The Take Down

Anyone else start taking down their Christmas decorations??

I usually wait until the first of the year to clean up the Christmas decor but since we jumped the gun on decorating early, it was time to deep clean the house and get everything back in order. But where to start?

I can't go to sleep without picking up every miss placed toy, putting away the blankets, fixing the cushions on the couch and finally cleaning the dishes that my husband so kindly left in the sink (5 inches from the dishwasher). For me, I do my best organizing at night, once Ellie is asleep and unable to undo what I started cleaning. If for some reason I can't get this done at night, I wake up stressed. I hate having a to-do list a mile long at the beginning of my day. Night Cleaner vs Morning Cleaner. Either way, it doesn't make it any easier to clean up all the cutesy Christmas stuff you stocked up on at the Hobby Lobby sale!

I start by bringing all the Christmas items into one room. Personally, I think its easier to put things away if I know what can go together. So I brought it all into our front room where our tree was. First we take all the bulbs off the tree. I put all the plastic silver bulbs in the container they came in. It's just a large clear plastic box that we just throw them all in. Next are the sentimental ornaments. These I wrap in tissue paper or the bubble wrap they came in, and place them in a box with dividers. When me and my husband got engaged at the Empire State Building in NYC!! we decided from that day on we would buy an ornament on every trip we took. And we have taken lots of trips..
Next are the lights! We have modified the way we take down Christmas lights many many times (bundling with wire ties/ wrapping around cardboard/ tossing in a box to deal with next go around). This year we used a method my husband saw on YouTube to individually wrap each strand of lights. Velcroing the bundles together. We were tired of untangling lights to decorate the tree and garland above our kitchen cabinets. Hopefully this works like a charm for decorating next year. Stay tuned to find out..
We used to just put our Christmas tree in garbage bags and put them in the basement. *gasp* 
This was how our tree was given to us from my grandma so we didn't know any better! My mom of course kept her tree box and every year she some how manages to fit the tree back in the box perfectly as if it had never been taken out.
Mind blown. 
For me, that will never be the case. 
Now that we were in a house that we plan to be in longer than a year, it was time to find a real solution. In our basement, we have a ledge that is under our garage and can account for extra storage. Only problem with this ledge is you have to crouch down on the concrete to climb back there to get anything out. Ta-da! They now make these nifty storage containers with wheels for Christmas trees! This one claims to fit "most 7 foot trees" but once I started to place my particular tree in, I knew I was either going to have to do some major smashing of the tree or split it into 2 boxes. We also have a small tree in my husbands office and garland in the kitchen to store, so buying 2 was a given. These ones are from Walmart and they are called Iris Holiday Tree Storage Tote's.
Walmart also had a lot of storage containers on sale in many different sizes. I pretty much just use whatever large storage bin is on sale with a lid that latches for all my other Christmas decor. I hate when the lids pop off so the ones with latches are best. I also use them for my Christmas pillows and blankets. You can easily label the totes with tape. 

As soon as we put everything away, I couldn't believe how empty the house felt! For those of us in the northern states, we still have a bit of winter that hasn't hit us yet. Pretty much could snow through April, so we can't jump to spring decor just yet. An easy way to cozy the rooms up in the mean time, is to add blankets and some greenery.

I hope you all had an amazing holiday with family and friends. Feel free to comment with any storage ideas that work for you! I'm open to improvement!

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