One of the reasons why I love Christmas is that my home is at its loveliest for one whole month. Over a big window facing the back yard is strung a lush garland of pine entwined with tiny white lights. My two trees (Mom’s, done in all red and gold and the “family” tree with our personalized, handmade and Disney ornaments) fill a living room and family room, respectively, and take my breath away.
All this beauty makes me wish the holidays could last forever, but all too soon, it will be time to take down the lights, trees, decorations, and ornaments and store them until next year. My memory is so faulty, though, how will I remember where everything went? After all, even the hall bathroom received its’ fair share of Christmas decor and my daughter and I put a lot of thought into all the little holiday touches we add here and there around the house. Christmas organization isn’t something I can ignore!
At my age, my memory isn’t as good as my forgettery, so to help it along, I take a series of photos to remind myself where everything goes. A quick shot of the hall bathroom, one of the dining room table, another of the kitchen island, the outside lights, and on and on will be a lasting, photographic record so that next year I won’t be standing there with decorations in hand saying, “Now where does this thing go?” This is an easy task to delegate to your kids, by the way, and since you’ll probably have the camera out anway, Christmas Day is a good day to get ‘er done.
Once your photography session is finished, you can store everything on your computer in a file, “Christmas decor 2016” or, better yet, store them on a CD in case your computer crashes. I prefer having the photos printed and placed in a small photo album, which gets stored in one of the holiday bins. I’ve noticed those little photo albums become great memories, as we’ve moved from house to house over the years.
Take this idea one step farther and create a Christmas 2017 photo album that includes all your photos from the season. You’ll have pages and pages of fun memories interspersed with practical reminders of what you want to decorate, and how, next Christmas.
Other ways of getting ready for next Christmas 11 months early are:
- Clearly label all Christmas bins, boxes, and bags with their contents. I recommend one that prints labels in large fonts, like this one.
- Color coding is your friend. Just this morning, my husband was rummaging around our bins looking for outside lights, which are all packed in bright blue plastic bins. Color coordinating at its finest!
- Ward off damage by heat, humidity, and pests by storing your decorations accordingly. Our bins of Christmas lights did just fine in our Phoenix attic but our collection of Disney ball ornaments were damaged by heat over the years.
- If your ornament collection includes keepsakes, you really want to protect those. Store them in their original packaging or wrap them in tissue and store in a partitioned box like this one.
- You might be surprised how far Christmas decor storage has come. Just a quick look around a store like Target or on Amazon will turn up Christmas tree storage bags, Christmas wrapping paper storage tube, a holiday wreath storage bag, and a bag that contains reels to store your strands of Christmas lights. All these come in bright red, which will help you identify your Christmas supplies next year.
One of the secrets to a relaxing holiday season is getting up all your decorations, including the tree, early in the month. Knowing ahead of time where everything goes makes that job a piece of (fruit)cake! With the photos you took this year, your kids can decorate the house next year, and you can relax! What a concept, and you deserve it!