Smart Home Organization Hacks for Seasonal Items

Shannon Quinn - December 19, 2019
Many families have such large ornament collections, they never use them all. Credit: Pexels

8. Every Year, Consider if Any Ornaments You Need to Get Rid Of

Christmas is a very sentimental time for most people, so the suggestion that you should throw away some of your ornaments could be a shock to some of you. However, you have to admit that almost everyone has those ornaments that are so old and raggedy that they stay in the box for years without ever hanging on the tree anymore. If you forgot something existed in the first place, will you really ever miss it? And is that old ornament serving you in any way? If the answer is “no”, it might be better to let it go, and make room for something new.

It may be time to sort through your ornaments. Credit: Pexels

Some people work with “the 3 year rule”. If you haven’t used that ornament in 3 years, you should consider throwing it away, or donating it. If you feel emotionally attached to family ornaments that you don’t want to use, consider taking photos and texting them to your siblings. They will likely have the same fond memories that you do, and might be willing to use those decorations in their own home. Believe it or not, you can also sell ornaments on eBay. This works especially well if you have Hallmark ornaments, or any characters that may be collectable. By selling your unwanted ornaments, you might make enough money to buy something else you really want.

This is a dessert themed tree. Credit: Grace Monroe Home

7. Divide Ornaments Into Themes

Some people like to go all-out for Christmas and have multiple trees in their house. This brings a lot of cheer to the home no matter what room you happen to be in. Once you go down the path of multiple trees in your life, you’ll inevitably end up with several different themed ornaments. One of my favorite Christmas home tours to watch is by Laura from the Garden Answer YouTube channel. She has several small “skinny” trees in every room of the house with themes like snowmen, The Nutcracker, forest animals, and more.

This house has a nautical themed corner. Credit: The Spruce

Personally, I have several themes too. My largest collections are nautical, food, and travel. Just this past year, I ran into the issue of attempting to put up a “food” themed tree in the kitchen, only to realize that I couldn’t find enough ornaments. It turns out that a lot of my themed ornaments were in a pink tote that was labeled incorrection, but I didn’t find them until January. In order to solve this issue, I really need to take all of my ornaments and divide them up by theme, label them, and store them so it’s easy to find next year.

In a small apartment, this laundry basket may be just enough space. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses

6. Keep a Laundry Basket Inside of the Closet

If you live in a small apartment, you might not have enough space to keep a lot of decorations in the first place. I have personally been to apartments where the only closet in the entire place was so small, you didn’t even have enough space for one plastic tote. That’s why it might be a good idea for you to take a small laundry basket from somewhere like Walmart. Use the large plastic storage bags that I mentioned in an earlier bullet point, and use those two separate the different products in your decoration basket. Since this laundry basket is so much smaller than a tote, it should be possible for you to keep it in your closet, ideally on a shelf so that it’s kept off the floor.

These laundry baskets are $4 at Target. Credit: Target

Even if you do have the extra storage for holiday decor, you still might want to consider using them anyway. I use laundry baskets for every single organizational project I have ever done. They also come in handy when you’re trying to move. Every time I help someone move, I use laundry baskets, because they easily stack inside one another and are actually useful. Cardboard boxes need to be recycled, and totes take up a massive amount of space.

Limit your number of Christmas totes. Credit: Do It On a Dime

5. Limit Your Number of Storage Totes

A great way to stop yourself from going overboard with Christmas decorations is to limit the number of totes you have in your storage area. For some people, this is non-negotiable. If you only have a closet or attic in your apartment or condo, you really can’t continue to buy more tote boxes year after year. However, for homeowners, limited space doesn’t stop some people from expanding their collection wherever they can. If you don’t limit yourself, those boxes end up in the garage, attic, basement, and the outdoor shed. It can be ridiculous. (Yes, I know several people like this.)

It’s good to give yourself a limit for the number of totes you keep. Credit: Lowes

Instead of giving yourself carte blanche to have as many Christmas items as your heart desires, give yourself a limit with the number of totes. It might also be easier to identify the obvious Christmas items if you buy red and green totes from Walmart or Target. Go through all of your holiday decoration boxes and throw away or donate anything that you no longer use. Is extra totes could either be used to store non-holiday items, or you could donate it to your local thrift store. Many thrift stores will appreciate having this free tote, since they need to move and store items on a regular basis.

