Organizing the Decorations
Let's assume that all your decorations from last year are a giant mess and sprawled around the house if different containers and bags and you've finally had enough. The weekend after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to go through it all. Get your kids and spouse involved. Sort out the indoor decorations from the outdoor decorations. Test the lights. Find the extension cords. Try to collate it all in one weekend. The key to this collation is to PURGE the broken and unused. Get it out of the house by the end of the weekend (garbage or donate).
In January, you will only have the current decorations to store. Use medium to large CLEAR bins. Do not buy the gigantic red and green tubs that take two people to lift and do not fit on any shelf in your home. Choose clear bins that are easy to manage. Outdoor decorations should all be stored together. Carefully roll lights and place them in bins with the extension cords. Label the bin OUTSIDE lights. Do the same with the inside lights. When storing ornaments, you really only need cardboard ornament dividers to put in your clear bins. You are not moving your ornaments across country; they are only being placed in your home untouched for a year. Light tissue paper is all you need to wrap the ornament and place it in a divider. If you have fake wreaths to store, don't spend money on fancy wreath boxes, just use a large CLEAR plastic bag. Make sure to label everything, but if you forget, everything is in clear bins so it's easy to know what's inside.
If possible, store all the holiday decorations in the same part of your house. If you have space constraints, keep all the outside decorations in one place, and the inside decorations in another. This saves time next year when you want to do outside decorations on a nice day, but don't want to scavenge through all the decorations.
Making a list of all the people you want to give gifts to is number one. Then have 5-10 small gifts on had for the few people you may have forgotten (bottle of wine? gift card? candle? a kid art project?).
There are two ways to take care of wrapping: wrapping a gift as soon as you buy it, or making allotted time to wrap all the gifts at once. I prefer to wrap as soon as I get the gift, because then I know it's done. Don't forget to label who the gift goes to! Keeping all of your wrapping gear in one place in the house is ideal - this includes tape and scissors. My favorite way to keep all of this is in this wrapping paper organizer. I store it with my Christmas decorations.
How to Enjoy Christmas Day
Have kids? Want to enjoy your coffee on Christmas morning while the kids unwrap gifts? Build the toys before Christmas morning. Take toys out of the boxes, get rid of the packaging, cut every annoying wire attaching the action figure to the box, and install all the BATTERIES (make sure you have lots of batteries on hand). Your kids will be so excited to be able to play with their new toys right away, and you won't have the pressure of building things and cutting open boxes.
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