Before I start telling you how I organize my vast array of holiday paraphernalia, I must disclose that “the Christmas stuff” is a whole different story, basically requiring its own storage room. However, I am going to share with you my organizational system for my Autumn/Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter/Spring decorations.
Here’s what I do: I have labelled bins for each occasion. Earth shattering, isn’t it? Wait, here’s what makes my system slightly more original: I put EVERYTHING – even items that wouldn’t be considered decorations – in to the bin. This includes CD’s, children’s books, stickers, napkins, hand towels. If it can be remotely connected to a holiday, it’s in. This way I’m not looking all over the house to pull out the themed items when the occasion rolls around. And really, why do you need these things at any other time of the year? Nothing says “I don’t have it together” like a jack-o-lantern hand towel out in April, don’t you agree? Or, one might argue, nothing says “I don’t have a life” like themed items all perfectly sorted in bins. To each her own.
I particularly love keeping books and crafty stuff hidden away because the kids get so excited to see it all again (plus this way, we’re not reading “Dora Saves Christmas” in July). I find that rediscovering these long-lost treasures keeps the kids busy long enough for me to put everything else where it goes!
Here’s an example of the bin I pulled out on the first of October (my official Halloween decorating date):
As you can see, this one has decorations, costumes and accessories, a spooky CD, books…the list goes on.
So, are you inspired? Your Halloween “stuff” may already be on display and in use right now, but you too can dump it all in the same spot afterwards and be ready for next year. Now, while we’re on Halloween, if you find yourself lacking in children’s titles for this occasion, here are some suggestions I’ve recently received, in order of age group:
Ollie’s Halloween by Olivier Dunrea (who writes the Gossie and Friends books)
The Haunted House That Jack Built by Helaine Becker (a fun ‘growing pattern’ story about various Halloween creatures)
Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies (a clever, rhyming story about bats who take over the ballfield after dark)
Scary Science by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone (with 25 creepy experiments for your little mad scientists, many using regular household ingredients)
These ones will be put away again on November 1st, so that they’re fresh for All Hallow’s Eve, 2011!! Oh, who am I kidding, they’ll be put away before midnight on October 31st. Yes, that’s another “thing” I have. Decorations must be put away promptly when the holiday is over. For example, “promptly” this time around means when we turn off the lights to trick or treaters, I start frantically gathering up all themed items, to begin the 11 days of stark minimalism in my home. (This is because my husband won’t allow me to decorate for Christmas until after Remembrance Day. I know, I know, unreasonable, but I love him anyway.)
Disclaimer: I was provided with the above-named books for review purposes. The OCD tendencies are genetic. Sorry, Mom. Well, mostly Dad. (Some day I’ll tell you about his ice-cube tray system.)Opinions, as always, are my own.