A Christmas Present To Your Future Self

Have you ever started a project thinking you could knock it out in a few hours, only to find it took more like a few days? That’s how the revamp of my Christmas storage went this year, but now that I’m done, it was totally worth it.

My Christmas decorations, except for the Christmas trees, are all stored here in the upstairs family room.

Upstairs Family, Bonus Room

 

This quirky F.R.O.G. (finished room over the garage) has two dormer windows: one on the left side…

Dormer in Upstairs Family Room

 

….and one on the right.

Upstairs Family Room With Window Seat and Dormer Windows

 

The dormer on the right has two wee doors that open up to unfinished eave space. I store Christmas goodies on the left and Easter/Halloween/Thanksgiving goodies on the right.

Dormer Window Seat 1_wm

 

When Christmas rolls around each year and I head upstairs to get out the decorations, this is the view I encounter when I open the doors. Ugh. It always makes me want to close the doors back up and put it off another day. Or, ten.

Christmas Decorations and Storage

 

The bonus room eave area is where I store all the wreaths I hang on the windows at Christmastime.

Hang-Wreaths-on-Exterior-Windows-for-Christmas-1

 

They hang from nails I’ve nailed into the studs.

Wreath Storage Under Eaves

 

This area is actually large enough that I’m able to stand up under the section running along the wall, although I’ve whacked my head more than once under here. That explains a lot, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wreath Storage Under the Eaves

 

This system works really well for the wreaths but the part that isn’t working so well are all the large, cardboard boxes stuffed with who-knows-what from years and years of decorating.

Holiday Decoration Storage

 

After pulling out all the boxes near the front, the ones I sort-of know what’s inside, I came to the boxes that are buried the furthest back in this storage area, boxes that haven’t been opened in years. That’s the bad thing about cardboard boxes, they are like black holes where things disappear and are never seen again! Time to fix this issue and make this storage area more manageable.

Christmas Storage

 

I ordered a bunch of these clear 66 Quart-size storage binsย (bonus-they’re currently on sale!) atย True Value.

Clear Storage Bins For Storing Away Christmas Decorations

 

They have a lot of storage bins on sale right now including this 18-gal Storage Tote belowย which is even larger (and less) than the ones I bought. It comes in Blue, Purple and Green, which is handy for color coding what you store away if you don’t like using clear/see-through bins. So glad they have a sale going on right now because January is the perfect time to get organized. Great way to start off the year!

Storage bin in blue

 

So the sorting process began, time to decide what to keep, what to donate and what to toss.

Sorting and Organizing Holiday Decorations

 

When all was done, I was able to empty and recycle all the boxes you see along the left wall. Notice all the plastic bags I was able to empty, too. ย So glad to be getting rid of all those. I’ve always saved the plastic bags that comforters and such come in for storing away Christmas throws, pillows, tree skirts and other fabric/textile Christmas decor. They work well for keeping things clean and protected but they are horribly clumsy for storage since they have no shape. The three boxes on the right are items I’ll be donating this week to my local Goodwill.

Christmas Storage Before And After

 

I love these clear storage bins! LOVE!

Clear Storage Bins for Christmas Decorations

 

It’s so awesome being able to see what is inside the bin so I know which one I need to pull out for decorating.

Clear Bins for Holiday Decorations

 

So, remember how my eave storage room looked before?

Christmas Decorations and Storage

 

Here’s how it looks now! Soย much better and look at all the extra space! This is going to save me so much time and angst next Christmas! It will be so nice when the holidays come back around and I open the doors to this area. I will probably have forgotten by then that I did this and will be in for a wonderful surprise, a Christmas present to my future self!

Iย definitelyย won’t miss having to haul boxes out to see what’s inside them, only to have to haul them back in again when it’s something I no longer use. I feel like I can breathe now–such a good feeling!

Christmas Decorations Neatly Stored Away in Clear Storage Bins

 

Have you set any goals this year for getting better organized? I think the hardest part is just getting started, at least it always is for me. Once you’re into it though, it feels so good to get rid of the things you no longer need and to make those you do use more accessible. I’m so looking forward to a more organized and productive 2015!

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.




 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 



Comments

  1. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, that looks wonderful! I am a bit of an organization nut as well. I love, love, love having ‘a place for everything, and everything in it’s place.’ And I did a bit of revamping on my Christmas boxes this year, as well. I want to get into my attic storage space for a fine tuning too, but it’s still too cold here to even think about that. Maybe in another couple of months!

