Thanksgiving is over. You’ve eaten the last bite of turkey, finished the final slice of pumpkin pie, washed the dinnerware and put away the cornucopia. It is finally time to put up all the holiday decorations you neatly boxed, labeled and stored from last year. Oh, that’s not how you did it? Your decorations are in a jumbled mess haphazardly thrown in a corner and covered in a layer of dust and cobwebs? Not to worry! While we can’t do much about this year’s process, we can give you some clever tips to make next year’s set-up an absolute breeze.

Re-Use Compartmentalized Containers for Ornaments

If you stop and think about it, there are quite a few containers usually thrown out or recycled that are ideal for storing precious, breakable ornaments. Plastic apple containers are perfect for round ornaments. Empty egg cartons expertly hold tiny, delicate ornaments. And, the next time you go through your favorite fast food drive-thru, request a drink holder. These handy, stackable trays hold ornaments of all shapes and sizes.

Take the Tangle out of Holiday Strands

Why is it strands of holiday lights always end up in a giant, disco-type ball of knots? Keep them in line by wrapping them around a shoebox-sized piece of cardboard; secure the plug with tape or fold underneath the strands. Wrapping strands around a coffee can works too! Love to decorate with beaded garland? Then you know it tangles just as easy as lights. Empty soda or water bottles provide the solution. The beads easily slide out when the bottle is tipped over.

Storing Your Tree

If you opt for an artificial tree, figuring out how to store it – so it goes back up without a lot of work – is a challenge. The tree’s original box works for a while, but it never goes back in as nice as when the manufacturer packaged it. Instead, use drop cloths to create bags for the top, middle, and bottom pieces to keep your tree fluffed and dust-free. If you store your tree in the garage (where it’s more susceptible to dirt) wrap the entire tree – sans ornaments) – in shrink wrap. Also, hang artificial wreaths on hangers, covered with a garbage bag, and store in spare closet or storage rack; say goodbye to crushed greenery.

Wrapping Paper Solutions

We feel so accomplished once the final gift is wrapped that we have little regard for the leftover wrapping paper. (You’ll just buy new next year, right?) Instead, create storage solutions for rolls by standing them up in a clear garment bag and hanging them in a spare closet. Or, buy a tall garbage can and stand the rolls inside. An over-the-door shoe organizer works like a dream too.

Other Storage Must-Haves

Clear resealable bags, clear storage bins, and labels always make any storage project more successful. An organization wizard always has these tools on hand to make the biggest messes more manageable.

Follow these clever tips and next year you’ll look like the superstar organizer you truly are!

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