Easy Ways to Store Christmas Decorations

Easy ways to store Christmas decorations.We all love decorating for the holidays: it’s cheerful, nostalgic, and just plain fun. But the aftermath? That can be a little less enthralling. This year take a few extra steps when storing your decorations after Christmas, and your sanity will thank you next year when it’s time to get them out again. These easy ideas will make holiday cleanup a breeze:

The Christmas Tree

It’s the focal point of all your decorating, but how do you store an artificial tree to ensure it lasts for years to come? First, saran wrap. Wrap the tree securely to keep dust off year-round. Then choose its storage place wisely. Try to make space for it on the same level of the house that you use it, instead of risking damage by hauling it up or down stairs or squeezing it into a tight attic space. No one will mind it in a guest bedroom or even an office.

Lights

Nothing can halt holiday cheer quite as quickly as tangled Christmas lights. Stop the frustration before it starts by wrapping strands on paper towel rolls. Or utilize an extra plastic hanger or two, then, simply hang them in a closet or storage room until next year. Plus, it doesn’t take any extra time than it does to roll them into the knot you’ll have to deal with next year. Take a look:

Use a plastic coat hanger to keep Christmas light strands tangle free.
Porch.com

 

Tree Ornaments

Before you splurge on the pricey products promising to keep your ornaments safe, consider a more frugal option. We’ve always loved the versatility of hanging shoe organizers, so why not use them for holiday décor? They’ll store ornaments neatly in a closet, but you can grab a few extra and use them to organize small gift bags, bows, ribbons, and gift tags.

Wrapping paper

It’s so easy and satisfying to stock up on wrapping paper once it hits the clearance rack after Christmas. But once the roll is opened, it can quickly become unrolled—turning that beautiful paper into a wrinkled disaster. Save some empty toilet paper rolls, and with one cut down the middle you can wrap them around wrapping paper tubes. A little tape will keep it secure and won’t harm the paper.

Utilize Totes

Lastly, do a little extra work and feel like an organizing guru. With the right tools, installing hanging tote organizers in the garage is an easy weekend project. Just keep the original boxes for the rest of your decorations, stack in a plastic tote, and hang them up with satisfaction until the next holiday season rolls around.

Make holidays less stressful with a pre-Christmas cleanup

Make holidays less stressful with a pre-Christmas cleanup

The last thing you want to do during the holiday season is add yet another item to your list of things to do. But giving your home a solid declutter before Christmas will actually make the holidays less stressful. Everything runs better in a clean environment, so use this guide to tackle a few areas each day, and by the time Christmas Day is here you’ll be ready to relish in your accomplishments.

  • Start low. Under the bed is the perfect storage place for wrapping paper and other small items, so tidy it up now before it’s time to start storing.
  • Whether you’re traveling near or far for the holidays, a clean car will make commuting merrier. Clean out trash and give it a quick swipe with the vacuum. Keep it clean by hanging bags on the back of chairs for future trash.
  • Manage your coat closet for snow days by purging little-used or too-small outerwear. Put lighter jackets on one side and heavy coats on the other for easy grabbing.
  • Then head to the rest of your closets. It doesn’t need to be an all-day project, but do get rid of anything you haven’t worn in a few months. Consider an inexpensive organizer for shoes or even socks.
  • You’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, so make it an enjoyable place to be by decluttering the fridge. Make space for your favorite dishes in the fridge, and clean up the storage bins and shelving.
  • Next, tackle the junk drawer. It’s easy to close the drawer and ignore the mess, but it’s even easier to clean it once and organize it for life with silverware trays. This might be the least fun task, but trust us, it’s worth it.
  • Tupperware is a holiday staple if you want to send guests home with leftovers, or take Tupperware with you for your own leftovers. Organize your Tupperware stash and finally toss those extra lids. Then find a good sale on a new Tupperware sets to permanently “loan” to hungry friends and family.
  • While the kids are home from school, clean out their backpacks and start fresh in January. Take a few extra minutes to clean out purses and wallets too.
  • Christmas break is a great time to cuddle and watch movies, so make sure yours are organized. Get each DVD back in its original case, and weed out any movies you don’t watch anymore.
  • Take a deep breath … and then tackle the toy room. Purging is absolutely necessary before the kids bring in their haul of new Christmas toys. Chances are they won’t even notice what’s gone.
  • Finally, the key to a good declutter is giving back. Don’t just toss your hard work in the trash; donate it to a good cause. You can enjoy your clean home, and others will enjoy your generosity.

