January 5, 2021

Whip Out The Christmas Storage Bins, It’s Time to UN-Deck the Halls

Whip Out The Christmas Storage Bins, It’s Time to UN-Deck the Halls

This morning we took down Christmas… Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la and now our home sort of looks like a barren wasteland.

It’s funny how you get so used to the glow of Christmas and then once it comes down, you quickly realize have much year-round decor you don’t have. I could have sworn I had something else to put there? HMMmm..

My walls are so naked.

It goes without saying that this past year {2020} has been different than all the rest. I was itching to bring out Christmas around the first of November, just hoping to capture the joy for a little longer. Somehow though once it was all up, it still felt different. 2020 just plain sucked, right? What a freakin roller coaster. 2020 you can take your sweet double number and shove it!

But alas, my favorite day of the year is finally here- the day after New Years Eve. Eyes forward.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and I’m especially fond of the day after Christmas. There’s so much to celebrate. New Year’s Eve is pretty great too but somehow it still feels tied to the previous year.

However, January 1st feels like a FRESH start. The loss, the sadness, the brokenness, no it doesn’t all just magically go away but there’s a new hope. There has to be right? We must move on. More on that soon…

For several years, the start of a new year has signified so much for me. The biggest of these things is beginning my #organizemein40days challenge. I look forward to this every year. For the first time ever, this challenge became my Back to Bliss Bootcamp. A dream I truly hope to continue one day, but the dang pandemic got in the way. It’s hard to focus on decluttering when your hoarding food.

One of the first tasks we focused on last year in Bootcamp, was our Christmas decor or just simply our holiday decorations. Leaving your decorations up past the first week of the year can really put a damper on the new year and the new hopes you have. Try to get them down as soon as possible.

It’s a farewell to the glow but a hello to what’s to come in 2021

This year being so different, I didn’t record any of the take-down process, I just enjoyed it. The rest of my time, I spent preparing this blog post for you guys. Time well spent if you ask me!

A few months ago I decided that I would be fully present for the last few months of the year. So much was out of my control and I felt it slowly starting to consume me. It became a time to reflect. Fighting to place my focus on just being present, not on all the loss and complete disappointment. Highlighted moments such as watching my kids’ laugher light up our home. To appreciate how blessed we are to just be healthy and together!

Last year, I was solely focused on motivating my Bootcamp that so much of this content just sat untouched. As much of my content does. Killer, I know. It’s one thing to create something but it’s another to share it. At least for me. So, if my kids look a little smaller, they were. My process however has always been the same. Year after year it just works. This info will be relevant for years to come.

Here’s what you’re getting in this post

  • All the tips you’ll ever need for the ultimate Christmas organization
  • Some adorable kid pics. Although I’m totally bias.
  • And of course, fun!

Let’s go! Operation Christmas is underway!!!

It’s that time of the year… time to UN-deck the halls. Well, it’s almost that time. Pin, screenshot, bookmark this now because you’re going to need it.

I absolutely love EVERYTHING about Christmas. Celebrating our Savior, creating new memories, the way the tree makes the house glow, and the togetherness that’s unmatched. What’s not to love?

This year though has been especially hard for people and those typical things are probably not the highest on people’s list. It all just feels so different right? Is celebrating with our family safe? Are we being selfish? It really puts a damper on that joyful spirit.

However, there’s a beauty in seasonal decorations, something magical even. Having them up has the power to make us feel good, even if sadly our world is crumbling. Somehow, someway, we’re all in this together and it’s going to be ok.

You know, I couldn’t wait to take out my Christmas storage containers. I knew they were neatly organized and that just amplified the joy. It may not have been November just yet but hey Halloween was over. Fair game in my book. I’m kidding…sort of.

Sterilite storage bin with organized Christmas ornaments

One of my favorite things about decorating: How simple it is to make every room in the home twinkle.

Decorations don’t have to be expensive, they don’t even have to match. If it makes you feel good, then its “good decor”.

As much as I look forward to decorating my house, I equally don’t enjoy putting it all away. I’m guessing the same may be true for some of you? You could always pay someone to do it or bribe your kids but either way it has to be done. A vintage Santa is not year round decor. Sorry, No.

