Keep your holiday supplies simple with an inventory and a plan
Photo by Foto Blitz Color
This week’s project is not revolutionary or a brand new idea, but the kicker is doing it in plenty of advanced time. This week, we’ll take inventory of our holiday items, get rid of what we no longer need, and make a shopping list for the things you need to buy.
Our family doesn’t have much Christmas decor to begin with, but in the next two days I’m going to get it all down and make a simple list of what we have. And then I’ll keep an eye out for what we need, well before the insane holiday chaos begins.
Here are a few tips to get your organizing juices flowing.
Organize Your Ideas
First, organize your holiday ideas. If there are craft projects you’ve found online that you’d like to do, bookmark them in a logical way where you’ll find them. You’re probably not surprised that I keep mine on Delicious.
Also bookmark decorating photos that inspire you. Don’t hold your home’s standard to an immaculate Pottery Barn catalog spread, but use those forms of eye candy to generate some ideas (I love Meredith’s inspired ideas from the coveted store’s catalog photos). Most professional decorating ideas can be done much more frugally.
Once you have a general idea of some projects you’d like to tackle this year, you can scratch out a basic list of supplies you’ll need. For example, I already know I want to make a new tree skirt this year, so I’m going to keep my eye out for fabric now.
Edit Your Stuff
Embrace the philosophy “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” for the holidays as well as for life, and set aside any Christmas knickknacks you don’t truly love. If something doesn’t line up with your taste, you probably won’t love having it on display for the holidays. Even if you got it as a gift, you’re not required to keep it.
Then, depending on how much you have, either sell the items individually on eBay or Craigslist, or sell them as an entire set of holiday decor. If you don’t think you’d make enough cash for the hassle, consider posting your stuff on freecycle – someone else may love your stuff.
Inventory Your Supplies
You should be left with items you like and want to use this year.
Test your strands of lights, and if any of them are burnt out (and beyond simple repair), throw them out. There’s no need to hold on to them, and they’re easily replaceable.
Inventory your wrapping paper and see if you need to replenish your supply. I recommend mostly using season-less paper you can use year-round, but if you want specific holiday wrap, the earlier you buy it, the better the selection. I’ll share more tips on creative gift wrap ideas soon.
I love wrapping gifts with real ribbon – if you do, too, check how much you have, and keep an eye out for inexpensive spools year-round at craft stores.
Store Your Items Logically
After you inventory your stuff, store it logically according to when you’ll use it. If there are some holiday supplies you’ll use first, for example, box those items together in a box labeled “Christmas – Box #1.”
Even better, make a simple list of the box’s contents – then either write it directly on the box, or write it on paper and tape it securely.
Make a Shopping List, Keep a Sharp Eye, & Make a Plan
Make a master list of what holiday supplies you need to stock up on this year. Then keep it someplace, like your Home Management Notebook, where you can easily access it when you’re shopping online or when you’re going out and about.
Keep an eye out for items in stores, and watch for coupons. You might want to go ahead and schedule some of the project ideas on your family calendar, especially if they involve multiple people.
I’m looking forward to doing some holiday project “research.” Is there anything you already know you’re going to tackle? What are some things you no longer need? Start organizing and planning now, while there’s still plenty of time until Christmas. All in all, it should only take you a few hours this week.
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