If you’re a parent, you’re already familiar with these cabinet locks. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses

4. Drawer Safety Cabinet Lock to Hold Your Tape

If you’re a parent, you might already be familiar with those white plastic child-safe locks that help keep drawers and cabinets shut. While they are useful for their original purpose, you may have tossed them in the junk drawer once your kids were older. Or, you can easily buy them at your local dollar store. These cabinet locks can be reused as a tape holder. Since the lock is secure, it won’t be likely to pop out. Once the tape is all secure on the cabinet lock, you can place this in your junk drawer and never have to go searching for the tape again.

All of your tape and wire can be stored securely in one place. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses

On the YouTube channel Gliue Guns and Roses, she shows us how she uses safety hooks from the Dollar Tree for all kinds of organization hacks. In her holiday closet, she installed a command hook on her wall and hung the cabinet lock on it with all of her tape. She also uses one in her bedroom closet for her scarf collection. The possibilities are endless. Try to think outside of the box on how you can use a cabinet hook to “hack” some of your other organizational projects.

Wrap a piece of tape around the end of a dowel rod to keep ribbon secure. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses

3. Store Rolls of Ribbon on a Dowel Rod

If you collect rolls of fabric holiday ribbon, you might already know how difficult it is to figure out where to put this. When you put them in a container, it’s hard to find them, because they get burried underneath everything else. Personally, I can relate to the issue of forgetting that I had beautiful fabric ribbon until it’s too late. The solution is to create a dowel rod for the ribbon. Every craft store sells wooden dowel rods. You can also find these at Walmart, and even Dollar Tree. Use some thick tape on one end of the rod, and slide the ribbons on.

This roll of ribbons can easily fit securely in the wrapping paper roll rack mentioned earlier. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses on YouTube

Alternately, you can use a broom handle from Dollar Tree if you have rolls of ribbon that are very wide. Some people choose to suspend the roll onto command hooks, which can be perfect if you are utilizing vertical closet space. This makes it possible for you to see all of your ribbon collection at once. You can roll the pieces and cut it with scissors without ever removing it from the rod. In the photo above, you can see that they kept their ribbon together with the wrapping paper.

These clear plastic boxes are sold at Dollar Tree. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses

2. Dollar Tree Storage Container Boxes

One of the most annoying things about finding your Christmas decorations is the fact that it’s so difficult to see things when they are stacked on top of one another. It’s also impossible to see all of your items when they’re inside of a colored tote. Sure, you might be smart enough to create a label on the outside of the box. However, most people will use tissue paper or old newspaper to wrap up their ornaments inside of the container. So it might be necessary for you to unwrap every single ornament before you find what you’re looking for.

These wooden ornaments are perfect to keep together in a plastic box. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses

An alternate solution to this would be to purchase clear plastic storage container boxes. These are available in the craft section of Walmart, and they should also be available at Dollar Tree. If you use these, you can organize ornaments together by similarities. If they are non-breakable, you can get away with keeping them in the box without wrapping them at all. Or, if you do still need an extra bit of protection, at least you know that you can grab the box that has the label of the ornament you were looking for instead of digging through the entire tote.

This one small shelf holds a lot of decorations. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses on Roses

1. Use a Dollar Tree Cabinet Shelf For Organization

At Dollar Tree, they sell white metal shelves that are used for creating a new shelf inside of your kitchen cabinets. Normally, this is great for anyone who is renting an apartment, and they can’t renovate the space. But this can easily be re-used for a holiday decor shelving unit.

The metal shelf at Dollar Tree. Credit: Glue Guns and Roses

All you need to do is buy the shelf, and bend the legs at an v-shaped angle. Make sure that the angle is facing towards the wall, because you don’t want anything to roll onto the floor. Use hooks to secure this on the wall. Now, it’s possible to use this for several rolls of wrapping paper, bags, shirt boxes, and so much more. If you want to see the full tutorial, click here.