Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Organizing-Christmas Decorations

Like I mentioned in my previous post,I am terrible about small details and follow through. I don't  know why,it just is what it is. This year,I am determined to squash that habit. Now, our house is not horrible,but there are areas which could use some vast improvement,and I am not ashamed to admit it.Our mud room is horrendous,and it has become a catch all for garbage and assorted items. Not the best first impression one receives when they come to our house. Our attic is a mess,and our bedroom is where everything goes to die,apparently. You would think the bedroom would be one of the best rooms in the house,wouldn't you? Put it this way,My Dear Friend Michelle has never seen our bedroom,and it's right off the kitchen.The door is closed when company arrives. A bedroom should be some place nice,cozy,and romantic.Ours, not so much.One day I will bite the bullet and bare this room to the world,but today is not it! :) These are the big things that I am determined to change this upcoming year. I want my house to embrace not just visitors,but the family as well. I want it be a haven. I want the soul of my home to reflect my soul and how I feel about life. Unfortunately,what I feel on the inside is not being shown outwardly.

It's like having dirty little secrets..you put up an overly good front, and the public areas for the most part look great,but you know there's a pile of crap behind the closed door or stuffed under the bed.It's a good illusion,but I'm tired of trying to maintain an illusion. I want to maintain reality. One of these things behind the door is in the attic. And since it's time to put away Christmas decorations,that was area I decided to attack first-the decorations.It also cleans up a third of the attic.

Like many folks,when I first was on my own,I received old decorations from family. "I don't want this anymore,do you?" Even if it wasn't something I would purchase,I would accept it gratefully,since I didn't have a lot of money to go out and buy everything from scratch. At least I had things to make my home look festive. Over the years,as I bought things or made things,I used less and less of what I was given.There are things that I still treasure:ornaments made by Zach,"Baby's First Christmas type ornaments,old decorations that we used in my parents house growing up. But there are things I no longer use-garlands,glass decorations,etc.  I never stored these things with rhyme or reason. Throw it in the box and get it out of here! The next Christmas,I'd have to pull all the boxes down to see what I had and where I had it.

New Years Day,I decided to go through all the decorations.In order to get up to the attic,I had to clear a path:

Yep.That's what our stairs looked like behind the closed door. We have no storage closet,so things get "placed" in the stairwell. This why I'm so happy that we will have a closet that we can put some of this stuff in. You can see at the top of the stairs some of the boxes we have the Christmas decorations in. To the right there were probably at least six more boxes.

 I hauled all the boxes down from the attic and took down most of  the decorations around the house,the exceptions being the tree,the garland around my window,and the outdoor decorations.This is what I had:

Now I have everything right in front of me so I can go through it.( I know what is on the tree I am going to keep.) As I pick up each item,I ask myself:

 -Do I love it?
-Am I keeping this because someone gave it to me? Would I put it out otherwise?
-Does this reflect what I what?

Any glass ornaments I no longer wanted I put in a bag,which I will smash up and use for a frame project. Some things were past their prime,some things were broken,and some where just downright ugly. After two and a half garbage bags, I had this left:

Monday,I had to bring Zach clothes shopping and winter boot shopping.He has outgrown most of his jeans and his winter boots are too small.(Not that we have any snow,but it's still early in the winter).Before we left,I assessed what I had and what I needed to store them. I really wanted an ornament storage box,so all my ornaments could be in one place,and I wanted a wrapping paper storage box as well. After we took care of Zach,we hit Home Depot and I was able to find what I wanted. When I got home,I took down the tree,and put all the decorations in their new bins:

What a difference! From many many boxes to just 5 storage bins! They looked great up in the attic:

And we can't forget that hideous stairwell:
Now I have clear bins so I can see what is where,and so far I can still climb the stairs with no problems.

Today I am going to go through my magazines and cookbooks.


  1. First of all, thanks for your honesty about where you begin. The collection of too much stuff seems to be an epidemic in this country and probably most of ours' "dirty little secret". Admitting publicly that you want to change that for you and your family's peace of mind, and hearth, is a first big step, but then wow, you really followed it up with some action! You inspire me!! As I have progressively moved into smaller spaces (having raised kids, I now live alone in a 650ft. one-bedroom apt), I have managed to de-clutter quite a bit over the years, but I still most definitely have those things I want to tackle, but that seem to have become overwhelming tasks, only because I've put them off for so long. I am proud of the fact that my home is definitely warm, cozy, and organized for the most part, but I have one embarrassing piece of mental and physical clutter. I have a small walk-in closet that has about 14 bankers boxes stacked with papers, memories, photographs from my entire life. Yes, I've winnowed it down from about 23 more before I moved here, but I have not one photo album or scrapbook. I would really love to get a handle on this this year. Thanks for your inspiration. I have to say, I'm VERY impressed! Don't forget to pace yourself...

  2. What a fantastic job! I love the reduction of decorations and the attic stair look great. The ornament boxes are a wonderful idea :)

  3. oh Donna - like the ladies before me i am super-impressed! you shared the dirty secret and then some! and you showed us what is possible! thanks for getting in there, rolling up your sleeves and showing us the way! i love your outlook on how a home should be - and i believe in it too!

    wow gurl...you got a serious set of brass b*lls on you!

    your friend,

  4. Thanks for the support,ladies! I am taking things a bit at a time. There are always things I do this time of the year,such as the file cabinet,etc.,but this year I am determined to get those things done which I keep putting off.

  5. wow its almost March and I was trying to organize the attic christmas stuff as i was putting it away. between illness, traveling etc its still not even 1/2 done. I also bought some rubber maid containers, started boxes "to be donated" to be "consigned next christmas" and trash. trying to "downsize to only a few boxes" if we were to ever move and i could only take 6 boxes and the tree. Such an undertaking but i wish i had more energy and willpower to get it all back and organinze! i know it would make me feel wonderful. thanks for your articule.