Organizing Holiday Pack-up

Hi everyone!

In keeping with my new keyword for 2012, I am trying to keep things organized and that includes things that are seasonal. So, before I packed a box up, I placed everything on the table and took a picture of what is going into that box.

organize 2012 002 As you can see, this box will be Christmas dishes and some other kitchen items.

Now it is time to pack these things up. A little tip that I do is that I like to use my plastic grocery bags not only to wrap items when I am out of packing paper but, they are also great to wad up and shove in the nooks and crannies of the box so nothing clinks into each other.

organize 2012 007Okay, before I go any further I have to tell you that, yes I used cardboard fruit/veggie boxes this year to pack Christmas up. I always put a little bit of money aside for  new plastic bins for storage. January is the month that retailers have sales on storage items so, I know that I will always be buying some at that time.  However, this year I did buy new storage containers but, not for Christmas items. I used my budgeted money elsewhere. I can't afford to go out and buy all new containers and make everything perfect. So, I work with what I can do.

Normally I would have copies of the pictures I took of the box contents made at Walgreen or some other store. After all, it only costs a small amount to do that. But, this year I had one of those, “I want these boxes out NOW!” moments. And I know you guys know what I am taking about! LOL So, instead I just printed the pictures out on my printer. I do like the fact that they are nice and big pictures but, I don’t like using up my ink (way to expensive in my opinion).

organize 2012 008I mark the box on top.

organize 2012 009I taped the picture of the contents to the end of the box. I will also write the box number on this picture.  I put the picture on the end of the box because that is the way they will be stored on the shelves. As you can see, I have a few “X’s” on the picture. These items did not fit into the box and I was not going to take everything back out and unwrap just to take a picture. Nope, there will be no “it has to be perfect” mentality! No wasted time!

organize 2012 010I make a second copy of the box contents and put into a plastic sleeve and add it to my “Holiday Planner”. I am not doing just a “Christmas Planner”. I am using a large 3 ring book and keeping all holiday info in it. I will do a post about my Holiday planner some other time.

So, that is how I pack up holiday things. It is not perfect but, it works for me.

Oh, and don’t think “Well, that is all fine and dandy but, I already have boxes boxed up and I am not about to go back and redo all that!”.  Of course you are not! That would be insane! Don’t worry about what is already done. Start right now. I have a lot of Christmas boxes that are not marked like this that I didn’t even touch this year. I will deal with them as they are needed. I will have my Holiday Planner to know what box number I left off at so, next year, I will add more boxes to this planner as they are used. And as I said, I am making a Holiday planner, not just a Christmas planner. So, Valentine’s Day will get added next to the planner. So, start there if you want.

Remember, it’s January 2012…a FRESH start!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you are having a wonderful day!

I’m joining:

Seasonal Sunday

One Project at a Time

Tutorials & Tips

Anti- Procrastination Day

The Creative Spark

Delightfully Inspiring Thursday


  1. What a great idea! I did splurge several, and I mean several years ago on the red and green Christmas plastic storage boxes and I love them. However, every year it seems my decorating changes a little, thanks to all the wonderful blogs out there. There are some decorations stored that I no longer use. I think next year when I unpack I'm going to donate those unused items and take photos. I do have the boxes labeled as to what room they go in. Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  2. Great idea! I'm borrowing your idea, 'cause what I use now is post-it notes on the boxes. Your idea is soooo much better. I like the idea of a holiday planner, too.
    Have a great Sunday,

  3. Brilliant idea! I love the idea of seeing exactly what's in each box and also knowing what to put back in each box when it's time to put stuff away.

  4. That is a great idea. I'm always searching though storage tubs and boxes for things. I am going to make an effort to at least label on the side what is in the box. I don't know about the pictures though. Thank you for that tip today! Starting fresh is always a good thing.

  5. I sort of did that same thing when I was moving 18 years worth of stuff in two weeks. I boxed things up and wrote a number on the box. Then in a notebook I wrote the contents of everything in that box.

    Eight months later when the pod was delivered to our new house I told my husband to bring me boxes 3,4,6 and 9 for the kitchen. The last things to unpack were sesonal things and those boxes went straight to the attic.

    I eventually had to get rid of all paper boxes because I started getting silverfish in the house. My bug man said it was because of the boxes and we put out bait.

    Plastic bins can be expensive so we started buying a few at a time and purged items we no longer wanted. The silverfish are under control but I still see one every now and then.

  6. I like the idea of the photo on the outside of the box because no matter how much you label, sometimes you just can't remember what is inside that box! LOL!

    Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  7. Love the idea of photo on box..and yes ink can be expensive but it saves our sanity when we can't find that "one" thing we are looking for!

  8. What a great idea to put a picture on each box. I have yet to put away my Christmas decorations - I know, I know - but it's on my list for this week.

  9. I agree use what you have and get it out of the house!! I like the photo idea (I just have 5x7 cards with a list of items) and I REALLY like the idea of a holiday planner. I'm going to start that for sure!! A 3 ring binder and??? you will have to blog about this soon so I can join in. I'm going to try to get Valentine's Day out before I go to Texas so I can have photos to join in while I'm gone. Oh I'm excited about the Holiday Planner!!! hugs, Linda

  10. Great tips! I use my extra plastic bags too to wrap items! Love the large pics you made!

  11. That is a great idea Diann! I have been packing things up today. I still have my tree up! lol This time I'm trying to pack like items together. One box is all nutcrackers. Another is all my nativities I bought this year so that is a new box. I started putting everything I put on the mantel in one box a few years ago and it makes it so much easier when we bring it all down. I love the idea of the holiday journal! That is a good idea!

  12. I am working on this now. In fact I need to leave the computer and get back to work. Bob is glued to the football game. Hugs, Ginger

  13. A "duh" to me for mot doing the obvious of photographying tote contents. Sure beats just color coding the labels by season.

  14. I love the photo of the box contents idea, and keeping an inventory in a holiday notebook. I'm going to begin doing this when i open the Valentine's Day boxes. Thanks!

  15. That is a GREAT idea to take a photo of what is going inside the box. Very clever.

  16. I love the idea of taping a photo of the contents to the box! This year when I repacked our boxes I had a hard time remembering where some of the items went. Having a photo would be so helpful! I will take your advice and begin this practice with my Valentine's decorations. Maybe even treat myself to a new red bin if there are any left on sale!

  17. Diann,
    I started a Christmas planner as you know and thanks for the comment on that post. The site that I mentioned in that post, Organized Christmas , also has links to creating a Holiday Planner among many other things and has other pages in regards to that holiday planner that can be printed out.
    I think I am going to also do a Holiday planner for all the other Holidays other than Christmas since I do decorate a lot for them too.
    My word is TIME for 2012 but by being organized, that will give me more TIME.
    I have some tubs and mostly boxes. If I bought tubs for all of my decorations, I would have to take a loan out! LOL!
    I buy a few each year but I still like boxes which we get for free at Sam's Club. We have a Business membership which allows us to shop there very early and get the prime pick of boxes.I find that the boxes are not as heavy as the tubs when filled.
    I have packed things away this year depending where they will be stored. Since Joe and I are both having back issues. I packed the heavier items away under our stairs downstairs so we are not hauling them up and down stairs. SO that has become an issue in packing items away this year.
    Great post! Looking forward to more on your Holiday planner...



Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)