    Your clear boxes are great and a good idea for instant recognition. I ordered the red totes with green lids from my Tru Value some years ago for my Christmas items. (couldn’t resist.) I have 99% of my storable items in totes (some things just don’t fit or fold, lol) and I love that system. I use a label maker to put the general category theme on the front of the tote and all the totes are neatly shelved. It is a wonderful system!

    For my Christmas items, I keep things in my tote by location/category, so decorating is literally, a snap. For instance, one of my red and green Christmas totes is labeled, “Mantle.” All the items I use to dress the mantle can be found in that box and I just take it out, put them up and store the box away until we pack up Christmas. Then everything goes right back into the box. I also have a written inventory for each box. I do that as an extra thing just because … well, that’s just how I am! Lol. Another box might contain linens and anything cloth related liked table cloths, napkins, place mats, table runners, quilted wall hangings, etc. Another will have dishes like my Santa chip and dip set, the pretty dish we used to set out Santa’s cookies, other serving ware and breakable dishes that we set out or use at Christmas.

    Another one is for our glass tree ornaments, others for garland, etc. etc. It DOES make decorating so much easier and more fun, AND it makes putting everything away a lot easier too because you know you have a designated place for each item.

    I know how good you feel having that project finished and knowing everything is all cozy and tucked away, standing ready for next year. ๐Ÿ˜€ Hee. Have a wonderful day, my friend.

    • Wow, you sound so organized Pam! I love your labeling system! I’m keeping that in mind. I mix and use my decorations in so many different places each year, I’m not sure I can label them by area, but I do love that idea! I can’t believe I waited this long to do this! Makes me want to do the other side now where I store the Easter/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations.

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

        Susan, I remember telling you on a post before Christmas that we had ‘gotten the mantle decorated.’ What I didn’t say was that it took us all of 5 minutes, lol. We hung the garland and placed the decorations in no time. But that doesn’t mean I rush all the fun stuff. I love decorating the tree. The tree is a family tradition (within our little family) and we have our traditional way of going about the ceremony. That tree decorating takes time and is a great part of the season’s joy for us. Other things I prefer to be fairly simple and fast, because, quite honestly, I don’t have the energy I once did! So having things simplified and easy and quick to do is woonnnderful. ๐Ÿ˜€ If you like my idea but can’t see it working exactly the way I do it for your circumstances, you might just think how you can still organize things by groups. For instance, you might have a tote for ‘table scape centerpieces,’ and another for ‘candles and candlesticks,’ and another for ‘greenery, leaves, sprays, etc,’ that you like to use when designing your tablescapes. (Ack. You probably already do.) But rather than store them for seasons or holidays, or even location, it might be easier for you to store them by category and then when you’re doing a table scape and think, “Hmm … I need a little greenery,” you’ll know exactly where to go to get it. Just an idea.

        Maybe I’m an old fuddy duddy but I like to come up with what I think is the best ‘place’ for a decoration and then place it there year after year. That certainly does help me in packing up and keeping Christmas organized.

    • I echo Pam here. I also have started putting Christmas away by location, and have been gradually moving into clear containers, buying a few each year. I have my “Snowman Guest Bathroom” bin, and a “Mantle” one as well. What I found this year is it makes it easy when I start decorating, because I can pick just one bin/place each night when I get home from work, get that done and not feel overwhelmed to get it ALL done. Your storage area looks great, Susan!!

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

        Thanks, Chick Voice. I wish I could see pictures of your Snowman Guest Bathroom. I bet it’s really cute. I have a kitchen box, dining room, etc. It has made life much simpler. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Nice job! I would love an elf to take care of that for me…Every year I say I am going organize, but my bins live in the kitchen during putting up and tearing down the decorations. Therefore, I just end up rushing through the process.
    Good to get rid of the cardboard boxes, too. I have this theory that boxes in the basement and attic will reproduce if left touching. Same thing goes for dishes in the sink overnight. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • lol Yes, an elf or two would be completely awesome! Wonder where we can find those? ๐Ÿ™‚
      Linda, you just described exactly what I’ve been doing year after year. I’m always in a rush and just want it all put away once Christmas has passed. But I can tell you, this was definitely worth it, even though it took me several days to get it done. Ha! I think your theory about boxes and dishes is dead on! Sounds totally accurate to me!

