Holiday Decoration Makeover

Before decking the halls for the holidays, many of us cringe at the thought of venturing to our attics and rummaging through a haphazard collection of decorations. This dilemma inspired us to partner with The Container Store, the original storage and organization store that opened its first N.C. location in the Triangle recently, to offer one lucky Western Wake County household the opportunity to win a holiday decoration makeover valued at up to $500.

We had the most sympathy for Susan Kroll’s contest entry describing her disorganized mess. The Cary mother of two daughters — Natasha, 6, and Christina, 3 — has gathered quite a collection of holiday stuff over the years. In 1976, her mother started her collecting ornaments. She now continues the collection for her two daughters, along with handmade ornaments from their travels around the world thanks to her husband Per’s job as an engineer. Although they may not be heirloom quality, the ornaments are important to her and she wants to store them properly so they aren’t damaged.

“There is simply no order to my boxes, bags and large heaps of decorations. I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom for the past six years, but now plan to go back to work so I will need my decorations to be much more organized if I’m going to have the time to make our house the home of holiday splendor that I long for,” Kroll said. “I don’t want to continue buying more and more stuff simply because I cannot locate the garland, wreaths and ribbon that I bought last season. I truly desire to lessen my carbon footprint, therefore I’d like to be able to find and use the things I already have.”

An organization expert from The Container Store went to Kroll’s home, diagnosed the organizational dilemma, prescribed a storage solution and performed a free holiday decoration makeover.

“I was so impressed with how quickly they organized. Their systems are easy to figure out, and I didn’t have to purge much, although I did get rid of a lot of (cardboard) boxes,” Kroll added.

Less is more for Kroll who wants to be more conscious of her family’s impact on the world and instill good stewardship. She also is thrilled to have the finished half of her attic clutter free so her daughters can have their playroom back.

“For the first time I can actually see my attic floor,” Kroll exclaimed. “This experience was very freeing, and I’m very motivated to get another section of my home organized. Decorating should be joyful. This gives me time to do the things I love.”

Holiday Clutter Tips
Incorporate these tips from the The Container Store, which has more than 30 years of experience in storage solutions, to make the most of your storage space while ensuring that holiday decorations are safely stored and easily accessible for next year.

Be mindful of where you’re storing items. Wreaths, artificial trees and some ornaments are fine to store in a garage or attic. Choose sturdy plastic boxes that can be stacked or bags you can hang on the wall to protect items against dust, dirt and bugs.

Store delicate items such as candles, handmade or other valuable ornaments, in a climate-controlled room. Ornaments made with natural materials (such as paper, or kids’ craft projects with dried food, pasta, etc.) should always be kept in airtight containers to keep pests away. Archival storage boxes protect items made from natural fibers from yellowing.

Storing holiday items in clear containers or in traditional holiday colors helps to quickly identify what’s inside. Separating and labeling boxes by area of the home where the decorations will be displayed, such as kitchen décor, stockings or tree toppers makes unpacking much easier.

To keep from untangling yards of lights next year, wrap lights and garland securely around spools so they are easy to unwind.

Wrapping paper is best stored in a closet or under a bed to protect it from dust and the elements. Keep tape and scissors stored with the gift wrap and ribbons and you’ll have everything you need to start wrapping again next year at your fingertips.

With the flood of greeting cards and pictures you’ve collected over the holidays, it is important to protect and keep things organized so that you can hold on to those memories. Organizing your photos and/or greeting cards in an album or container will ultimately save you time.

Keeping your holiday china protected and organized may be one thing that people easily forget at the end of the holidays. There’s no need to keep your holiday-specific dinnerware in your cabinets year-round; instead clear up space in your cabinets by storing these items in an attic or top shelf of a pantry.

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