Some holiday decor challenges we face and how to avoid them

  • Leaving our decor out past its expiration date.
  • Keeping items that we didn’t even put up.
  • Keeping decor we don’t even like because someone gifted it to us.(Grandma’s vintage Santa) hmm hmmm
  • Throwing our decor in bins and shoving it away without regard.
  • Buying more than we need just because it was on sale.
  • Keeping bags, tags, and wrapping paper that is older than our youngest kid. I’m slightly guilty. Those big Costco rolls last foreverrrr.
  • Not dedicating proper storage space for our items.
  • Not grabbing every themed item and putting it away for the year.
  • Buying more than we can store.
  • Purchasing containers we don’t need instead of the ones we do.

But the biggest challenge for most people is just organizing the decor before they put it all away.

All the decorations need a home

Oh, I get it. Trust me. Especially the years I was pregnant. The belly and I were lazy. So LAZY. It’s easy to throw them in bins and hope they’ll fit but what I mean is really putting everything away. The care you put in now, will certainly pay off. When it’s easy to find everything next year, you will thank me.

The first step would be making sure you have the right containers that fit your needs and your storage space.

All those decorations, signs, and mini trees. I love me a mini tree. They all need a home. The right storage ensures your precious items are safely tucked away.

Sterilite storage bins with organized Christmas decor and ornaments

This process can seem completely overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. I would much rather put my decor up a hundred times then take it down. I think part of it is when the season changes, you are feeling all sorts of jolly. You take your time, you do a little here, a little there, you soak in all the scents of the season. You begin to really feel the joy creeping into your home with every decoration you put up.
BEN-(Insert video)

However, the take down can be more of a GET IT DONE so we can have our home back already. Whichever it is for you, it has to be taken down one way or the other (yes even if you keep Christmas around.. eventually it will come down) Santa gets plenty of love, we don’t need to keep him up for Valentine’s Day too! I say this only with love.<3

Here’s a complete breakdown of how I handle my Christmas decor and organization.

Christmas decorations have always come down within the first few days of the year for me. No, I will not take them down before New Years’ but all the power to you if you do! Come January 1 though, it’s all fair game.

Speaking of game… that’s exactly what we do.

We make a game out of it. I’m a mama through and through and not much I do doesn’t involve one of my 4 kiddos. It’s important that I get creative and of course, make it fun. If we’re having fun, we’re not stressed!

Chose a designated spot.
This is the first step. This space will typically be the cleanest space in your home. This year we used the living room so I could capture it all for you guys. Way better lighting and a whole lot less dust… sort of.

This spot is now known as the scoring zone. Which wouldn’t you guess is already so motivating.

The second thing we do is line up. This is where I explain to them (which they should already know) that when I say go they need to get all the Christmas decor and bring it to the table, only then can they earn points. By now they’re so motivated, they can barely wait to dash away! See what I did there! ;)

The countdown begins

3 2 1 GO!!!

I kid you not… we can have almost everything taken down in 20 minutes. It’s insanely fast with everyone helping. Oh but if only it were that easy. Hello, massive unorganized pile of Christmas- we are NOT friends… yet.

Organize it. Sort it. Like with like. Really look at what you have.

Achieving the organized home of your dreams…

Can you guess what’s the hardest part to achieving an organized home? It’s not what you would typically think. Sure, maintaining it is very important but there isn’t a space to maintain if its not organized. No, it’s actually handling the messes you make along the way. Not allowing the “mess” to scare you away. Turning that “mess” into motivation and seeing the potential that lies ahead. This process will make a “mess” but having everything out in the open will allow you to really get it organized. This is true for every space in your home. It’s always worst before it gets better. Allow the “mess” to achieve your goals for your home.

Pro organizer tip for storage:
One of my biggest tips with anything being kept in storage is not to keep anything you didn’t use the previous year. This can be any season, event, or holiday. Chances are if you didn’t use it this year you probably won’t next year. Certain party supplies can be hard, but that’s for another post. Oh, birthday bags! Why you so cute?

Now it’s time to put it all away. The piles you made will help expedite this process but it will take time. After all, we aren’t throwing things into bins and hoping we can just get the lid too close. We aren’t right? At least we aren’t anymore. We’re forcing ourselves to dedicate the time NOW so come next year it’s pure BLISS in those sterilite containers.

The organization now makes all the difference next year and years to come.

You need bins, you do, but not yet. I have always had bins on hand for Christmas storage but it’s ok if you don’t at first. It’s better to purchase organizing products after you’ve done the work.

