Dear Kathi,

Every year as I unpack my holiday decorations, I am overwhelmed by the enormity of my decorating task. I always feel that I need to have all of my decorations in place immediately after Thanksgiving. What would be a good plan of attack for this endeavor?

Sophia, Carlsbad


Realize that you don’t have to hang all of your decorations every year. In fact, you are not ever obligated to create huge displays. You don’t have to use all of your decorations just because you bring them out of storage.
Subtle, well planned decorating schemes can be far more effective than mass decorations applied with less thought. Consider placement and use only the decorations that apply to your new theme.
Do you own over six boxes of holiday decor? If you keep adding additional boxes to your collection each year, this year might be a good time to purge a few items.

Perhaps your grown children would like to take the old decorations that have meaningful significance? If you have been using the same decor for 20-30 years, let your kids continue the tradition or donate them to someone else less fortunate. Loosen up and let go! You will feel liberated and the holidays might be a breath of fresh air this year.

A great way to keep your decoration collection manageable is to buy the amount of plastic containers that you won’t mind storing year after year.
As the holidays wind down, pack and store only what will fit in your pre-designated containers. Get rid of the overflow and next year you will be facing a less daunting decorating task.

Create a method to distinguish your holiday boxes. You can purchase red/green plastic tubs or simply encircle each unmarked box with holiday packing tape. This will enable you to find your holiday boxes in a snap.
Store your holiday boxes high and out of the way in the hard to reach storage areas. This saves the easy access space for your more frequently used items.

Don’t get bogged down in the details and enjoy the holidays.

Kathi is a professional organizer, image consultant and event planner based in San Diego California.

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