Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas....Away in a box.

The Epiphany has come and gone. Today, I conquer the Christmas chaos that was left behind. All of the decorations have to go. NOW!!! Yep, time to put the house back together and feel some serenity and get organized for the year. My family had 2 weeks off, so everyone was home, and yesterday, they all went back to school and work. I love them dearly, but honestly, I am reveling in the quiet stillness of the house. Do you hear that? That's right, just the faint hum of the refrigerator.

Today was the day that I was going to start walking for exercise, starting with 30 minutes and then gradually increasing my time and speed. However, I have been up and down the stairs so many times today, and I'm just getting started, that I think I'm getting more exercise by putting away the Christmas decorations. Reaching and stretching, pulling, squatting, and all of the storage boxes are kept in the basement. Maybe tomorrow is a better day to start walking.

Love, love, love decorating the house for Christmas! Taking it all down and putting it away is a different story. Most of the items sitting around, and the garlands and swags are all put away. It's the tree that I just want to shove into a closet until next year. Leave the ornaments and just stick it in a closet and pull the whole decorated, inverted, cone of prettiness out next Christmas. If only I had a mega-huge house with a closet that would house that monstrosity, and still realize that it's a closet that I don't really need the other 11 months of the year. Oh well. What's a girl to do? Take down the tree. Ugh!

However, to make this process easier, I do have a little "system". I have two boxes of ornaments. Let me rephrase that, I have to large storage tubs of ornaments for the upstairs tree. Lots of ornaments. In one tub is just the regular store bought, 4 - 8 ornaments in a box, type of glass ornaments. In the other tub are the more personalized, one (or 2) of a kind on the tree ornaments. The store bought ornaments get taken off first. Get a large plastic bowl, or lined basket, and just take all of them off and fill the container. All of the surfaces are pretty clear in the living room. Just group them together on any flat surface. Then get the box for each group and put them away. It saves me from picking up a box more than once. It also saves the search and find stage of ornament de-clutter, by not having to search for the last ornament for a box. It's like playing "Where's Waldo" or looking in an "I Spy" book and trying to find a needle in a haystack. Fun in its own right, but not when you want to get something done quickly.  I continue in this manner with the rest of the ornaments until everything is off of the tree. Then I put them in their designated boxes, wraps, and papers, and directly back into the correct storage bin. Time to get started. (Imagine the music from Final Jeopardy playing.)

Okay. The tree is now bare! Yippee!!!!! Here's the progression.

Four Paper Bowls that I have on hand.

Containers for holding ornaments.
 Christmas tree in all of its glory. Hmmmm. It somehow looks better standing next to it. Oh well.

Decorated Christmas tree. Picture was taken at 12:09 pm. For got to put a time stamp on it. Sorry.
 After gathering my courage and pulling the tree to the middle of the floor in order to gain access to the back of the tree easily. I started taking ornaments off.

First bowl filled with ornaments. 12:16 pm.
This started going pretty quickly. Moving right along with no problems. 2 minutes, not bad.

2 bowls filled. 12:18 pm.
 3 bowls filled within 8 minutes. Now we're moving.

3 bowls filled. 12:22 pm

All four bowls filled with ornaments, in less than 20 minutes.

4 bowls filled. 12:24 pm. Nice Job!!

 This is a little trick that has helped me every year. Quite a few years ago I took pictures of 1 ornament from each box, printed it, and taped it to the outside of the box. No more guessing which ornaments go in which box. Problem solved. This is a real time saver.

Tape a picture of the ornaments on the back of the box.
Putting the ornaments in the correct boxes is very simple with this method. Snap. Print. Tape.

Put ornaments in the correct boxes every time.
 The tree is un-decorated and waiting for TM  to come home and put it back in its box to hibernate until next Christmas season. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!

All of the ornaments off the tree. 1:42 pm.

Both tubs filled with ornaments and waiting for storage. 1:42 pm.

Bowls holding the extension cords waiting for storage.
So after whining and procrastinating, it's all done. It took approximately 1 and half hours and I also took a break for lunch during the process. It was actually really easy.

Just an update to this prior to posting.....I actually did get a short walk in today, 15 minutes!! Okay, so it's not great, but it's a start. Now, I just need to start increasing my time each day until I'm back to where I was before I stopped taking daily walks a couple of years ago.

Enjoy! Go forth and accomplish one little thing today that will have an impact on a long term basis. No...doing the dishes doesn't count. Clean one drawer, or shelf, or closet. Oh I have another one, take down your Christmas tree, I did.

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