Another thing these piles do is they allow you to plan for what you need. You aren’t buying and guessing…. you’re sure OF WHAT YOU NEED. NOW that you’ve put in the work and you can clearly see it all… it will all spark JOY! ;)

For the final step, it helps to have a designated space. I know it can be tough to find the right space but keeping all things Christmas together as much as possible should be the goal. Even the cute Christmas socks and t-shirts. If you want to wear Christmas gear through out the year, be my guest. But if you don’t… store it with the season. Matching bins are as magical as matching hangers. People take for granted these simple things but they make all the difference. Matching bins are so helpful for easily identifying the holidays they go with. I have all red identical Sterilite bins. Such as these (link)

A quick mental tip: If you do have to split things up, I always suggest placing a note in the most used container. This will help you break down where you stored certain things. At least this way chances are you will grab this box first and the guessing will be over.

Never under estimate a good calendar reminder.
You could also set a reminder, I love reminders. My calendar is full of them. Color-coordinated of course. That’s also for another post! So much content in this brain of mine just waiting to BURST out.

Set Reminder A good goal for the new year!

Every year my goal is to buy less and store less

BUY LESS- STORE LESS! I didn’t say to not buy anything, I said less. You can still buy that decoration that tugs on your heartstrings, probably at Target, that you just have to have. Goodbye money. I swear that Target bullseye has hypnosis powers. Even I get caught up. I know… I’ve been there too. Why is everything from Target exactly what I need for that space? Hmmmm, look at me on this tangent. See hypnosis powers.

If you are going to bring in something NEW remind yourself that you will have to release something else NOW or down the road.

One in - As many as possible out

A Big Misconception about Organziers
There are so many misconceptions around organizing but I think one of them is definitely that organizers never buy new things. Wrong, I can tell you, we do. We love NEW just as much as the next person but just like most things in life there are unwritten rules. Here is my interpretation…

Before you buy Christmas decor and Christmas gifts…

When you find something new, think about something old you can release. If you are ready- do it as soon as possible.

Be smart about your choices, don’t look at a sale tag, thinking that determines something’s value. Think of the items value in your mind and your home- after all, that’s where it will be stored. If only we had this magical organized storage as they do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. And how nice would it be if we could magically make a an entire wall of tile appear. One can dream. OK, back to relaity.

Buy things that build you up- if it will stay in a bag and can stay in a bag- it’s worthless to you and your home. Everything new you bring in must be given a home or it will occupy another’s space in your home… hello the definition of clutter. declutterlikeamother, you must.

If you’re struggling with buying things and you tend to make purchases just because. Reach out to someone you trust. I can promise you it will help. I can sit here all day long and say this is a no-judgment zone, but you have to really believe me for it to matter. My ultimate goal is to help even one person clear the mental clutter even if that means saying the hard stuff. Although, I’ve never been one to hold back.

My mom tells me that when I encourage others through decluttering (finding their way out of a mess) that it’s therapeutic. She couldn’t be more right but just as therapeutic as it is for you, it’s the same for me too.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas decor storage tips to help you keep those bins tight and tidy!

Christmas tree storage

Christmas tree wrapped for storage
This magical clear wrap will change your life. I can’t tell you how useful this roll is. I’ve used it to wrap up hangers, gifts, garland, ribbon, wood, and as it pertains to this post. We use it to wrap up our Christmas lights. Its magic wrapped around an orange plastic wand. For real.

Christmas garland storage

Christmas garland organized and wrapped
See… theres that magic stuff again.

Christmas ornament storage

Christmas ornament storage case

Christmas stocking storage

Christmas stocking storage bin
This is probably one of my oldest Christmas storage bins. I love it so much but I’ve never found another one. There are similar bins that do the same thing but they aren’t this exact bin.

Christmas storage bins

I stole these bins. Ok, calm down I didn't actually steal them but I got an amazing deal on them. The day after Christmas, they were $5 each and with my Target card I scored an extra 5%. The bummer with organizing bins is that sometimes the nicer ones can be pretty expensive. The more you buy, the more they add up. They are worth it, but maybe it's not in your budget. Currently, Im waiting for the white Sterilite bins to go on sale so I can continue my garage organization layout. I knew I should have bought more when they were mega cheap but I have a hard time buying things I don't have a use for yet. Professional organizer flaw, ha.

Just wait…
If you’re searching for the perfect Christmas storage bins or any bins, keep them in your cart and wait for the price to drop or a coupon. Sales happen all the time, just got to keep an eye out for them.

There you have it. I know this year has brought so many challenges and it can be especially hard to find any joy. Trust me I know, but I hope this post gives you one less thing to worry about this year and many years to come.

Happy un-decking and cheers to only joy-filled hearts and boxes!

Back to Bliss!