  3. Wow! Thanks for the great job of inspiring me! I know what I’m going to be doing, Pronto! I LoVe the clear containers too. My storage place looks just like your did….And I’m hoping when I’m finished it will look just like your makeover too! I can’t wait to get started! Thanks again!
    Hugs Marg.

  4. Oh everything looks amazing. I need to do the same thing, and my garage too. Great inspiration.

  5. I forgot to mention I LoVe the trunk in front of the sofa! It’s just what I’ve been looking for!
    Hugs Marg

    • Thanks! That piece came from Nottingham Antiques, a store in Atlanta. It’s not an antique like the other pieces in that room, or at least I don’t think it is. Hard to remember now, I’ve had it so long. The trunk part may be old but I think what they do is add other pieces/embellishments to it to make it more decorative. It really comes in handy because the sofa in that room is a sofa/sleeper, so I store all the bedding/pillows in the trunk. You can see their online store here: http://stores.nottinghamantiques.com/furniture/

    • Yeah, I just read their “About” page and they make reproductions. It’s been so long since I bought the trunk, I was having trouble remembering if they added on to old pieces or built them from scratch. Everything else in the bonus/upstairs family room is an antique from Sweden/Denmark, everything except a narrow sofa table on one wall. If I had been able to find an antique trunk that I liked back in the day when I was furnishing that room, I would have bought it, but I couldn’t so the reproduction trunk was the next best thing. It really does look old both inside an out.

  6. Peggy Thal says:

    Joining you as a big fan of the clear bins. They are my favorite. I got rid of all cardboard boxes and use plastic ones in clear. I label mine so I can see from afar. Sure has made my life easier . I am still putting Christmas away because of all the carrying. My husband will help this weekend( he has been out of town). It sure is nice to get organized . Yours looks wonderful and I bet it makes you happy.

  7. Oh My! Your post made me giggle…especially since I store my items in the same exact area of my house….and you couldn’t have put it into words any better by saying it makes you want to back out and forget bringing out those decorations for another day!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    It’s also comical, as I did the same in downsizing the amount of my Christmas decorations and re-organizing!
    I’ll be thinking of you as we go for Christmas 2015 to decorate!
    Great and Good Job you did!
    Take care and wishing you a Super Weekend!

  8. What a huge transformation–well done! Since you leave your wreaths and faux greenery uncovered, you must not have any tiny critter issues. I am using far fewer decorations, so got my 4 large bins down to 2 this year.

    • No little critters thank goodness. I don’t like critters in the house unless they’re the kind that bark or purr. ๐Ÿ™‚ You did good…2 bins!

  9. This MUST be the “year of the bin.” Bin there…done that, too!! Sorted the Christmas “stuff” a lot went out …more stayed in. We labeled the lids and then put “files” on the computer what was in each. Who knows…I hope this keeps me “on top of it.” franki

  10. I love seeing how people organize! Thanks!

  11. I’m sure your efforts made the storage area much less of a fire hazard, too! That was my first thought when I saw the “before” pictures. I’m lucky to have a couple of small storerooms in my basement, with shelves. Every holiday’s decorations are in labelled clear bins. I am too lazy to add inventories of the contents!

    • You know, it’s funny that you mention that because I have a full, daylight basement (2/3 finished except for paint and carpet, and 1/3 unfinished used for storage see here:http://betweennapsontheporch.net/an-inexpensive-workbench-for-the-basement/) but I ended up using this head-bumping attic space instead. Crazy, huh? lol
      I think I ended up storing stuff here because I use so many of the wreaths in the upstairs windows and decorate some upstairs, then the rest of the decorations just have to be carried down one flight. If I use the basement, I have to carry half the decoration up one flight and the rest up two flights. I used to store my trees in the basement, then it dawned on me one day, if stored them in the garage, I wouldn’t have to carry them up the stairs…just straight in. So now they are in the garage. Wish I had a big closet in the garage. I cover them with huge tree bags to keep them clean.

  12. Linda Page says:

    I just KNEW there was some head whacking somewhere in your past!!! It does explain a lot!!! lol You are so funny!! Great job on getting your decorations organized. I definitely have a love affair with clear storage boxes!! Wish I had invented them!!

  13. Ashleigh Hall says:

    Susan, Thank you so much for posting your before and afters to motivate others (me, especially)! What a lot of effort and time, but the well worth it!! Bravo on a job well done! Have a blessed weekend!

