I'm one of those people who has their tree and other holiday decorations down the day after Christmas. Starting fresh for the New Year is important for me to de-clutter my mind, and through my obsessive compulsive organization, I have come up with a few tips to share in order to help make the hassle easier.
1. Storage bins. Clear plastic bins have pretty much taken over my storage unit. Nothing is more important than storing and labeling for next year. All labeled clearly and precisely, I'm able to find just about anything within one minute. I have found that the best bins are stackable and have a good fastening top, like these multi-boxes from The Container Store, $3.99 - $14.99 each.
2. Store Christmas lights with next year's untangling in mind. When it comes to lights, do it once and do it right. Wrap lights carefully around pieces of cardboard or foam to protect from tangling, then wrap the whole thing in bubble wrap or tissue. The urge to throw everything in a box is overwhelming around this time, but the more work you do for yourself in the future, the happier next year's holidays will be.
3. Organize ornaments by type, carefully. Putting all glass, plastic or porcelain ornaments together in one container can cut back on breakage. Delicate glass ornaments can be grouped together in bubble wrap or tissue, and avoid getting bonked by heavier, sturdier ornaments. Plus, it's a breeze to change up your decorating style next year without having to open every box and pick through ornaments if you want to stick to a particular theme. The Container Store also makes these great Archival Ornament Storage boxes if you don't trust that old shoebox or egg carton anymore. $24.99 - $29.99
4. Keep that extra wrapping paper for next year! Don't be wasteful. Make sure to recycle all holiday wrapping paper, or use different methods like fabric or newspaper. If you do use traditional wrapping paper, hold onto the extra by rolling it up and slipping it into the cardboard tube that it came with. Label the papers on the outside of the tube with a permanent marker and store vertically for easy access.
5. Less is more. If you haven't put out a certain holiday decoration in several years and aren't particularly attached to it, get rid of it! Donate out-of-date or regifted decorations to a thrift store or Goodwill to make room for ones that are more your style. Nothing is worse than storing a bunch of junk that you don't even use or want anymore.