The holiday decorating season well underway with Halloween, and I see a lot of my clients failing to utilize the decorations they already have in your house. Especially as the economy forces many of us to maintain tighter budgets, it is important to be even more aware of where we may be wasting money. Over buying decorations and losing them in your house can be a quick way to throw away money.
Over and over again I see people storing an abundance of holiday decorations with no clear system to find them. It is wonderful to be festive every year, but collecting the items and actually displaying the items are two different activities.
It is important to first evaluate what you actually have. Now is a great time to begin pulling out the seasonal items before the rush of the holidays overwhelms you. If you find you are wandering all over the house to uncover all of your holiday treasures, that may be the first signal you need a better system.
As you sort through the items you should note the following:
· Do you have each holiday separated by theme? (i.e. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Easter.)
· Are there broken, torn or damaged items that just got shoved in a box at the end of last season?
· How many items still have price tags and were never used?
· How many decorations haven’t been used in years because they are outdated or don’t fit in with your home’s décor?
Once you have answered these questions you will have a good idea what should be purged and what should be kept.
Creating a system for storage during and after the season will also help you maximize your utility of these items. It is important to choose one area of your home whether it is a closet or a corner of your basement or attic to store your decorations so you always know where to go to find them. Choose containers that are clear or color coded for the holiday to easily find them next season. Stackable lidded containers will work well for most items. There are also specialty storage boxes, and bins on the market for wreathes, ornaments, and fake trees, which will provide the proper protection for off-season storage.
By clearly labeling and storing these items in one area you have much greater success of creating a go to spot when you are ready to decorate. But, it is also important to note, that while it is smart to shop at the end of the season for next year’s decorations, if you find yourself buying more than you use just because of the price tag, you are probably wasting your money and time. In addition, you are making the decorating process much more overwhelming and frustrating when you have too much to find.
Keep it simple this season by prioritizing your favorite pieces, only re-packing what you used in a clearly labeled storage system and limiting the shopping spree for new decorations.
Kristin Mastromarino is a professional organizer at Livable Solutions, LLC (www.livablesolutions.com), owner of The Organized Lifestyle retail store and is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). You can email her your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.