Friday, October 24, 2014

Frightfully Disorganized?



I LOVE Halloween.  I don’t have as much “stuff” as I do for Christmas ... but it runs a pretty close second.   Finding, using, and putting away Holiday items is so much more enjoyable and easier with a just a little organization. So, before you pack away your Halloween for another year, I want to share my favorite Halloween Organization tips!

 Frightfully Organized!
Containers

  • Color! Is your garage or attic a sea of bins or boxes that all look the same?  If so, do yourself a favor and grab some colored bins for a quick ID of Holiday items.  Example: black, purple or orange for Halloween. Before you decide on a color, look ahead and think of ALL occassions you decorate for and assign a color.   I’ve had to get creative with clients who decorate for everything... Cinco-De-Mayo, Mardi Gras etc. Seasonally colored containers are generally best found during the celebrated Holiday, so now is the perfect time to buy Oct-Dec Holiday colored containers!
  • Stack-ability: Choose containers with lids that stack to take advantage of vertical storage space and to protect the contents. Always place the heaviest bin on the bottom to avoid crushing bins or lids.
  • Scary Big:  So often people try to save money by getting 1-2 HUGE bins. But the downsides are they are ridiculously heavy for a single person to lift and carry, they often do not fit on shelves, they are crazy-hard  to carry up an attic ladder, and well… the contents are generally a muddled mess.  18 gallon is usually the largest I use.  If you have larger outdoor items, consider a longer but shallower bin, or alternative storage solutions such as a bag or other method.
  • Quoth the Raven “Nevermore, Nevermore”: Be sure to allow room for 20-25%  for growth/additions. When purchasing colored or specialty containers it’s highly unlikely you will find the exact container ever again when needing to add down the road.

Label:

If using large bins you might be more broad in your labeling categories such as; Indoor, outdoor, and Costumes. If you are using smaller containers and want to find things without digging you can be more detailed such as serving & cooking, skulls, pumpkins etc. Or you might choose to label by room to make decorating each room a cinch if you don’t intend on “mixing it up” each year.                                           

The DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

  • Inventory: Consider keeping an inventory list of what you have to avoid re-purchasing, or if you loan costumes or other items out, and to remind yourself what you need to replace or purchase for next year.
  • Photos.  If you worked hard to set up and ideal scene or display, take a photo and put it in the bin to make set up easy next year.  
  • Notes: Leave yourself a note inside for items that require special handing, batteries, where to buy replacement items etc.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Before you put the Easter decorations away....







Evaluate your decorations each and every year. Set a goal to keep only what you love and fits your current decorating style.  If an item is damaged, faded, or is missing pieces, let it go. 

Reduce the need for decoration storage by using edible or natural accents such as like flowers, greens and real eggs along with treats like chocolate bunnies and pastel candies in decorative jars that can later be eaten or gifted - with no need to store for an entire year!

At the end of the Easter season, pack an "Open First" box. In a single box or on the top section of the packed box, place all of the things you need first. You will eliminate the need to open every bin or box find these immediately needed items and they will be easy to access. 

Keep your most fragile items at the top of a box.  This will help avoid anything getting crushed by larger items.

Start saving egg cartons for next year. They are THE best storage for decorative or plastic eggs. Yes, you can toss them into a bag, but when you store them in an egg carton, all “partners” stay together, they avoid getting crushed/cracked, and they stack fabulously in your storage bins! Yes, it takes a little more time, but it is worth it.  They are also great for miniature Easter tree ornaments, and “resurrection” ornaments

Tip: Spray your egg carton with a dissenfectant first. 
 
And finally....  this Easter I commented on the hardest gum I’ve ever seen at a friend’s house, prompting this last tip:  Empty all of your plastic eggs before you store them for next year! Year old candy is pretty funny when found, but can attract pests,  create a mess, and is… not so tasty.