7 Organization Tips for an Open House

Open House OrganizationGetting a home ready for an open house is a big project and requires proper preparation in order for it to be a successful event. Marketing, deep cleaning, enhancing the ambiance, and repairs are among the many items on the open house to-do list.

Organizing the home and staging the home are crucial to an open house. Follow these handy organization tips that can increase the value of your home in the eye of homebuyers.

Photo by mobilerazzdotcom at Morguefile.comRemove Everything From Countertops

Especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. These places are often the make-or-break point for many buyers. This is also a great time to get rid of paper clutter once and for all!

Tidy Up Shelves

Put away and tidy up books, straighten pictures and ornaments, and remove clutter to leave shelves open and pleasing to the eye. Visit Pinterest for some great shelf decorating ideas.

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Keep Closets and Cabinets Clean

The temptation to stuff everything in closets or bathroom cabinets is real. The problem is, homebuyers like to look there too. Make sure to use baskets, bins, and other organizers to make things less cluttered.

Move Pets and Pet Stuff Out of the House

Get this done a day or two before the event. Having a neighbor or friend take care of your pet makes cleaning easy and rids the home of potential allergens for some buyers. Allowing a couple days between the pets’ removal and the open house would also help eliminate any lingering pet odor.

Spruce Up the Yard

The front of the house is the first thing prospective buyers see when arriving to a home showing. Curb appeal is essential for assessing home value. Mow the lawn, trim hedges, weed the garden, and put toys and equipment in the garage or a storage unit.

Move Vehicles Out of the Garage

I recommend leaving as much open space in the garage as possible because it makes it appear larger. Homebuyers want to know how much space would be available to fit their own stuff. Find a place in the neighborhood where it would be okay to keep the cars parked during the open house.

Push Furniture Against the Walls

This opens up the room and looks tidy. Try moving around excess furniture to lesser used areas, perhaps the basement, if an area is too crowded.

Remember: less is more. Organizing for an open house is typically not the same as how you would organize the place for everyday living. The idea is to keep items away and out of sight and open up the space to a model home status.

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5 ways to keep your superparent game strong through the school year

superhero kidsWe all start off as heroes at the beginning of the school year. Those school forms are signed and returned on time. Perfectly coordinated outfits are strategically laid out the night before. Showers, fresh haircuts, homework schedules—they’re on par for the perfect school year.

And then … there’s week two. We stumble a bit. But not to fear, there are simple steps you can take to keep your game strong from now all the way through that last day of school.

The Clothes

You can avoid those early morning outfit arguments by laying out clothes the night before, but do we really have time for that five nights a week? Try the zip lock back method. When you’re folding laundry, pair and fold matching outfits in bags that can be conveniently stored in the closet or dresser. Kids can pick the colors and outfit that suits their mood each morning, matching accessories and all. Those favorite (and probably well worn) T-shirts can be hung in the closet within reach, and we all know that the “favorite” shirt really goes with anything anyway. And as far as laundry goes, relax. Try one load a day. The real trick to stress relief is making sure just that one load gets folded and put away each day. Even better if you can get the kids to help.

Cold Lunch

Want to make your lunch packing extra economical? Use leftovers! Every real pizza lover loves cold pizza, so don’t toss those extra take-out pieces before you stock pile a few days of lunches. You can also spend just a few (key word: few) minutes each night throwing a few premade items into lunchbox. Juice boxes, fruit cups, and those magic Uncrustables, are perfect for making your morning a breeze—even before your coffee. Invest in a well-sealed, leak-proof water bottle, and keep the kiddos hydrated all school day long.

The Forms

Oh, the dreaded forms. They come home crumpled in the bottom of backpacks covered in crumbs, but it’s okay! Just take five minutes each day after you arrive home, and empty out each backpack. Create an easy filing system with baskets or shelves to organize each child’s papers.

The Perfect Planner

Some of us are old school fans of putting the pen to paper to help us keep organized. A Franklin planner (though a little pricier than others) will let you customize the perfect planner for your needs. Just pick the pages you want, the size, and relish in your organization. For the more tech-minded, an endless number of apps will solve all of your scheduling needs, particularly if you want to sync up with other phones in your family. Shared Google calendars are handy for multiple parents to juggle activities.

Weekly Meeting

Lastly, set aside just a few minutes each week to dish out the scheduling details with your family. Plan rides, which meetings to attend and by whom, and don’t forget to ask each kid the best part of their week and any concerns they have. Essentially, being that super parent is less about the hectic craziness, and more about just a few minutes each day staying on top of things.

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