Only 359 Days until Christmas 2011

Friday, December 31, 2010

359 days until Christmas copy Hey, friends….it’s Shinnyupatree, Teresa’s head elf giving you a post-Christmas debrief. Are you kidding me? I can barely move around all the remnants of Christmas 2010 and now you’re saying something I don’t want to hear about Christmas 2011. It’s never ever too early to think about Christmas. I think about it all the time….summer, spring, winter and fall. But that’s another whole story and I probably need to be in therapy.

Now down to the business at hand—preparing for next season by properly storing your holiday decorations. This isn’t the perfect way. It’s not the only way. It’s just my way. So maybe you can pick up an idea or two to help make next Christmas a little easier.

A great way to start planning is to first jot down some thoughts about Christmas 2010. Trust me, do it while things are fresh on your mind. Ask yourself what would you do differently next year? My debrief list will probably look something like this:

  1. Start earlier. Main tree went up two weeks before Thanksgiving. Maybe move to first of October.
  2. Replenish replacement bulbs for outside lights when stores first put out Christmas supplies…again start earlier. Buy them when supplies are plentiful. Purchase bulb stakes at Ellis early—need about 50 more.
  3. Schedule ahead (again earlier) friends and family trees that I do. Start asking in September-October.
  4. Floral projects. Check door wreaths and tabletop trees in storage for refreshes or redo.
  5. Put together two small trees for Devin and Laney.
  6. Schedule Christmas cookie day with grands earlier than three days before Christmas.
  7. And the list goes on and on until I run out of ideas or changes.

So you get the idea of the debrief list. Mine will go in a cute snowman journal Teresa gave me. Just make it handy and easy to find.  I’m pretty sure you could find one now for a good price. BUT DON’T PACK IT IN YOUR CHRISTMAS STUFF!

A CONFESSION:  My Christmas addiction means I have something in every room during the holidays. I’m telling you in my 2,400 sq. ft. home there is not one area except maybe my kitchen pantry or closets that doesn’t have Christmas decor in it. Trees, Santas, floral arrangements, wreaths, garland, lights, books, toys for the grandchildren…I’m sorry it’s obvious I have a problem. So I had to come up with an easy storage system and solution. Maybe you can use some of my ideas for your own holiday decor—if not this year maybe next…this would be a good time to jot that down in your debrief journal as the first entry.P1060416

  1. STORAGE CONTAINERS - Purchase and replace as you are able CLEAR storage bins. Last year I bought 20+ of these Sterilite 70 qt. clear containers. They’re great because they stack easily filled or empty, the lids lock on securely and can be labeled on the handles, and most importantly you can SEE the contents.P1060409P1060407If you’re using solid containers, try to gradually replace them with clear as you’re able to afford it. If you standardize your containers, you can make more efficient use of your space. We have an off-site storage unit, but this could also work in an attic.
  2. PICTURES – Take pictures of your holiday displays for placement and ideas for next Christmas. (You will use these pictures in the next step.) It doesn’t mean you will put everything out in a “paint-by-number” way. For me it’s an easy way to decorate without having to reinvent the wheel. I know I’ll be flexible and have freedom to make subtle changes especially if I’ve bought a new item in the after-Christmas sales. If you’re using a digital camera and pc, create a new folder on your computer named Christmas 2010 holiday decor. It’s also a good idea to burn it to a cd for a backup just in case your pc isn’t around the next year. Here are a few of my 2010 placement pictures. Display 009 Display 001   Display 002 Display 003Display 005Display 004Display 006 Display 007 Display 008
  3. PRINT PICTURES - Print the photos on regular paper or cardstock. Remember you’re only using them for reference so photo paper is not necessary—save your money. I took it a step further last year and printed a collage of each room Dining Room 2010on a sheet like this… Den decor 2010
  4. PACK DECOR BY ROOM – Packing each room in its own bins allows you to have everything handy to put out next year.  Label your bins by room and place the printed photo or collage on the inside front of the bin. Box sample
  5. PACK TREE DECORATIONS – All my trees are packed in bins labeled by tree; for example, den tree.  I pack fragile glass or collectible ornaments in ornament boxes like this…P1060410or wrap them in bubble wrap in large 2.5 gallon Ziplock bags. P1060412You can then place the ziplock bag on top of other non-breakable ornaments in the bin like this…P1060415
  6. SORTING – Christmas bins are stacked in storage by room. So if next year I want to do the den one week, or the dining room, those containers can be pulled for just that room. Spare ornaments not assigned to any particular tree or house are sorted by color. That way if I need extra red in one of my trees I can pull the bin of red and fill in as needed. Then the next year those red ornaments are packed with that tree.
  7. COLLECTIBLE SANTAS/FIGURINES – For most of my collectibles I have saved the original boxes for storage. Yes, I am spoiled because my husband (who kindly pays for my off-site storage) built shelves in the storage unit for me. Everything else goes in a regular clear plastic bin for that room.

