Every time January rolls around I find myself with a case of the post-Christmas blues. In my opinion when Christmas music stops playing and decorations get packed away it’s officially the most un-wonderful time of the year! I have to remind myself that this a time for fresh starts, do-overs, do-betters, and new beginnings. It’s a time to seek the Lord for new vision and direction for yourself and your family. It’s “out with the old and in with the new.” With that transition in our house comes a rotating of “stuff.” After Christmas isn’t the only time that this happens, I find that every change in season brings an opportunity to purge, organize, store, and prioritize things our household. That includes seasonal décor, seasonal clothing, kids clothing in various sizes, and seasonal toys just to name a few.
Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in rotating through your seasonal items.
Christmas Décor Storage:
Store items in airtight containers in a dry place. We made the mistake of storing items in our cellar over the last year and ended up with a mildewed mess! So this year I made sure we had plenty of plastic storage tubs and a new storage location.
I keep miscellaneous Christmas items in the same bins as my decorations because I know that I won’t need items like my cookie cutters or Christmas mugs until I have the décor out. It keeps my kitchen storage space a little neater that way.
For ornament storage I layered my tubs with cardboard dividers, plastic cups, and egg cartons depending on the ornament sizes.
I always roll my lights in tight balls and I’ve never had a problem with tangling. My husband swore by this method after our first Christmas, and he’s been right! It’s a simple way to save a big headache later!
We tried out a new tree storage solution: giant tubes! In previous years we haven’t been able to find tubs long enough to fit the pieces. This year we bought two concrete forms from the hardware store and stuffed the trees into them. It was a really tight fit, and took some major elbow grease, but the total process took us just over ten minutes. The pros of this storage solution are that it’s a compact container that takes up a small footprint on the floor and it would be easy to get in and out of small doorways (like drop-down attic doors). However, we used two tubes so I’m not sure it’s actually any less total square footage than the tree box. It’s also not air tight, so there is a risk of moisture. The total cost was $24 compared to many large tree boxes that cost $40-50. Here’s a little peek at the process:
I have tried to keep seasonal clothing down to one tub per person. I only keep what I’ve worn consistently, what actually fits, and what still has life left in it. I put away boots and sweaters in the spring and put away sundresses and sandals in the fall.
I also keep a drawer in my “mud room” that in the Winter, stores gloves and hats. In the Spring, I swap out the items in that drawer for my garden gloves, sunscreen, and summer hats.
I love the idea of rotating toys so that it reduces clutter and keeps kids engaged with toys. You can make tubs for a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly rotation depending on how many toys you have. Sort toys so there are a variety of options in each bin and label them with numbers. Then simply swap out one tub at a time!
Click here for some good information about toy rotating!
Anyone with growing kids knows that clothing can fit one day and be too small the next. To help keep things sorted I keep a small “too small” basket right next to the changing table so as soon as I realize that something is too small I can toss it in. Then when the time comes to put away a whole size I sort through and decide what is worth keeping and begin to fill a large plastic bin. Anything I’m not keeping gets donated. I sort smaller items like socks into zipper bags and label them accordingly. Then when the tub gets full (sometimes this takes a few sizes to fill) I label the outside and put it away in the attic. I also keep a bin handy for miscellaneous items that the baby has outgrown – like swaddle blankets and infant toys and label it with the months that it was appropriate (like BABY STUFF 0-3 months). Lastly, I keep a bin with “next size” clothes so anything I acquire that is bigger than the current size lives there until it’s time to make it’s debut.