11 January 2014

Pare Down, Donate, & Document

What is it about putting away Christmas decorations? It's a sad task no matter when you do it. Beyond that, it's just a huge, huge chore. It always seems that when I finally decide to pack away Christmas, I want everything gone -- immediately! Unfortunately, it's never an easy or quick task.
When it comes to tasks like this, I try to seize the opportunity store things more efficiently. Last year, Bailey bought me several stacking ornament boxes which I love. I labeled each box, so putting the ornaments away is now very simple. Even SPOUSE could do it! ("Could" is the operative word here...)

As I packed away Christmas 2013, I had three additional goals:
1) Pare down my decorations to make room for some "new" old decorations I brought home from my parents' and grandma's collections
2) Donate decorations to the local hospice thrift store
3) Write descriptions or notes to go with significant pieces

Although I'm still not done, I made some good progress on each of these goals this year. First, Bailey and I looked through all of the tubs of Christmas decorations and identified items we no longer needed, keeping in mind pieces she might want for her own home down the road. We consolidated boxes to free up space for the "new" pieces from my parents' house. As we sorted, I loaded up my SUV with boxes for the hospice thrift store and never looked back!

Next, I attached typed or handwritten notes to the most significant pieces I chose to keep. Inside my large plastic tubs which hold assorted items, I included a list with a brief note about each item, where it came from, and why it is significant to me.
My desire to do this is based on the experience I had clearing out my parents' house this summer. Very, very few items were identified, and I became frustrated and saddened that I couldn't distinguish the family heirlooms from items my parents might have purchased on a whim. In other cases, I could identify a family heirloom but couldn't remember its story. It would have been much, much easier for me to decide what to keep if I'd known more about the objects in the house. I am determined not to put my daughter in the same predicament!
If you are packing away your holiday decorations, I'd encourage you to add these three tasks to your list: Pare down, donate, and document. Trust me, these are simple and worthwhile tasks, and you'll feel great when you're done.


Kimberly Marie said...

Excellent advice. I sorted through my many Christmas decoration boxes back in the fall, and got rid of a full contractor bag of stuff! This Christmas it was so much easier to decorate as my things were organized and accessible. I plan on paring down now in other areas of the house. Sounds like you're doing a wonderful job!

Maureen said...

What wonderful advice Janet. I so need to pare down especially... I have tubs of decor for each holiday I don't put out anymore; why am I keeping it? Must make the time to organize like you have done. Thank you for sharing your terrific ideas!

Janet said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kimberly and Maureen! It's a great feeling to get things organized, isn't it? I still have MILES to go...it seems like every cupboard and closet is filled with stuff we don't need! Good luck with your organization projects!