So now get ready for Christmas 2011. Don’t forget to do your debriefing. Don’t you just love an elf telling you to do your homework? I promise it will pay off big time for you next year.

I will be posting photos of my home decor in the next few days and I would love if you would take a peek. Stop by with your comments or shoot me a question if you have one.  My Christmas will be staying up for a while. Hey, get this…my hubby wants to keep my main snowman tree up until next year…a first for him, but I guess that shows he really loves it.

Happy New Year banner 2 

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a safe Happy New Year!

Best to you all,



Debby@Just Breathe said...

Excellent ideas. My storage containers are old and not clear. I think I better change that. Something I did a few years ago was buy some really nice canvas ornament containers at the Container store in LA. They were like $7.95 down from $24. I have over 800 ornaments on my tree. I collapsed all my ornament boxes, many are Hallmark and the ornaments now go into these containers. It makes for a lot less space needed and the original boxes stay in great shape. No more unpacking each box and then looking for it after Christmas to put the ornament back in. It has really changed the time it takes to decorate my tree.

Kat said...

Bite your tongue for mentioning Christmas! LOL Just kidding. Actually I do almost everything you mentioned and you're absolutely right about it making things easier. I've already got calendar reminders beginning next August when I want us to have our beach photo taken for the Christmas cards. Great post. Thanks.


West Side of Straight said...

Great ideas. I too use totes, but like your idea of changing to clear ones. Have a great new year.

Angie Knight said...

GREAT ideas Teresa! The plastic storage container idea is one I've used the past couple of years. I even had the COURAGE to go help my mother sort through hers. She donated some to the granddaughters for their trees for NEXT year!

Lugging all the boxes out of the house and into the storage building was the toughest part. (Mainly because I know that SAME storage building will be cleaned out and reorganized HOPEFULLY in the next 2 months. (It's a wreck)

Thanks for all the BEAUTIFUL pictures and GREAT ideas you share! I LOVE this place! ;)


Kim-A Creative Spirit said...

what great ideas... I am passing on to my daughter.

Sue said...

Great ideas, and I am glad to see that I do most of them, with the exception of the clear containers. I use all red ones with green lids, because I don't like to see the insides:-) Too much visual clutter for me. {they are in my garage.} But I do put a pretty detailed list on the outside and that is very helpful.

I've already got my shopping list for next September when all of the goodies appear in Hobby Lobby:-)
Thank you for the helpful post and have a blessed New Year.


PEA said...

Such wonderful ideas and although I do use the storage totes, some of your other ideas are ones I will incorporate as well:-) Thank you so much for sharing them with us! Happy New Year:-) xoxo

Terra said...

Dear Shinnyupatree, you are a clever elf. My favorite idea here of yours is to buy large clear plastic containers (70 qt.). I will look for some to buy. The clear aspect is key. Thanks for the tip.

gayle said...

These are really great ideas!1 My decorations are still up so I will be sure to use some of your suggestions. I love the idea of totes but I'm not sure if I have the storage space for them. I love the idea of making a list of what's needed for next year. This year I couldn't find a lot of what I wanted because by the time I was ready for them, they were all sold out. This year 2011 thanks to you I will be able to start early with my list all ready!

Nezzy said...

What a wonderfully informative post. Yep, we all have our systems that can be improved. I always write what I see I need to buy or replace for the next year on the New Year Calendars November. That way I always have it before me that month to put on my shoppin' list. Beats my memory to thunderation!!!

God bless and have a wonderful New Year Ya'll!!! :o)

Lynn said...

I really like the idea of clear plastic containers, mine are not, but it would make it much easier if I could see what is in each one. I do write on them but think I will begin to switch to clear.

patty said...

that last tree is stunning! i have an xmas addiction, too... i've been forbiddent to "accumulate" any more... hmm... your packing tips are perfect.
thanks for stopping by for edie's surprise party.

Love Being a Nonny said...

Great tips! I don't use a container unless it's clear! even labels don't help me. I need to SEE what's inside!! Oh, and I already know when I want my card pics made!!!! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

These are great ideas! I love it!

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

What FUN BLOGS full of ADORABLE FAMILY and CLEVER IDEAS! I'm very jealous of all your storage. Our 200 yo house has 2 twisty flights up to a dark, low attic... No basement or closets either (tho we built in a few small closets). I try to store much decor in the room it's used. My kitchen soffits hold vintage suitcases full of my Christmas mugs, towels, Santas, even some Leprechauns, black cats n bunnies! So happy you found me. I have lots to catch up on here...

Toyin O. said...

These are such brillant ideas, thanks for sharing. Hope you had a good Holiday! Happy New Year!

Kate Detweiler said...

Hello! My husband and I are expecting our first little baby in early November. I stumbled on your blog while searching for Christmas cards that include the "A Baby Changes Everything" phrase because I want to use my Christmas cards as a birth announcement too and thought it made a cute pun. Have you ever seen anything like this? I saved the link you have on your sidebar in case I have to make the cards myself but I'd rather buy them if they are for sale somewhere.
Thanks and MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)