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You are here: Home > Seasonal Storage Guide > Step-By-Step Tutorials > Step 1: Out With The Old!

Step 1: Out With The Old!

The first and most important step in getting your holidays organized should always be cleaning out! Begin by going through all your holiday decorations and discarding anything that's broken or worn out. Strands of lights that don't work, frayed extension cords, threadbare linens, chipped dishes, broken candles…all these things should be disposed of! Please note, many of these things can be recycled through various organizations. Get online for information about other places to send these old items besides a landfill.

After you've weeded out the broken and worn items from your holiday stash, next take a good hard look at what's left. How often do you really use that old advent calendar that your coworker gave you? And how many years has it been since you put Santa Claus and the reindeer lawn decorations in your front yard? If it's been more than 3 years since you last used something, chances are you don’t really need it, and it's just taking up valuable storage space. Donate or recycle it!

Many people find the cleaning out process to be very difficult. For example, perhaps you have a small collection of ornaments you rarely use (let's say because the colors or style don't work with the rest of your decorations), but you can't bear the thought of donating them because they were a gift from a treasured friend. Here's an idea: Find a different location to showcase items like this. In the case of ornaments, consider purchasing a small Christmas tree for a special room or corner of your home, and use that tree only for this special collection.

Now that you've cleaned out all the old and unused items, you're ready to begin organizing! The best way to begin organizing is to separate your items into various categories: ornaments, lights, candles, holiday linens, wrapping paper and supplies, cookie cutters and baking supplies, etc. Follow along in our step-by-step tutorial for great ideas and tips on storing each category of items.

Step-By-Step Tutorials:
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