Happy New Year!
January’s a tough month, am I right? There aren’t very many other times during the year that I get amped over the opportunity to clean/purge/reorganize our little home, but thanks to the holiday season cycle, we always have plenty of new toys, clothes, appliances, and tools to accomodate. The biggest question, and the motivation behind an annual reorg is: Where will all of our new stuff fit?
With the pandemonium associated with trying to magically create more storage space, you’re likely also being tasked with the chore of undecorating your holiday pad to return it to a state of normalcy, and store or recycle dozens of cardboard boxes from all of your family’s gifts and (at least for us) from a lot of online shopping, but with a little thoughtful planning, this chaos can result in a seriously productive organizational cycle year over year.
I’m dropping in today to share a few of my favorite processes for keeping things organized in my house around the holidays. Keep on reading to learn more!
1. Master ornament storage:
Last year I used leftover gift boxes to create custom ornament storage complete with simple dividers. With each ornament wrapped and protected, this method served us well and keeps the ornaments safe and dry. Do the same, and have those ornaments off the tree and out from underfoot quickly! Bonus tip: Reuse all of that wrinkled tissue paper to keep things inexpensive.
2. Perform a kitchen audit.
Much like you would perform a monthly refrigerator clean-out, look through your kitchen cabinets and see what you haven’t used in the last year.
We upgraded our dinnerware set recently, but in addition to packing away our old plates and bowls I also took the opportunity to put away half of our coffee mugs (I left 10 out, which is plenty for the two of us plus whoever we have over for company), 5 mismatched pots and pans that haven’t been used but still manage to topple every time you need something in the back of the cupbord, and 4 of our lesser used countertop-sized appliances which fit better on an open storage shelf in the basement anyways. Pack as much as you can into leftover cardboard boxes (with good labels, just in case you decide you need to bake 5 pies) and enjoy cooking with less clutter. Bonus tip: Use cute packing tape. Somehow it makes organizing more fun?
3. Limit your library.
I collect books. Many I read, some I don’t, and I’m always gifted more and more every holiday season. Sometimes, our crammed shelves make me break out in hives:
This January, I’ve made a deal with myself to clear out at least 30% of my home library, donate to local shops, hand them down to friends, and give our permanent collection some breathing room. Somehow, about half of what I’ve already cleared consists of vintage cookbooks. Bonus tip: Lift with your legs and use small boxes.
Why do we have so much stuff? I’m taking a vow to declutter in 2013, and I mean, seriously declutter. In early December, I removed almost all of the home decor items from my living room, essentially stripping the room to its core furniture. I waited a few days before deciding what to put back in the room, and found that when I did re-accessorize the space, I did so much more light-handedly. I’m setting out to do this in the rest of our house as well, decluttering the top of my bedroom dresser, the kitchen shelves, the bedside tables, the bathroom vanity. Bring it on.
Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.