It will be time to start taking the Christmas decorations down soon and I thought I would share how I take mine down and store it for the following year.
If you only have one tree and/or a few boxes, you might not need to do this…but it you put up more than one tree, or have many boxes this might be helpful. Since I decorate almost every room in the house, I’ll use the dining room as an example.
When I decorate, I write down in a notebook/on a piece of paper what goes on the trees, garland, etc for a particular room. When I get a chance, I enter the information into an excel spreadsheet. Here is a sample:
When I am finished I have an inventory of all the ornaments and decorations. I usually take pictures of everything also. This is helpful for planning for next year, as well as insurance purposes. If I am not making any additions or changes from the previous year, I don’t have to write anything down because I already have everything itemized.
When I take ornaments off the tree, I use boxes or baggies to group similar ornaments. I put all ornaments for each tree in their own box.
When I take the decorations down, I write down what goes in each box. I use Rubbermaid (or off-brand) storage containers. Each box has a label (example DR1= dining room box 1, DR 2= dining room box 2, etc). Here is an example of the boxes (numbered 1-4) for the dining room:
I don’t itemize the ornaments because I have them on the ornaments spreadsheet. It might sound like extra work, but it really helps to keep it organized and easy to find. A copy of the sheet could be placed in the box, and/or in a Christmas notebook, or left on the computer (whatever works best for you).
Every year I end up moving and changing things around and having my lists help me know what I have (in case I need to add more of a theme/ornament) and which box it is in.
If you store your decorations in more than one place (all mine go in the attic except for linens and dishes) it would be helpful to add a column for the location of the box (garage, attic, basement, closet,etc). Also, when putting the boxes in storage, put the room boxes you want to be able to get to first (next year) in last. We usually decorate the upstairs first (bedrooms), so we put those in the attic last. The boxes for the kitchen, dining room,living room, etc go in the attic first.
Another couple helpful tips if you are writing things down while un-decorating:
- Make a note of how long it took you to decorate the tree/room/area. This will help you plan your decorating next year because you will have an idea of how long it takes.
- Make a note of any changes/additions to tree/room/area that you would like to try next year. You can add items to your shopping list or work on those projects later when you have some free time.
I have been using this “method” for twenty years…and it works for me. I realize it may be overwhelming to some….but I thought I would share it anyway!