Clearing the Clutter Before the Holiday Season Arrives

The crispness in the air and the smell of burning stoves can only mean one thing-the fall season is underway. With fall comes the holidays starting with Halloween and sliding into Thanksgiving and Christmas. And one thing is for certain about these things, your holiday decorations will pile up in your garage and home faster than the falling maple leaves outside. If you take a few simple steps, you’ll get your garage and the rest of your house organized for the upcoming holidays.

Clearing the Clutter

Before you can bring more holiday decorations into your home, be sure to get rid of things you don’t need anymore. Take everything out of home areas such as closets, the garage or the pantry. Donate unused toys, hockey sticks, old framed prints, home accessories and the like to your local Salvation Army or other second-hand store. Many of these places will pick up your items. Throw out trash next as you go. You’ll put the items that you’ll keep back into place once you hang up shelves and get storage bins for the holiday items.

Organize by Color

Paint each of the areas you’re marking off a different color to represent a different holiday. For example, if you’ve set up some shelves in your spare bedroom for Thanksgiving items, paint those shelves in fall colors such as orange, red and yellow. Mark the boxes that you store them in with a dab of the paint color that you used for the shelf or the wall trellis. You’ll be able to see quickly where each holiday item goes.

Storage Ideas

Put up floating shelves in the garage and add a garden trellis to the wall. Put nails or hooks in the trellis and hang items such as holiday garland, non-breakable ornaments, stockings and other items on the hooks or nails. For more fragile items, wrap them up and put in storage boxes. You can buy sturdy little metal boxes at the local dollar store. This keeps small breakable items in one place, and the metal walls of the box prevent the items from breaking.

Other Helpful Hints

When you’re using this system for areas such as the pantry or the hall closet, paint a small area of the wall with chalkboard paint and attach a small basket or cardboard box near the area for the chalk. This allows you to write notes about items you need for your holiday preparation or messages to family members who are involved in the project.

Selena Dehne, “Creative Ways to Use Chalkboard Paint,” She Knows
Sarah Coffey, “5 Ways to Organize by Color,” Apartment Therapy
Amy Fowler, “Top Tips to Help You Tackle Household Clutter,” Creative Homemaking

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