This is a guest post written by Professional Organizer Lea Schneider from Pensacola FL and owner of OrganizeRightNow.com.
While the end result of holiday decorating is dazzling- at least that’s what we aim for- the actual decorating creates a tornado-like chaos.
You get your house clean and then turn it upside down with the hauling in of tubs full of this and that. Soon it seems you’ve everything started and nothing completed. There’s a half-done mantle in one room, a partially done village in another room and part of the garland is on the stairwell. This usually happens because you start out on a roll and then realize you can’t find all the parts you need and since you’re sure they will turn up, you move on to a new area.
Here are a few favorite hints to help you minimize chaos and clutter while decorating. Some of them you can implement now. Others you might need to implement when you store the things away for next year.
Try storing items used in the room they are used in. This works well in bathrooms, the kitchen or other small rooms. There is probably room in the far back of your bathroom cabinet to tuck away the holiday towels and countertop items. Likewise, in the kitchen, make use of the cabinets over the fridge or those hidden dark corner cabinets. Fill them with holiday things! It’s amazing what will fit in there. This cabinet over the fridge holds a set of plates, tea pot, cookie jar, salt and pepper shakers, candles, napkins, napkin rings, chip and dip set and more.
Create a staging area. Instead of hauling all the tubs into the house, line them up in the garage or in one area. Use your laundry basket to gather the items to do one space, such as the mantle. Go and decorate that area and then reload for another area. The house will stay cleaner and tidier if you don’t drag everything out in each room.
Pack up home décor. Remember, in decorating less is more. There is just too much going on when you’ve got out your regular décor and your holiday decorations. As you decorate, remove your regular items and slip them into your holiday tubs or boxes. When you “undecorate,” they’ll be right at hand to put back out. In this box that holds a holiday tree, I’ve packed up the photos I usually display.
Store items in tubs by location. This way, you can easily decorate one room using the tub(s) for that room without opening and digging in all the tubs. This is also great for busy folks because you can do one room after work and not tear up the whole house and then do another room the next day. Consider packing away your goodies this year by room.
Clean as you go. Just like in the kitchen, it is a lot easier to clean as you go. Dust surfaces in the room as you decorate that room. Finish the room with a quick vacuum of the expected pine needles, glitter and other bits before going to the next room. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning the whole house after you’re tired from decorating.
Label light strands and garlands. Make your life easier by labeling those pesky lights and garlands. Store them in bags that say where they are used such as stairwell or mantle. This way you don’t have to refigure which strand or garland fit which location. If you have some lights that need to drape, once hung, use a bit of tape to mark the areas that go on the hooks so that next year, it is easy to rehang them.
Wishing you a Happy Organized Holiday!