I love love love Christmas! The lights, the tree, the baking, time with family, the presents, the over all magic, I love it all. Our tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving, and our house explodes in Christmas cheer. I always have Christmas music playing. There is a chipper feeling in the air. It really is the happiest time of the year!
But once its over… it’s over. New years rolls around, and it is time for all that cheer to go back to the attic. Where to start? There is so much to put away and only so much space. You want to pack everything in the neatest way possible so that it’s easy to get out next year. Most importantly, you want to pack it so that nothing gets broken or lost!
You do not have to head out and get the most expensive storage items to pack away your chaos! For example: You can can spend $10-$30 on wrapping paper storage, or you can head to your nearest Walmart or dollar store and grab a $5 trash can to store your paper in! Our wrapping paper can is our very first trash can from when we got married, nearly 9 years ago! I am all about re-purposing items, and I’m diligent about saving boxes that larger things came in to re-pack them away exactly where they belong. Regardless of how many boxes I save, we still have a ton of things that need packed away. This is where our storage totes come in!
Right after Christmas is when Staples always runs a sale on storage totes! Their 40 quart plastic container with locking lid is always on sale for just $3.99 each. (normally $7.49) These are the perfect size for those just starting out on a budget! Let’s face it, you don’t need a ton of space for mountains of decorations in those early years! The locking lids are great to prevent anything from falling out, or if you store in a basement or attic, from anything getting in. Eek!
I always start with my breakable plastic balls. This year KB and I removed them all and placed about 8 per ziplock baggy. Normally, I would pull out a sharpie and label all of my bags, but let’s be real. I can see exactly what is in this one. Wash, rinse, repeat until all of my balls are bagged up! Then onto the bows and icicles.
After my balls, bows, and icicles we move on to the sentimentals. These are mostly C’s and Kb’s feet prints. There are some salt dough ones such as our first house key, C’s Rudolph foot, and our yearly family ornament. I would cry if any of these were to get broken! First, I take all of the salt-dough ornaments and respray them with an acrylic sealer. It helps them to last longer. I happen to have this one on hand from a previous project, but any acrylic spray sealer will work. I bought this one at Walmart in the arts and crafts section.
Next, while I still have sentimentals to put away, I pull out the tissue paper I saved from gifts and our stockings. My most breakable sentimentals (C’s and Kb’s baby feet prints that are on glass balls) go gently into our stockings. After this, I take the tissue paper and wrap up all of our yearly family ornaments and put them inside the remaining stockings. I tuck all of our packed ornaments away nice and neatly into one of our many storage containers and stuff our tree skirt in on top of it to make sure it is full and nothing is going to bounce around in there. By this time, Charles is normally done with the dreaded Christmas lights. We always save the spools that the lights come on. It is just a matter of wrapping them back up neatly and adding them to storage tote number two.
Once all of our lights are packed away I work on my Christmas wreaths. Did I mention that these babies were half off on Black Friday at Hobby Lobby?!? I just discovered Hobby Lobby for BF shopping this year. Not only do I love that they open on actual BF and not Thanksgiving, but all of their Christmas items are half off, as well as a good portion of the store. Just thinking about this sale brings a smile to my face, but that’s a different post for a different day! Remember all of those over sized Toys R Us shopping bags you accumulated over the shopping season? I hope you saved them! They are perfect for smaller wreaths. This year I put my over-the-garage-light wreaths into them and tied them up. Perfect fit! Next, was my DIY door wreath. It was too big to fit into a shopping bag, so out came the trash bags. I squeezed it in and tied it up.
Now, next year when I go to take everything out to spread cheer to my family, I simply save all of the bags and tissue paper, making next years clean up cost $0
“It’s not what’s under the tree that matters. It’s who’s gathered around it” -Anonymous