  14. you had to take a deep breath before getting started on that project, but the end result was definitely worth the effort. Now I see why you are able to create so many different vignettes, tablescapes, etc. My resources are not quite so extensive and I keep paring down.

  15. Bravo Susan! Doesn’t this make you feel as if you can breathe again? I did something similar a few years ago but am fortunate enough to have an unfinished basement. Bought shelving, clear totes and went to town! The only thing I did differently is sort by room and put a large sheet of paper inside the tote at the end telling which room or area of the house was in it. This gives me the ability to do a room at a time. I still have one tote labeled “Old/Not Used” for those items I don’t use consistently but still useable if I decide to decorate another room or switch it up a bit. Talk about life altering lol!

    • Thanks, Denise! I need to buy some shelving for my basement too. I did put a workbench down there which is great for when I’m building a project: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/an-inexpensive-workbench-for-the-basement/
      Did you put the piece of paper facing outward so you can read it through the tote? I should do that next year so I won’t have to struggle trying to remember what goes back in which bin. Great idea…thanks for telling me about that! I can’t really sort by room since I put stuff in different places every year…never know where I’ll use it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I did face it out. Lol I always think I’ll remember things but as the brain ages…… I also have some “Misc.” totes that have a general list of what is inside – enough to give me a general idea of what’s in there. Have to tell you how liberating this system has been!

  16. Rattlebridge Farm says:

    In my 61 years of digging through Christmas stuff, I never once thought to hang wreaths in the attic–all of that wonderful vertical space was left to the dust bunnies. ๐Ÿ™‚ Haven’t found my Dicken’s Village in a while now. Argh. Love your idea of using clear boxes. I’m so going to do this at the ranch–I just found the attic/crawl space yesterday, and it’s the right size for tubs.
    I also want to say how much I love this room–the blues/yellows; the pine furniture; the window seat with all of that glorious sunshine. Beautiful!

    • Thanks, Michael! It’s the brightest room in the house, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚ I need a progress report on the ranch! I’d love to share some of your before and after out there sometime!

  17. Ahhh, so much better! I moved into a new home in September so my garage area is still a giant mess but that’s where I’ll be storing all my holiday decorations and I’ll be using totes like yours but in different colors for the different holidays.

    Tania

  18. Roxanne Bernard says:

    Great job! I am an organizational freak too. When I was laid up for 5 months last year with a shattered heel, my darling husband took great care of me…but I sat helplessly watching all the clutter accrue. The first thing I did when I retired in July was to get my nest shipshape! Have you discovered those giant ziplock vacuum bags for storing comforters, etc? They really work! Flattens everything like a pancake, and even pillows plump back up when the bag is opened. Love!

    • I’ve seen those…just was worried things wouldn’t plump back up as much. Good to know it works! Glad you are back on your feet, Roxanne!

  19. Susan, thanks for the laugh re whacking yourself on the head as definitely I can relate since my Christmas decorations are stored in a portion of our basement called a crawl space. For years it wasn’t a chore to ‘waddle like a duck’ to retrieve them, however now it is not the case. Maturity will do that to you. โ˜บ Before closing, also thank you for the inspiration to reorganize with the use of see through bins as in my case, it will certainly make the task of retrieving them much easier.
    Warm hugs -Brenda-

  20. Susan we did the very same last year, every time we saw clear lidded boxes for sale we would buy them for the loft. We had some left over from the kitchen re vamp when the cupboards were emptied. So those were used in our loft and as you say, so much more practical than the “black hole” cardboard boxes. Just the other day we decanted decorating items in to a spare plastic box. And the bonus is they stack easy in the loft. We handed items into our local charity shop (GW shop) today with still more to to. So nice to declutter isn’t it? Yes we have whacked our heads getting in and out of our low loft door!!!! Ouch !

