If the holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year”, what does one call the time of year right after the holidays when there are tons of decorations and holiday-related items scattered around the house? The most unorganized time of year.

With this said, there is hope in escaping this not-so-fun time and place. Similar to unpacking after a trip, you just have to do it, rip the Band-Aid off, get the holiday decoration packing over with, and get on with your life.

To help during what is a difficult time for us all, as we must simultaneously reemerge into the world of work, and deal with the unpleasant task of packing up the remnants of the holidays, below you will find tips for maintaining organization while packing holiday decorations.

  • To keep lights from getting tangled in storage, cut a hole in a coffee can and place the receptacle end of the light stand through the hole. Wrap the remaining strand of lights around the coffee can. You can even store extra lightbulbs and extension cords within the can. When the holidays come around next year, plug the lights in before unravelling them from the can to ensure they still work.
  • To save space and keep organized, toss the decorations that are damaged, out of date, or have duplicates.
  • Label each box with the holiday to which it pertains. Under the name of the holiday, write a few bullet points about the container’s contents.
  • Pack items in the order that you will need them for next year. For example, store the tree lights and ornaments in a container underneath the tree stand and skirt since you will need access to those items first.
  • Instead of trashing the tons of both used and unused wrapping materials, put them through a paper shredder and repurpose the paper strips as packaging filler when putting away decorations.

Use these tips in packing up the remnants of the holidays, and perhaps we can change this from the most unorganized time of the year, to the most relaxing and hopeful time of the year, as it should be.