Several of you have asked me my methods for staying organized and storing the Christmas decor, as well as storing all the other things that come along with keeping a house and changing things out with the seasons. So, I’ll attempt to explain what I do, in hopes that it might help you too. I’ve always been pretty organized, that comes fairly naturally to me, but I’ve had to work at getting better organized for Christmas, as my collection has grown over the years.
Just about 5 years ago, I threw away my cardboard boxes and started using those plastic bins for storage and that has been a lifesaver. These plastic bins are so versatile and I love those snap-on lids that keep things safe and sound up in the attic.
I’ve also been working on labeling those plastic boxes, so that the next year, it’s so much easier to find what I need. I’ve found that keeping things together that go in one room really helps a lot. So, my method has been to put everything from the mantel in one box, everything from the kitchen in another, and so on and so on. That’s something I just started last year and this year streamlined it even more.
These are small little storage boxes and I use them to keep my small ornaments and things that I want protected. Then, these little boxes go inside the larger boxes for even more safety.
I can add small glass ornaments in here and just layer some paper in between. I’ve never had a problem with any of them breaking like this.
I took all the ornaments off my white and gold tree in the foyer and put everything in this one bin and labeled it. Now, next year, I’ll know exactly where all of this is just by a glance at the label.
I will try to keep the original boxes for some items, just to further keep it safe. Then I pack everything inside the storage bins as tightly as possible.
These divided bins for ornaments have been great for my breakable glass pieces. I’ve been using these for a few years and they are just perfect. Never had any break using these. I have 2 of them to hold all the glass from my tree.
Another small box for the kitchen small items.
All labeled and ready to go to the attic. We do not have a basement, so the attic is it. Luckily it’s big.
Now, here’s the pull-down ladder which goes up to our spacious attic. I was so thrilled to have this since my last house attic was so small and there was not a drop-down ladder. This makes it easy for me to scamper up and down to put things away. All I do is flip on the light and climb. My hubby hands up all the bins to me and I stack them away. Do you have a pull-down, walk up attic?? I am SO thankful to have this.
It was already outfitted with plywood all across, sort of long and narrow, but plenty of space for all our storage needs. I keep a path open to walk and stack all the boxes as high as I can next to the rafters. I still have my large tree box, but instead of cramming that tree back in there, I just lay all 3 pieces on the plywood floor and cover it with a big old tablecloth.
Bins are stacked for the year. I have about a dozen bins for the Christmas decor.
Easy to get to if I need too, not that I will until next year. It does get hot up here, so I don’t leave anything in the boxes that can melt, like candles. Ask me how I know that?! This is the other side of the attic and I have a few boxes stored up here that I’m not using right now, but want to keep. So, we are very fortunate to have this much usable attic space for storage and I’m grateful for it. We will keep our printer or computer boxes up here for awhile, just in case we might need them again.
I use every piece of furniture that I have with doors and drawers for storage too. And I’ve got several pieces that hide a multitude of crap and junk decorative accessories.
Down in the foyer, this piece has 2 doors on either end (as well as 3 middle drawers) and I store my candles and candleholders in here when I’m not using them. That way, they are easily accessible for the occasions I do need them. I wish I could say that all my drawers get cleaned out regularly and stay very neat and tidy, but well, that would just be a lie. They don’t. I struggle with that just like everyone else does.
Now, let’s move on to my own little storage room, that space under the stairs that is ALL mine. My hubby hardly ever even looks in here.
It’s right at the bottom of the stairs that goes into our den and has it’s own door, so closes away, thank goodness. Now, I’m not claiming to have storage all figured out at all. Just the opposite in fact, I tend to be a pack rat, so you might feel better about yourself after you see my closet. I’ve managed to outfit it with all sorts of mismatched storage pieces, that mostly all came from yardsales. But, it works to keep things somewhat in order and I can mostly find things when I need them. I have to periodically clean this room out about twice a year, as it gets the overflow of pieces that I’m getting rid of and need to move out.