  21. Good for you Susan, a job well done!! Love the clear totes, such a time saver. One of my big projects this month was my bedroom closet, that took a few days and feels so good to be on top of that!! And now am concentrating on my studio, what a disaster, did not take before pics, don’t want anyone to see that!!! It’s looking so much better now but am not done yet, am working on taxes now…….at least I can do that on my large work desk now that it is cleared!!! It’s a long winter here so I’ve got lotsa time……..stay safe and warm……xoxoxo

  22. Well, now, you’ve managed to inspire me to clear out my Christmas closet, something my hubby’s been trying to do for years! Can’t help but wonder if you can’t make those little cubbie doors taller, so you don’t have to crawl into the storage area….I’m imagining myself on hands and knees dragging out christmas tree boxes…..:-)

  23. Dorcas Bess says:

    I too have storage space behind my dormers/looks just like yours except my access door is in the back of my closet. I have been using the clear plastic totes for years. I even have some clear storage for my wreaths. I do not have as many wreaths as I do not do my windows outside. Might do this now after seeing your system for storing them.I never thought to hang them up on the studs/neat idea. I may try this next year. Thanks for the inspiration. Absolutely love your blog. It is one of the first ones I started following.

  24. I too love the clear totes! I’ve been slowly replacing the cardboard boxes with the clear totes and it is so much easier. And look now you can find new amazing Christmas decorations! That’s part of my problem (maybe?) I make room and somehow I manage to get new things to replace the space. Like this year my husband wants to decorate the tree with cats and birds! A whole new set of decorations-darn. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. All of my Christmas decor is now in clear bins, too. I love seeing what I want at a glance. (And I think the icing on the cake of this project is a bit of compensation from the sponsor, win-win!!)

  26. Thanks for sharing another great post and project, Susan! Getting better organized with all my blessings always seems to be on my to do list every year. I have gotten better and better as the years roll by =)

  27. Is your under the eaves storage climate controlled? I saw some wall insulation in one shot, but figured that was an inside wall. Do your decorations (wreaths, throws, pillows, as well as other decor) last for years stored here? Culling and storing properly is a project I need to tackle this year. Thanks for sharing!

    • No, it’s not. The only thing I worry a little about are the ornaments but they have been stored under there for 20+ years now and they always look fine when I get them out.

  28. What a huge difference! Did you already have the red/white striped storage boxes? Like them..as well as the Christmas decorated storage boxes near the front. In the photo above of the pre-separating for keep-donate-trash, it looks like a crescent moon shaped Santa (red hat, white beard)? If it is, we have at least one of the same ornament. Curious – which category did he end up in? Since ours is all attic storage, Granddad is in charge of bringing down & putting up year-round decorations; not a job he’s ever happy about – especially at Christmas. Several years ago, I started picking up large tubs in seasonally recognizable colors & then labeling what was inside. Christmas Pillows (red or green tub). Halloween D/R Dรฉcor (orange or purple tub) Valentine Dรฉcor (1 red tub) Spring Dรฉcor (1 blue tub). Solved the problem of undecorating the Christmas tree & wrapping each ornament for storage…left it up for six years now. It’s 8.5′, over 400 ornaments, is in a living room nobody goes in & we live on a 3-house cul-de-sac so very few people ever see it and those that do know & love me. Happy New Year Y’all

    • I did…those hold ornaments. I can’t remember where I bought them now since it was many years ago. The Christmas decorated storage boxes are by a company called “Ultimate Christmas Storage.” I bought those many, many years, even before the striped boxes. They hold my most delicate ornaments. You can see a better picture of those here: http://www.greenies.com/dogs/dog-dental-chews.aspx?sc_cid=Greenies_OLV_SpecificMedia_Q12015
      Oh, those cute moon shaped Santas…I can’t remember where I bought those but I remember they were either on sale or very inexpensive. I bought a bunch one year to use as present toppers but had a bunch left over. They are kind of heavy for the tree but I do hang some of them on the tree…so those ended up staying.
      You know, now that my son is grown and no longer living here, if I had a big storage closet, I think I would do the same with the tree. It would be awesome to just roll or drag it into a closet and close the door. When you have little ones at home, it’s fun to decorate it each year but not that much fun to do by yourself…so I’d love to just store my two trees away. It would take a pretty big closet, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Since my husband and I are total decorating freaks for all the holidays, we have hundreds (yep, hundreds) of containers for storing each holiday. I hate cardboard boxes because they tend to get damp and breakdown after a few years. I like everything to stay clean, so after the holiday, the items are cleaned before they are packed back into containers. It takes time to do that, but I know thy are clean the next time I pull them out. It’s also an opportunity to throw away items that stopped working. We store all our Christmas in the attic on platforms my husband built so things slide into low corners and angles. In the garage we hung several Hi-Loft storage platforms for Halloween. Because I’m also a personal chef and create many tablescapes for clients, we just rented a storage unit and he built shelves to house all my tablescape items. I found scrapbook paper containers fit 12 plate chargers at a time. Plastic shoe boxes hold my napkins. I vacuum seal my flatware (especially the silver) to keep it clean and free from oxidizing so no need to polish it. Clear containers hold color coded tablecloths, chair covers, and chair sashes. Dishes are also placed in scrapbook paper boxes, 12 plates per box (so as not to get too heavy). I write on the boxes t1,t2 and so on for those items that can be used for more than one type of tablescape, and I have a master sheet with what t1 tablescape is, so I know everything in that container will work with that design.

