thinking about after the holidays

maddiemom6November 27, 2005

We are putting up our trees today and the rest tomorrow but I am taking the time to weed out stuff that does not make me happy and getting it over to the Good Will so someone else can have a merry holiday. I am also going to buy some more items to help us keep the holiday boxes in better shape..and some cord keeper and those things to keep lights untangled. My goal over the next 30 days is to spend 15 minutes a day getting ready for taking down all this stuff and making a proper home for it for the other 11 months of the year. I really love my xmas stuff but it needs a better system... anybody have other goals or want to take this one on with me????

Maddie, dumping old xmas cards tonight... lets face it.. Iam never going to use them again!

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Maddie - I understand what you are going through. This afternoon I unloaded the Christmas stuff from the attic and found that I had 8 large rubbermaid tubs of Christmas stuff - much of which I don't need or want. This afternoon as it came down from the attic I loaded up boxes w/stuff to donate to Goodwill. We loaded up my car and took it to the donation office immediately.

It's too overwhelming to have all of that stuff. I only have 3 tubs left (not including tree box) and it's very liberating.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 11:56PM
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My Christmas decorations are very well organized, but I also have things that don't make me happy... including a collection of big San Francisco music boxes in a Santa theme. They were gifts, and I'm not a "Santa" person and really don't have room for them anyway.

I need to make a plan to get them out of here. They've never been out of the boxes.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 5:13AM
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I will decorate this weekend. Right now all my decorations are packed in storage boxes in the attic. Everything is carefully stored in marked boxes. This year I resolve to put up only three decorations: the big pre-lit tree, a tabletop manger (for the true spirit of Christmas) and a wreath on the door (to welcome). All the rest is already boxed, I'll haul it over to the Salvation Army thrift store. This time of year I am sure they can sell the holiday stuff. It's cute quality stuff, those village houses, Dept 56, Precious moments , stuff like that. After Halloween was over this year, I threw away my Halloween decorations on November 1. That way I got rid of one box that was in the attic. All I'll have left will be my current Christmas stuff and then there's two boxes of Easter things I'll do next year. It will be nice to see some empty space in my attic.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 8:07AM
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Julie MI--can your kids' school organize a raffle of those Santa music boxes?

Maddiemom, I always go into the holidays thinking about the packing back up. I've gotten life pretty organized, but I'm going to toss some ornaments as I go.

May I put in a plug for my favorite Christmas-lights organizer? A piece of corrugated cardboard.

I cut a slit in one edge to slide the end of the cord in, by the plug (sort of like those slits in the edges of spools of thread). That keeps the end secure. I wind the cord around, and when I get to the other end, I cut a similar slit--sometimes, in the END of the cardboard, since I don't always end up perfectly aligned. (I'll cut off any extra cardboard if I've started w/ too big a piece.)

It's fast, easy, lies flat in the box, and makes it very easy to check for burned out bulbs (which I do twice--when I get them out and before I put them away)

The next thing for me is to consolidate--I have a few too many smallish boxes that hold the extra-breakable ornaments.

Oh, I have one of those big tubs w/ the corrugated dividers to hold the ornaments, and was frustrated bcs I couldn't lift out the top tier (to get to the bottom tier) without all the ones at the edges falling off. I used duct tape (bcs it's so flexible) and strips of cardboard to make sides to the tiers (attached them to the flat cardboard between the layers), so I can pick up the top w/o the stuff falling off.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 10:46AM
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Talley Sue,

My youngest is in high school and I can't see them organizing a raffle but... I have thought of a couple ideas for dumping the music boxes.

* Re-gift them as hostess gifts this year
* Take them to an ebay storefront and have them sell them for me.

They are BIG music boxes and I might feel guilty about re-gifting them (because I think they're clutter) so I'm leaning more towards ebay. They're San Francisco music boxes so at least they're a "name" that might gather interest.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 5:26AM
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My vote (if I've got one, LOL) is to take them to the ebay storefront right away, so they can get online now, while people are buying Christmas decor & presents.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:11AM
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"May I put in a plug for my favorite Christmas-lights organizer? A piece of corrugated cardboard."

Brilliant, TS!!! I'm pretty organized with our holiday supplies, after doing a major purge over the past couple of years. The lights are my last aggravation though-I've been putting each used string in its own plastic bag so they at least aren't in a giant snarl. It's just a set of smaller snarls, one per bag. I'm definitely going to use your tip this year.

I'm moving along okay with the holidays. Got the tree bought (albeit with some unfortunate bickering/crabbiness between husband and me), and decorated. House is decorated and holiday linens are all put away ready to be used. I have GOT to begin wrapping gifts and putting them under the tree though.

As for after the holidays, my achilles heel is those post-Christmas drastic markdown sales. I think I've got way too many rolls of wrapping paper, bows, gift boxes/bags etc. I'll cull before the holiday, but after I've wrapped everything. Anything I haven't used in a couple of years is OUTTAHERE. Then I can go buy new cheap stuff after Xmas :).

I'm also feeling the urge to get rid of extraneous things before the deluge of gifts, especially for the kids. It is better now that they are teens and the gifts tend to be smaller (though also more expensive, go figure). But still...last night I told my daughter the American Girl collection of several dolls, and a bunch of accessories, must go from its current location which is taking up the entire and only full shelf in her closet. It's ridiculous. To use another Talley Sue classic, we're wasting extremely desirable 'real estate' on items that are quite literally never touched or used. Crazy. Of course the AG collection fits into that 'too good to give away/not wanted by anyone we know' niche too, as does so much in my house. But I'm determined, it's not going to keep taking up her closet! Actually when I muttered something about getting rid of 'em last night my daughter piped up with "Yeah, they kind of creep me out anyway sitting there watching me all the time." OOOOOOkay, then I think it's time to say sayonara Samantha...


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 12:12PM
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My Christmas lights idea is a "Good Thing" in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living!

I don't *think* I sent it to them; I might have, bcs I send ideas to them all the time. But I truly don't remember. And I can't be the only one who's thought of it.

Their idea has a tweak; that is to cut the cardboard to fit inside a plastic storage box, and add bubble wrap between the layers. Frankly, they don't need bubble wrap. I don't keep my lights separately, but cutting the cardboard to fit whatever container you use is a good idea. (just be sure to cut it 2 to 3 inches smaller on all sides.

Ann, can your DD find some non-family girl who'd like Samantha? Maybe a "neediest cases" person from the newspaper? Or someone like that? Call a social-services agency, and ask if they've got a client who'd like her?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 3:55PM
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I think Talley is on the right track. I wouldn't just put them in a thrift store giveaway, but our local women/kids shelters would probably love to have those items for gifts. If they are still in really good condition, I would get the box and a tissue paper and have them all ready for the volunteers who wrap stuff for the residents.

We have a couple of agencies, Catholic Children's Services and Lutheran Children's Services who work closely with families which would provide a really good home to those dolls.

I just bought my DD her first one for this Christmas. I hope she enjoys it because it sure was pricy.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 4:49PM
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Thanks to this forum, I organized everything 2 years ago when putting away my decorations. There is a label on each box stating exactly what's inside and where it goes. I'm wondering if I got a little over-excited purging, though, because I can't find my village and a few other favorites!!!

As for lights, I do not pack them carefully, and yet I've never had them break. I simply wind each strand and secure it with a plastic zip tie. No tangles, no breakage. I throw them into a Rubbermaid box and that's it!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 1:55AM
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I came up withthe best way of organizing strings of lights. I THROW THEM OUT. They are becoming so cheap, that it just not worth the time to untangle and wrap them. I can get strings of 50- 100 lights for under $2 right after Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:24AM
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