There’s a small file cabinet in here and on top of that is a box with old photos, and on top of that is a plastic drawer unit that I found yardsaling. It holds all my extra fringe and trims and other misc. stuff. My goal in this room is to utilize every inch of space, so I’ve gone up high as much as possible. That little wicker piece I trash-picked in my neighborhood and didn’t have anywhere to use it, so it works great on top of my boxes to add even more height for storage of candlesticks and other things.
You can see how tall it goes and all the extras here, like bunnies, candlesticks, and white pumpkins. These are all things I get out during the year at different seasons, so I keep them all here in this room and handy to grab.
You can also see some silver piece here too. These were used at Christmas, but I won’t need them again for awhile.
Think about wall space in an area like this too. I added nails to the wall here and that top bag has my ornament wreath inside to keep it safe and it’s hanging from the shopping bag handle on the nail. And I hang up all my wall pockets for my front door that I also change out for the seasons. I can redo these whenever the mood strikes.
I’ve definitely got this room crammed full, but at least I can walk in here now. That’s a bag full of pillows that I just can’t quite get rid of yet. I’m holding onto them for now and might use them again later. That big basket holds my large collection of craft paints and to the left you can see a dried flower arrangement that I took apart and kept the remains for later use. Those top boxes are holding gift bags that I’ve collected over the years. I’ll probably never use them all.
These boxes are all stored on a yardsale bookcase . All those mismatched pieces work great in an area like this. It doesn’t have to be pretty and you can see that it certainly isn’t. Extension cords are in that plastic bin that I’ve had way too long, as you can tell by the mauve color. Photo bins and albums are also stored in here.
An old mirror that I can’t get rid of, along with other pieces are sitting in here that I use periodically too along with some other faux forsythia that I’ve used during Spring. Moss bunnies too as well as some remnants of beadboard wallpaper that I just might use somewhere. Can’t throw that away.
There’s a small window in here that is fair game to sit things on the ledge. I found that cute striped shade at a yardsale for 50 cents and here it sits.
The bookcase is the larges piece in here and it holds all my crafty stuff, things I’m not using at the moment, but might need. Like the glue gun, spray paint, Rub N Buff, Mod Podge, all of that is on the shelves.
Again, I went up here to the ceiling and added those stacking plastic things for even more height. Games and other things are up there. That wall pocket that I use on my front door is out of the way & up high on a nail.
More plastic drawers come in handy for small items and here’s all my birds and nests and all sorts of things.
Old yearbooks and Beth Moore study books are in here too.
And this last piece, is an old bakers rack I found for $5 at a yardsale and it was a good addition to this small space too. I tend to hang on to fabric remnants and they are all here. Oh, and bags. I have a thing for bags. If I get a nice shopping bag with those handy fabric handles, I will keep the bag for who knows how long. You never know when you might need a nice sturdy bag with fabric handles. They can carry all sorts of things. So, the bags get dumped in here too. And at least I can hang them from this bakers rack, to get them up off the floor.
More books and more bags. The Chicos bag holds all my paint decks and paint chips.
So, as you can see, I do NOT have this storage thing figured out completely. This is just how I do it, so if you gained any inkling of new ideas for yourself, then I’m happy to share. If you looked at my spaces and said, oh that poor thing, she is just drowning in clutter, then I totally understand. It seems to be a constant struggle, trying to control the clutter. I’ve gotten much better about giving things away and have to say, I’ve very rarely ever regretted giving anything away OR selling it in a yardsale. There’s always something else to take the place of what goes out the door. We all have way too much stuff as it is, myself included. My clothes closet is a constant struggle too and that area is one I have to reorganize about 2 times a year. It’s in dire need right now, so that will probably happen this month too.
Hope you weren’t too bored with this, since some asked how I store things and what I do to control the clutter. This is it, nothing too exciting at all and probably very much what ya’ll do at your house.
Do you have any special tips to share about organizing the clutter? We’d all benefit from hearing them if you do, so feel free to share away!