    • Bobbie, I want to come play at your house! How much fun would that be! That’s so cool about the attic storage! I would love a giant Butler’s Pantry…sounds like you solved that issue. How fun to entertain regularly, I would love that but I’m definitely not a Chef! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I didn’t think about that for the silver…interesting! I know they tell you not to let a rubber band touch silver but plastic shouldn’t hurt so that sounds great!
      I store my flatware in the plastic shoeboxes, too as seen here: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/dish-storage-welcome-to-the-54th-metamorphosis-monday/
      For silverplate flatware, I purchased some of the Hagerty silver bags and just stick the silver inside the bag and then put that inside the plastic shoe box. So far that’s working pretty well.
      That is some great organization you have going on! I will have to look for the scrapbook paper containers…I haven’t seen those. Do you find those at Michaels?
      Have you seen Bonnie’s amazing dish closet that her husband made for her. I think you’ll love it! You can see it in this old post: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/dish-heaven/

  30. Clear bins make a HUGE difference, and so much more manageable. Good for you!
    I always hate the enormous mess created in the middle of such a project, but the end result is always worth it.

  31. As a counterpoint to your progress, this link is a really funny idea about how to “clutter” up a home.
    http://beautyandbedlam.com/clutter-house-12-simple-steps/

  32. Juanita in OH says:

    Wow, Susan!! You did a fabulous job. “Hip, hip, hooray for a job well done.” I have been trying to organize my office, sewing, scrapbooking and card making area for years, I wish we lived near each other because I need emergency help, lol. My darling husband, of fifty years, always wants to help me…”get a dumpster and load it up”. That kind of help I don’t need. I also have to watch him because he puts things anywhere and if I don’t see him putting it away I will never find it except by mistake when I am looking for something else.
    I LOVE attics and wish I had one. Have a great week-end.

  33. Great job Susan. I love that feeling when everything is tickety-boo.
    I have all my Christmas decorations in plastic bins, although not all are see through, they are marked as to what is in them. The only exception is my Christmas village which is in a huge cardboard box, because each house is in a box of its own.
    Because of the groans from hubby about fetching these up from the crawl space, I think I am going to put him in a see through box down there, with breathing holes of course, then he will there at the right time to bring them up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. karen in ohio says:

    Susan, I just found your blog about a month ago. Needless to say, I love your taste in everything. I noticed one of your comforter sets looks like one that I have. ( Rosetree Summerton collection). Your style of decorating is traditional, mine as well. I love the Williams Sonoma red tartan plaid duvet and shams. I would love to get that as well, but it is sold out. However, your storage bins are great. I also had so many cardboard boxes for years and have slowly been converting all my decorations over to plastic storage bins. You are so right, it is such a good feeling to have it all organized. I will continue to enjoy your blog and look forward to reading it each day. Thank you.

    • Thanks so much, Karen! You are so right…it is Rosetree Summerton. I still love it after all these years.
      Sorry they sold out of the tartan duvet. It went really fast this year. I was tempted to wait until it was on sale but I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t since it sold out so quickly. Check next fall and start watching for it if you still want it because a William Sonoma employee told me that WS will normally carry a particular pattern for several years in a row, especially if it sells well for them. I’d be surprised if they don’t bring it back again.
      Yeah, I’m ready to get rid all the cardboard boxes I’ve been using…want to do the same for the Halloween/Easter/Thanksgiving decorations now. So glad you found BNOTP! ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Cyndi Raines says:

    Bravo to you Susan! Yes, organizing is SO healthy, makes you feel good all over. I will begin on our basement storage area tomorrow. I have holiday decorations in colored bins: green/ Christmas, orange / Fall, etc. but I think the clear really are better. I feel pretty good about what’s in the bins and they go on large shelves across the east wall, however, it is the mess of “this and that” that is accumulating and creeping out onto the floor that HAS TO GO!! Hubby will assist. Last Saturday was spent preparing for the tax lady and the I cleaned out the filing cabinet and was amazed and how fast the years are flying. Shredded LOTS of things. Also want to tackle the shoe boxes filled with old check registers and the carbon copies. Peeked at a few boxes and they go back to 2001!! Yikes. Wrote more checks back then, but in recent years have been paying on line. So to save the poor shredder, I think we’ll have a nice bonfire out back. haha.

