Have you taken down your Christmas decorations this year and vowed to make next year much easier on yourself?
A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend over coffee and she was telling this hilarious story of how she decided last Christmas to throw out her old tree because she planned to buy a new one on the clearance sales after the holidays. The thing is she never got around to doing the shopping and this year when she went to put up her tree – she couldn’t find it. Her four boys were begging for her to put up the tree and a thorough search of the house and attic by her husband produced nothing but frustration and wonder of where in the world was their Christmas tree. Finally, my friend remembered her plans to replace the old tree and had to admit to her family that she had thrown out their tree the previous year. Needless to say she had to go shopping for a new one immediately.
As comical as this situation is, and true for lots of people, including my own sister who threw away the bows on her wreaths and never bought new ones as planned either, this got me to thinking of a couple of things I should do each year before storing away my own Christmas and holiday decor so that I’m not off guard with missing items.
I came up with a list for myself this year and attempted to make things a little easier the next time I unpack my Christmas Decorations.
1. Repair or throw out.
I don’t know about you but each year I have several items and ornaments that I need to repair to be able to use them again. I can also admit that I never get around to actually repairing anything right before Christmas and the decorations stay in the box for another year. This year I tackled the task of repairing items that I still wanted to use like ornaments that needed new strings attached or strands of lights that I just needed to insert a new bulb. For anything that was beyond repair – like the stuffed bears that my dog chewed off the ears and part of the face – well those really needed to just be thrown away. No need to store items that can’t be repaired or reused.
2. Donate things that you no longer like or use.
This can be a tough one but we all buy trendy decorations that are beautiful for a few years but then trends change and we never put them up again because the color is all wrong or the theme is just so yesterday. I found the best thing to do with these type of items is to just to donate them to a thrift store so they can because someone else’s new project or trend. Not only can you get a tax deduction but others benefit from your donations as well.
3. Take inventory of what you do have or need.
Did you throw away the bows for your wreath this year and need new ones? Have you been thinking of getting new lights or decorations for next year? Do you really need a new tree stand? Then write these things down as you store you decorations away. This list will come in handy for the next step.
4. Make a list for next season.
Open up your calendar to next November and write your list directly on your planner page or calendar. That way you know what you need to buy and replace before you start unpacking for the new holiday season and when all the new decorations are already in the stores. You will know exactly what you need to buy for the new Christmas season.
5. Finally, make sure you have awesome storage containers or just awesome organization skills.
Another friend just recently told me how she had her three daughters pack up all of the Christmas decoration this year while she was at work. Great learning experience for the girls, but I cringe to think how things were actually put away. Will my friend be able to find anything next year? I challenge you to find a great system that works for you and keeps everything organized for next year. Decorating for the Christmas holiday is so much less stressful when your beautiful decorations are intact and easy to put out.
I just finished all of these tasks this year and feel like I will be so much more prepared for the next Christmas season. I was even motivated to organize my Fall decorations as well.
“Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure.” Philippians 2:14-15