Happy Holidays, Organize It!

Holiday Clean Up: Organize Your World…

…while I’m organizing mine.

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When the new year arrives there’s no rest for the weary until all signs of Christmas or other holiday celebrations are neatly stored away and order in the house has been restored or, at least, brought back to normal.

Prepare the storage space.

  • Empty out the storage area where holiday items are to be kept.

Move everything off the shelves, out of the corner and into the next room and out-of-the-way. Find a new home for non-Christmas items. I don’t want anything in my Christmas storage space except Christmas items. Wipe down shelves and vacuum the area.

  • Gather cardboard boxes with lids or plastic storage bins.

Choose nice square boxes that will stack well. Keep most boxes and bins small to medium sized.  A few years ago, I purchased two giant storage bins for packing my Christmas items. It was a mistake. Smaller boxes and bins not only make it easier to organize items but also make it possible to carry them around the house. My giant bins are so big and heavy that I can’t even get them out of the storage room.

  • Attach hooks to the wall for hanging wreaths or other items. Don’t forget ceiling space. It may be possible to hang things from cup hooks screwed into the ceiling.
  • Make any needed repairs before packing.

Better to fix things now than have to deal with them next Christmas. Fixing things now also prevents lost pieces.

Get packing!

  • Pack away the big things.

This means taking down the Christmas tree. Ornament boxes are space-saving and I use them for most of my collection. More expensive ornaments and items get stored in their original boxes.

  • Wreaths are packed in garbage bags and hung on the wall.
  • Organize and pack like items together.
  • Label each box clearly with the contents.
  • Evaluate and reduce.

Pack for the thrift shop anything that is no longer used or wanted. Do I have more glass balls than I can ever use? Will I ever again hang the outdoor plastic reindeer? If I never use the blue lights or the plastic candle holders there’s no reason to keep them.

  • Carry donation boxes immediately to the car so that they can be dropped off a.s.a.p. and won’t be forgotten in that out of the way storage space.


As I am packing away my holiday items this year I will photograph and make a list of the valuable items in my collection. This is nice to have for insurance purposes should we ever have a loss. I file them away with other important papers.


  • Gift wraps for all occasions
  • cellophane paper
  • tissue paper
  • gift boxes and bags
  • transparent tape
  • ribbon
  • bows

Once Christmas is over, I replenish supplies so that they will be there for the next wrapping project. After Christmas sales are the best time to buy gift wrap. In addition to purchasing Christmas wraps for next year, I look for solid colored foils or other gift wrap patterns and colors in the Christmas clearance bins. Patterns that don’t shout Christmas can come in handy for occasions throughout the year. Ribbon and bows also come in a wide variety of colors these days. Be sure to pick up some pastels or generic white ones for summertime wedding gifts and birthdays. Any needed items that are sold out will go onto a list that is then clipped to next Novembers calendar so that I will be sure to buy them before they are needed.


If you’ve never put much thought into setting up a gift wrap station, now is the time to do so. Many people find a space for wrapping gifts in the laundry room where there is usually already table. Other people use a spare bedroom or the dining room table. I do just enough gift wrapping throughout the year to want my paper and supplies within easy reach. At the same time, I want it out of sight and out-of-mind until I’m ready to use it. To suit all of those needs I have set up a card table in the back of my attic. Tape, scissors and all other necessary supplies are kept right there on a shelf next to the table. Rather than buying something new, I have my gift wrap stored vertically in a tall, plastic laundry hamper that I had on hand.


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