, all numbered and labelled.Each one holds a collection such as santas, angels etc...two hold all the greenery, garlands, wreaths and two hold all the tree decorations...precious things are wrapped in bubble wrap, very special things have seperate usually takes 2-3 days to put it all up and take it down....I also keep a Christmas book and in it I note what is in each box in more detail....I only did this last year as it was becoming so worked well this Christmas....and it was so much easier to pack away!! Happy New Year from down under!! x

  10. Come on, how many boxes??? I DO want to know! I have more than 3 too, quite a few more actually so you'll be in good company. 😉 I'm not that organised at Christmas. I can get to the advent calendars for the first but everything else is mashed in together. We get everything down at once and then it takes a few days to get it all into place! The putting away part I always want done before my birthday on the 3rd so it's usually on 31st or the 1st. That takes about half a day and consists of everyone going round the house and collecting stuff up while I frantically pack things in any old where as quick as I possibly can! I always promise I'll do more organised the next year but I never am... 😏 I like your system much better!
    I do have some specialised bauble boxes though, they are brilliant!

    S x


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