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Putting Christmas decorations away....

Ok. So its February, and I have just got around to putting Christmas well and truly to rest for the year. I mean last year. Considering that Hot Cross Buns have hit the supermarket shelves already (Isn't Easter in April?) I'm thinking that maybe I should leave it up and just do the Christmas thing 24/7/365. It looks like the way the advertisers want us to go...

Anyway. Since I had plenty of time and room to sort out my Christmas stuff, I decided to do it properly.

Here's what I did...

All the decorations that could be put back into its original packaging was put back into its packaging!. I discovered that rubber bands work well as a way to hold the packages shut rather than the sticky tape that they came with.
I had a bit of a cull at this stage too. I donated to charity all the decorations that I didn't like, don't want to use again or are not "my colours". It means that I'm not storing something I don't like and wont use and they are going to a home that appreciates the Christmas colour combinations that involve a hot pink or electric blue!

For the loose bauble things, I divided them into their colours and popped them into an old supermarket bag. This means that they are already sorted for next year. A long time ago I decided that I wasn't going to have a trillion Christmas colours. I decided on Purple (I know, who would have thought!) and green with either gold or silver as an accent. Having the four colours gives me a fair bit of decorating flexibility. I can do one or two main colours with an accent colour each year and get a totally different look each time. It also means that in January when all the Christmas decorations are an nth of the normal price, I know what will go with my colours and what wont without having to guess.

For us, Christmas fits into three containers - all the big things like the wreath, Santa sacks, Candles, last years cards (that we will post again) the nativity scene, and other larger things go in the box. I sprinkle a small amount of boric acid in the bottom to deter/kill any cockroaches and bug who think that they may want to take up residence and once its all in there I seal it with some masking tape to make it difficult for them to get in in the first place.

All the "loose" tree decorations go into one of those zip up plastic bags that a doona/duvet/coverlet comes in. Failing that, have a look for one of those $2 "candy stripe" bags that come from the cheap shops. Again hard for the critters to get into but light enough to move around easily.

The tree that we got for $5 at the car boot sale up the road (when we gave up on real trees to plant as we ran out of room in the garden to plant them out each year) Goes back into its original box and taped up nice and tight.

The whole lot goes in the back of a "hard to get at place" as I wont be needing to get at it for quite some time.

The cards all go into a box with all my Christmas card writing bits and bobs, including the strings that they sit on. We resend last years cards out each year which is heaps of fun and starting to catch on with our friends and relatives. Its heaps of fun! I keep them with the decorations, as we usually put up our tree and decorations during the first weekend of December - there are my cards - along with the envelopes of the people who changed address during the year ready to be updated and sent out!

I'm defiantly a bit slow off the mark this year with an immensely busy start to 2013 but when Christmas rolls around again, I'll be just that touch more organised for it!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for not needing to buy new things for each Christmas. Maintenance is a good green thing to do.
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for not spending any money and only storing what you need and use!
Time cost: A bit longer than just bunging it all in a corner or cupboard. Maybe about 2 hours all up to remove and store Christmas completely from start to finish - including sweeping and mopping the floors afterwards!
Skill level: Basic Mother Skills; sorting tidying and putting away....*sigh*
Fun -ness: Not as much fun as say, poking your eye with a stick, but maybe more satisfying!


africanaussie said…
So you send the card back to the person who sent it to you last year? with an updated note? Sounds like a novel idea.
Anonymous said…
I used to have my colors organized in a similar way. I used red, blue and silver. I would change up the color combination between those three colors for a different look each year.

Last year (2011) I donated my tree and all my lights and decorations except a few handmade. Now I drag a tree branch into the house and hang natural items like pine cones, acorns and the like with my hand made ornaments. When done the cones can go back outside to compost and I don't have more than a shoe box of storage needs.
Practical Frog said…
Hi AA! Yes, I send back the cards that they sent us last year. Some of them have been going for 5 or more years ansd they get fatter and more interesting with each layer. Its so much fun to look back over them and see whats changed (what hasnt changed too) and remember what was happening a year ago. I did a post on it called some thing like recycling Christmas cards - see if it will come up in google or look through the index to find it - try sending the cards back. It takes a while for people to get the hang of it but its soooo much fun when they do!

Oh, I like that idea. I didnt buy any more decorations in the sales this year. I think I will "wear out" the decorations we have and move onto something more natural - and as you say, storing a shoe box full is all you need!

Thanks for dropping by! - K xx
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