Math is not my strong point, but I suspect the following is true:
- Holiday decorations multiply
- Our capacity for storage shrinks
- Our homes remain static
Add it all up and you have a holiday storage problem on your hands.
Tree ornaments multiply for a number of reasons. We receive them as gifts or pick them up on our travels. Perhaps you add one or two to a sentimental collection each year. Children make precious ornaments at school. A beloved family member dies, and we acquire their collection and add it to our own. Add to that garlands, candles, figurines, lights, inflatables, gift wrap, bows, etc. and watch your house shrink even more.
Our houses don’t actually shrink, it just feels that way when our collections exceed our ability to store them. Off-site storage is big business for this reason. Unless your between moves or in the middle of a remodel, don’t be lulled into this expensive trap.
Acknowledging that our current homes remain static is key. If your children flew the nest and you’ve down-sized, your new, smaller space is also static. Moving to an expensive city often means less house for more money. In any event, the extra space we once had evaporated.
What can we do?
Devising a formula for storage is essential. Carefully wrapped ornaments in a well-organized bin take up less room, then haphazardly tossing them into boxes at the end of the season. I’ve created a Pinterest Board with additional ideas for holiday storage
Following the ‘one in, one out’ rule is helpful as well. As you take down your tree each year, re-evaluate your collection and see if its time to let some of them go.
Decorating with consumables reduces the need to store things year to year. Consider greens, berries, pine cones, flowers, flowering plants or other natural items available in your community. When decorating with candles, buy what you’ll use for the season. Resist buying extra’s ‘just in case’ or because they’re on sale. Focus your decorating attention on one or two, frequently used rooms, in the house for maximum impact.
I recently decorated for a client using cinnamon scented pine cones displayed in open containers, a pair of poinsettia and a small tray with candles and a candy dish. The house is colorful, fragrant and festive, with little to store at the end of the season.
Freeing ourselves from the excesses that creep into our lives over the years, allows us more time to enjoy friends and family, community activity, exercise and even a better night’s sleep.