D.E.C.K. the Halls with….

wreaths, bells, ornaments, stockings, candles, pillows, centerpieces…

It’s December, and the holidays are fast approaching! Many of us either have already decorated or are looking forward to doing so very soon. We pull out the many boxes and bins of decorations that are stored away year after year and begin to deck the halls: the wreath here, the stockings over there, and the ornaments to hang on the tree. As we decorate, sometimes we realize that we need a couple more pieces to round out the decorations, so we purchase new items. However, we often forget to go through the decorations we already have and make room for the incoming ones.

How can we sort and stay organized while still enjoying our holiday season? A simple way is to remember D.E.C.K. the halls.

It is so busy this time of year that most of us won’t be able to find time to sort through all the decorations, evaluate them and make decisions about what to do with them. We are just grateful to have finished decorating in time for the holidays. The good news is you don’t have to feel pressure to organize in the midst of the season. Give yourself a break, and when the holidays have come and gone and the decorations are coming down, then is your chance to reevaluate what you have. By delaying until after the holidays, you will have more time and be able think more clearly about your festive décor.

Before you take down any of your decorations, first go through the items that never made it out of storage, the pieces that didn’t get displayed or enjoyed. Pull out each item and ask yourself why that specific decoration didn’t get used. Have you changed your style of decorating? Was it no longer the quality you wanted to have on display (broken, cracked, faded, cheap looking)? Does it have bad memories attached to it? Does it not fit your current lifestyle (not child-safe or too complicated and time consuming to use)? Be honest with yourself and let go of the decorations that aren’t your favorites for whatever reason that might be. They are not going to be enjoyed by anyone if they stay in a box year after year. Donate them, and they might just end up being someone else’s favorite items next year.

Next, work on the decorations that you displayed this year. As you begin taking them down, ask yourself some evaluating questions. Did it show off well and add to the overall décor? Would you look forward to having it on display again next year? Does it have more good life left in it or is it showing its years of enjoyment and need to be replaced? Would you prefer to display another decoration instead of that specific item? Collect the decorations that you are no longer in love with and, instead of placing them in storage another year, think of how you might share them with others. If there is an emotional connection to an item, consider gifting it to the person with whom there is a connection. For example, give your grown son the ornament he made in the 2nd grade, so it can be featured on his own family tree.

You have thought through your decorations and chosen the ones you love to display, but you won’t need them again until next year. Taking time now to sort and categorize them will save you time and energy when next year rolls around.

Your method of decorating will determine the best way to categorize your decorations. If you like to be creative each year and change up the way you display things, you might want group your decorations by item category. For example, put all ornaments, no matter their theme, in one category and collect all colors and styles of ribbons into another category. Alternatively, if you have assigned places for each of your decorations or have themes in each room, you may want to group all the decorations by room or display.

You now have your favorite holiday decorations grouped and ready to be stored. Keep each category together in a box, and carefully label the boxes with informative descriptions. A specific label like “living room tree ornaments” is more helpful than a general label like “holiday décor”. The more specific the label, the easier it will be next year to find exactly what you are looking for. Remember to keep things like candles, delicate fabric, or electronics out of attics or basements where they can be affected by temperature and moisture changes.

Enjoy your holidays! Then as the season winds down, organize your decorations using D.E.C.K. the halls. If you do, you just might find yourself singing, “Fa, la, la, la, la!” next year as you pull them out again to decorate!

© Beth Giles 2019

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