  36. I have a large tandem 3-car garage, and we use the back bay for storage. Several years ago, I purchased 6 Sterilite Wide rolling carts, each with 3 clear plastic drawers. Most of my holiday decor (like ornaments, etc…) fits in the drawers, and items that are too big, I store in large plastic bins (like the ones you just purchased), which sit on top of the carts. What I love about this is that I can see everything and when I want to do my holiday decorating, I just wheel the carts into the houseโ€”no lugging heavy bins around. It also makes it easy to move things around in the garage!

  37. You have become my favorite blogger! I actually look forward to seeing your posts show up on my email list! Your Christmas storage project is amazing: although I can fit all my Christmas decoration materials in one underbed plastic bin, I still have hopes of one day soon finding my little dream cottage (preferably on a warm Southern coast) and accumulating a reasonably-sized Christmas decoration collection. I think one reason I love your blog so much is that you love houses (especially old ones) and decor books as much as I do. The internet is great, but nothing beats a big book with lots of pics and details that you can look at over and over. And, thanks so much for turning me on to Talbot’s huge selection of pant styles, many of which come in long lengths! Looking forward to your future posts. Thanks a bunch!

    • Thanks, Randi! Appreciate that so much! ๐Ÿ™‚ Talbots is one of my most favorite stores, especially when they have a good sale going. I do love how they offer so many different sizes, lengths and styles. It’s about the only place I can find pants that fit me.

  38. I used to store the holiday stuff in the attic, above the garage with the small pulldown staircase. I finally realized that I could not haul the big containers up and down those stairs. Sorry – I’m just getting older and I am short.

    I bought a bunch of those clear containers that fit the shelves in my closets. They are the smallest ones in the pictures (16 qt., I think).

    I sorted my good ornaments by type (Santa, Oldies, Angels, etc), labeled the boxes and then stored them on the top shelves of my closets around the house. The plastic (cheap) ornaments are tossed in a big box in the garage. I am moving towards smaller trees that are easier to collapse or even stay in the house as greenery. I used to have a pretty tree in the corner of a room that finally died. The three small Christmas trees of varying heights took it place one year and never moved. I take the ornaments off, but it is nice to turn on the lights every now and then.

    As we age, I think it is good to adapt to the options that we have.

  39. Love it! I too hated to spend the time organizing the tons of Christmas stuff. I got married and moved in December 2012, and now have a basement. I organized the Christmas decorations in December 2013. i did MORE organizing in 2014. I’ve always been a fan of TUBS. I had stuff in tubs waaaay back when.LOL I label the tubs. I have color coordinated some of my tubs to the colors of decorations in them. (This year the tree was in all blue, with blue in the garland and on the mantle. So it’s now in a blue tub. Next year is purple, etc.) I have a spot in the corner in my basement for holiday decorations, soon to be in the garage up high on shelves, so I get that spot in my basement for MY stuff!! (Craft/sewing stuff, that is!!!)

    • Love your system! I’ve only used tubs for storage for a few things but I’m a believer now. I need to do the same thing with my other decorations. I bet your trees are beautiful, Robin!

  40. Jill from Southern New Hampshire says:

    I too am redoing my holiday storage this year, trying to convert to an all-tote system that is color coded by the season or holiday of the contents inside โ€“ no small task as I decorate for pretty much everything โ€“ except for Arbor Day ๐Ÿ˜‰ I remembered this post as I went to put out my (half bag, half tote) collection of Easter decorationsโ€“ the purple/fuchsia ones you mentioned are ideal, and in my experience the 66 quart and 18 gallon (72 quart) size totes are the perfect size for decent storage and lugging up and down the pull-down attic ladder! Unfortunately, I missed the great deal in January but am continuing to check the True Value site in hopes they go on sale again soon!

    • Jill, hopefully they will. My next big job around here is cleaning out the garage. Waiting on a pretty weekend to do that. I always dread organizing, then once I’m into it, it’s not so bad. ๐Ÿ™‚

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!

*