Seasons of Decorations

With Halloween just around the corner, I started thinking about decorations.  Although there are many holidays that you can have decorations for, we have three big ones close together over the next 3 months: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I’m certainly no Martha Stewart, but I do love putting out decorations to celebrate these and other occasions.  This can create more work, more things to track and figure out what to do with – yet there are ways we can make this easier.

One of the things with decorations is that they spend most of their time in storage.  I have some seasonal decorations, and even those are in boxes 9 months out of each year.  For holiday decorations it is even more time since we don’t typically leave those out for much more than a month.

To start with, those decorations need a dedicated box or bin just for themselves.  It might be tempting to group more than one type together in a box, but this only adds to your work when it is time to use the box: whether to pull out or to put away those decorations. You might need only one, Easter or the 4th of July, often do not exceed one container.  On the other hand, Christmas can often fill many containers!

With Christmas and potentially other holidays if you have more than one box for, you can also separate types of decorations together within containers – like the tree ornaments going largely into one container and other décor items into another.

It is helpful to label them or choose color coded bins for storage so you know which box you want when you go to get them and not need to open multiple ones to find the one(s) you are looking for.

Since these decorations spend most of their time in storage, you also need to decide where you will keep them.  Ideally you want the space to be relatively easy to access.  If you store them in a hard to access area, it’s more likely you’ll procrastinate getting them out or putting them away.  Considering that you don’t use them that often, it is tempting for them to get buried amidst other things or stored out of the way in hard to reach areas.  If you truly want to use them each year, you need make sure they are relatively easy to get to.

It is also helpful if you decide when you want the decorations to be put out.  We often think it’s tacky to have Christmas decorations out before Thanksgiving or after the middle of January – or whatever your thoughts are on this.  Figure out for yourself when you would like them to be put out, and then put some time into your schedule to do it.  The same thing applies for putting them away – figure out when you want them boxed back up by and schedule time for it.  I recommend deciding and putting it into the schedule as a repeating event.  That way, even if I’m distracted, my schedule reminds me that it’s time to put out/away the decorations.

The final step is to evaluate whether any of the decorations need to be purged.  Unfortunately damages happen, and as you are putting them out or putting them away at the end of the holiday, it is the perfect time to get rid of some that have outlived their purpose.

If you create specific containers for the different holidays, find an out of the way yet still easily accessible place to store those containers, and schedule time for yourself to pull them out and to put them away, and each time cull some items you no longer need — your decorations will perform their duty perfectly – to brighten your home and help you celebrate the holidays in the ways you choose.

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