In the above photo, I have five Rubbermaid 44-quart storage boxes. This is the entirety of my Christmas storage, and, once I pulled out those boxes this week, I hoped to get it down to four. I don't do a lot of decorating; it takes too much time and I'm usually the only one who wants to do it anyway. (Makes me wonder what our young men will do for this holiday once they're married--but that's a far-in-the-future post!)
You can also see that I have several shoe boxes into which I organize our Christmas tree ornaments. I use tissue paper to wrap the glass ornaments, and also to separate the other ornaments so they don't bang together or anything. I find that once they're in tissue paper, inside the shoe boxes, and inside the plastic storage boxes, they're pretty safe.
One or two of the guys usually help me take all of the ornaments off the tree. Joseph was so kind to help me do that this year, and we laid them out all over the floor. I have mostly single ornaments, except for some plastic snowflakes and a few other ornaments, such as the glitter glass ball ornaments we made one year. I collect snowflakes, and those were all boxed up before I realized I should take out my camera to document this clean-up project. :)
Every time I box up the ornaments for the year, I sort through them and decide if it's time to say "good-bye" to any of them. This year, there were some boxed ornaments that I was no longer happy with, and a few select others that had no meaning for me, so those when into a separate box and are now in my basement "garage sale staging area." That created just enough room to combine everything else into four Christmas storage boxes.
Side note on de-cluttering most everything: Should I keep it? I ask myself these questions:
- Do I (or my family members) enjoy it?
- Is it broken?
- Is it useful?
As I placed each "keep-it" ornament in one of the small cardboard shoe boxes, I wrote down the ornament description on a Post-It Note which was stuck on that shoe box. Once all the ornaments were in shoe boxes, I had a "contents list" for each shoe box. [I already had content lists on the boxes, but they have been scratched out/written over for several years and it was time to create new lists.]
Being the "neat-and-tidy" type, I then took each Post-It Note list and typed it out on the computer, then printed out all the lists.
I then cut out each of these "content lists" and taped them to their corresponding shoe boxes.
The shoe boxes were then arranged inside the Rubbermaid storage boxes, and I was done with the tree ornaments.
Each Rubbermaid box is labeled "Christmas" on one side. On the other side, each has a sticker with a list of items in the box. Two boxes are labeled Christmas tree ornaments, and the other two contain the tree skirt, manger figures, mantel decorations, stockings, tree lights, etc. All four Rubbermaid boxes sit in our basement next to our entertainment center until next Christmas season. In the below shot, you can see the manger atop the five boxes; the photo was taken last summer during one of our basement clean-up projects.
And now I have just four Christmas boxes, plus the manger. It's nice to look over to those stacked boxes and see several empty ones. (I'm typing on the basement computer just to the right in the above photo, and there are actually three stacks of boxes there now!) *contented sigh*
There is still so much to do, but I know that it's a little-by-little process. I'm content.
Back to life,
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