We made it through the holidays, y’all. I can proudly report that I survived Roberta's check out policy, kept my champagne intake to a semi-acceptable level, and managed to gain only a slight amount weight that I can hopefully lose if I fully participate in just two pilates classes. (After that, I'm back to just stretching.)
So, does that mean all is merry and bright? Never. I am now forced to take down my rainbow tree, which has become my pride and joy (no offense to my children.) It should come as no surprise that my husband isn't buying the whole "...BUT IT WAS IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL!!!" excuse so I've run out of options. I also can't binge watch The Holiday anymore because I've reached my limit...or so I've been told.
Yes, life is unfair. Now is the time to un-deck these halls...one and all. (Unless you live in a neighborhood where nobody judges you for leaving your tree and lights up, which in my opinion is not tacky or lazy...it's festive.)
With that said...pour yourself a tall glass of champagne and let's get started with some general rules before we get to the specifics. (P.S. I have included a playlist at the bottom of this post because music helps drown out post-holiday depression tears.)
TIP #1: EDIT AS YOU GO
Fight the urge to stuff everything in bags and boxes just to get the entire process over with quickly. YOU WILL REGRET IT.
Keep a shopping bag nearby to toss items that have reached their expiration date. Trust me, you won't miss the tired looking Santa or the reindeer that's completely lost it's sparkle (no offense to Santa or the reindeer. I'm just as tired looking).
TIP #2: STORE IN GOOD CONDITION
In other words...if something is broken, fix it or toss it. If something is dirty, clean it. You will thank yourself when it's one last thing you have to think about come next year.
TIP #3: TAKE PHOTOS
Before you start packing up, snap a few photos of the rooms you decorated. It's an easy way to keep inventory of what you have and what you need for next year while doing the absolute bare minimum AKA living a low bar lifestyle.
TIP #4: LABEL EVERYTHING
Allow me to preach it again and again. If you can easily spot where something is, you don't have to waste time scavenging for it. Labeling also doubles as a guilt mechanism when you are about to shove an item where it doesn't belong.
Since the holidays come with a lot of baggage, it's time to get specific...
Let's start with the most fragile, shall we? Unless you have saved the packaging to every ornament you've ever purchased, you are going to want something protective and secure. The rule of thumb is pretty simple: KEEP THEM SEPARATE. They are roommates, not friends.
For extra security, wrap each ornament in individual foam packing envelopes. The Container Store carries some that are the perfect size, which you can find here.
[THE] WRAPPING PAPER/GIFT SUPPLIES
Gifting isn't reserved for just the holidays. Since Stella and Sutton are both popular and in-demand as birthday party guests (like their mother), we are always in need of gift bags and wrapping paper. Luckily, I stock up and know where to find them.
Designate a closet or space in your home that's strictly gifting for all occasions. Store and label separately for ribbons, tissue, gift tags, etc, etc, etc. For the holiday supplies, keep those in a completely separate section but with the same method.
For storage, lucite and wire containers or turntables are the easiest to navigate. You are able to see what you have and avoid buying extra supplies. ALSO...bright colors and prints add a fun aesthetic to your space with little effort.
For gift wrap, we have discovered the magic of hanging storage and it's basically changed lives by creating more space and avoiding damage. This tip can also work for tags, bows, bags, or cards. If you have door or wall space, use it.
An acrylic riser, turned upside down, is another great hack. Joanna and I bragged about this specific discovery for days on end until we collectively decided to shut up about it...until now.
Don't have the space? As long as you keep it contained safely, that's what matters.
I refuse to let a crushed wreath happen. Period. Stores like Target (bless your soul) and The Container Store (your soul, too) have storage containers specifically for wreaths...so why would you not? They are plastic and durable so you can stack on top of each other. These also work for garland.
Contrary to popular belief, a real tree and an artificial one require the same amount of maintenance. On one hand, you have to water and sweep constantly to maintain the allure of bringing a piece of nature inside. On the other, you are required to take apart each stem just to put it back together again.
If you opt for artificial, and have the vertical space, it saves time to store it all in one piece...lights included. Major life hack alert.
In this section, I am also including photos of my rainbow tree because...no explanation necessary. Deal with it.
Remember TIP #2? Store your decor in good condition and NOT A TANGLED MESS. A string of tangled lights is just another part of the human condition I refuse to experience. Trust me, you may think that piling them on top of each other may work out but let's be honest...it won't and it never will.
Instead, save yourself the mental breakdown and take the time to reel them in the way they came.
[THE] HOME DECOR
Items like stockings, pillows, tablecloths, and tree skirts can either be stored in stackable plastic bins or if you don't have the room, vacuum sealed bags. The containers can be labeled in two different ways: by room or by item. If you tend to keep it routine, labeling by room will help in the unpacking process.
Decorative items and tableware can often be fragile and bulky. To avoid damage, store in stackable china storage cases or store in the above containers, wrapped tightly in foam packing sheets with extra cushion between layers.
As promised, here is [THE] PLAYLIST you can download to make decor takedown more bearable...AND to mask the noise of any post-holiday tears.
Xo Clea + Joanna