Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Think Inside the Box

Yesterday "Anonymous" saved the integrity of my blog by offering up some great ideas about worthwhile places to donate items you uncover while spring cleaning. Today's topic is related - organization and storage for our prized holiday decorations.

St. Patrick's Day and Easter in the same week meant green and pastel items and craft supplies strewn about my house. Come Monday morning I was ready to pack it all away and to regain some table space. The next thing we celebrate in our house is Matthew's birthday and that is at least three weeks away. Plenty of time to get things in place before having to pull things back out again.

As I was packing our holiday decorations away, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to share how we store our family holiday things with the hope of learning a new tip or two from all of you. Those who know me know that I have a not-so-small obsession with Christmas ornaments... not to mention Halloween decorations, Valentine's Day decorations, Easter stuff, supplies for Shamrock Shakes... generally all things holiday. As you can imagine... all those decorations without a plan could make for a quite a cluttered house. I am not into clutter.

I have plastic boxes to hold just about everything and those boxes get stored along one wall in our garage. I like the plastic boxes because I can see inside them and my stuff cannot expand beyond the amount of space I have dedicated to hold it. If an item comes in and there's no more space... then something has to go out. The other reason I like this method of storage is because frequently I will find something off-season that I know I will use (wrapping paper, a new ornament, or metallic shred - which makes all packages look better). When I return home, I simply slip it in the designated box and then it is exactly where it needs to be when the holiday arrives.

I would be lying if I made it seem as though I had one box per holiday. In fact, I am smiling at even the idea of such a thing. No, I have multiple plastic boxes for most holidays. To make the containers especially easy to access, I try to buy orange and black for Halloween, green for Christmas, etc.... If I can't, I place a shape (tree, pumpkin, easter egg, heart, or Shamrock) on the outside of the container. All of this fulfills my need for things to be visually pleasing and orderly.

If you don't have shelving in a garage, how about drawers in a dresser?, shelves in a closet?, or tubs under your bed? Now your turn. Is there something creative you do to keep your holiday decorations in order?

Signing off until tomorrow...

P.S. With a sure and safe plan in place, you might be interested to know the scoop on how Target marks down their merchandise. It starts out at $dollar amount.99 (ie. 8$8.99), the first mark down will end in an 8 ($8.98); then a 7 ($8.97); and on and on until it ends in a 4 ($8.94). It won't go lower than a 4. I have my eye on a fun Easter centerpiece. It needs to be reduced some more, but when it does... I want it... and I have just the right amount of space to store it.

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