Every year I get excited to put up Christmas decorations, and every year I get excited to take them back down. When all the homey, cute Christmas stuff starts to feel like clutter and the pretty crystal ice frames we spray around the windows starts to just look dirty…we know its time to put Christmas away.

I have actually been putting it off a bit this year, determined to get a few other projects done and enjoy the clutter and mess beautiful decorations a bit longer. But yesterday was the day, so we spent the whole morning taking down Christmas decorations.

I love this picture of Josiah amidst the chaos. He is clearly right in thinking he is about the only thing in the room worthy of getting its picture taken at the moment, so he flashed the camera a sweetie pie smile.

Every year it feels like we start from scratch on the packing process and have to figure out what to pack in which container in order to make sure it all fits and nothing gets broken.

So I decided it was time to instill order into our lives and Christmas boxes with labels.

Every box has two labels. One is for before Christmas: it tells us where in the house to take the box when we get it out of the Christmas closet to decorate.

The other is for AFTER Christmas: to tell us what all will fit back into the box until the next year.

I have high hopes that decorating AND un-decorating will go smoother next year. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I also have a tip. At Home Depot the other day, I stood in line behind a young couple who were picking up a few Christmas storage totes, clearly getting ready to pack up for the year. In addition to their tote boxes, they spent about $25 on packing materials: bubble wrap and paper wrap stuff…

Not gonna lie, it kinda made me sad. There are many better things they could have spent their $25 on. You know how far $25 would go on Christmas clearances?

In addition to the breakable dish items and ornaments, everyone has things to pack up like Christmas embroidered towels, tablecloths and stockings. Maybe even pillows and stuffed santas or snowmen. TIP: These work perfectly as packing material between breakables, cost no additional money, and mean that every square inch of valuable Christmas storage space is being taken up be Christmas decorations (not air, plastic, or paper).

(P.S. The same theory can be applied when moving. When we moved from our apartment to this house, I packed up our closet and the kitchen at the same time, using t-shirts and sweaters to pad between dishes and glassware.)

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