It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Organizing Christmas

I enjoy decorating for the holidays. My family is in on this sort of thing (especially Nan, my mini-me) so we tend to have decorations for most major holidays and seasons. This year with all the extra help (Nan & Jo) and illness hitting, we took our decorations out of the storage in the attic but it took a while (For real: possibly two weeks) to get them up. During that time, the totes pictured below were in various shorts stacks throughout my house.

That meant that every time someone dropped by, I got to hear these two things: 1.) "They even have labels! I need to do that." 2.) an exclamation of whatever number was the largest tote showing.

 Michael made the labels for me. I put them on at least three sides of the totes so I can stack them without much thought in the cramped attic. They are printed on adhesive labels but in the weather variations in the attic made them all fall off the first year. (That was a learning curve!) So when we printed off new labels and tried again, we also covered them with clear packing tape.


Yes, we have 14 totes for Christmas...and this does not include any trees, smaller boxes like for the nativity, and wrapping paper. (I store my rolls of wrapping paper  in clean, trash cans in the attic - one for Christmas paper and one for other paper. Yes, I keep it accessible all year because I like to think that I will wrap a gift as soon as I buy it. That happens in January, maybe in February but anything I buy after that tends to just get stacked by the wrapping paper.)

This year's master list.

 I keep a master list tacked the wall inside the attic door. It is saved on the computer so I can quickly update it each year.

At our house, decorations don't always seem to fit due to things like new furniture arrangements, children, pets...well, you get the idea...so different decorations end up being used or sometimes tucked away for another year. As I update the list each year, I can usually clean a few things out that lack sentimental value.

Occasionally, I need an item for a Christmas in July project or some other crazy reason. Or I just need box #2 so I can wrap items early. (It actually happened this year!). This allows me to just grab the boxes for a particular room when I really don't have the time or space for the whole project.

Sharing this only because a few of the people who stopped by and saw the mess boxes (during those two weeks!) asked me about it. I am not sharing because I want to look like I have it all together or this is the perfect, life-changing organization system for you. It works for us. (Plus, as you know, I love a good list!)

Now if you know how to organize the rest of the stuff in my attic, please post here!

8 comments:

  1. I just write my number directly on the tote with sharpie :)

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    1. That works too. I find that I switch things around too much. (We went down a few totes this year!) So I like labels so I can re-use totes for another purpose.

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  2. I just buy clear totes lol ;)

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    1. :)
      I tried some clear totes but they seemed more likely to crack so I gave up on them.

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  3. Get down Laura! 13 well organized boxes! I thought I had a lot when I moved to 3 :)

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  4. Get down Laura! 13 well organized boxes! I thought I had a lot when I moved to 3 :)

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  5. I managed to get ours down to 4 this yr but two of them are large...like trey has to get them out of the attic large. Lol I like this idea so i may try to incorporate it next year. Thanks Laura!

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  6. I organized my Christmas decorations by main color themes, since I tend to decorate that way. One year red is the the predominate color another may be gold or blue, this way you can pull just those totes down.

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