Our outside space can be utilized in so many ways, a playground, an entertainment center, a garden showcase. By keeping organized, one can reap the most benefits with less time on upkeep and more time for enjoyment. Here are some tips to help you keep your backyard organized:
- Clean – At the end of the season, gather items together by usage, like gardening tools, the kids’ toys, grilling equipment. Cover what needs to be protected from the elements and stow away the rest. Treat your clean garden tools and mower blades to a coat of oil or lubricant to keep them from rusting.
- Stow it – Designate one area of your garage or basement just for storing outdoor items. If you are maxing out your garage storage or just tired of toting items up and down the basement stairs, consider investing in a shed or purchasing a storage shed of shed blueprints and building your own. Organizing here is easily accomplished with shelves, pegboards, hooks, and storage containers. Use see through containers or labels to save time when locating and retrieving items.
- Down Under – Additional storage space may be found and used under porches and decks. You may want to install some lattice work to help keep it out of sight.
- Reel it in – To keep hoses from becoming unsightly, dangerous tangles invest in a hose reel. Not only does it keep it in its place, it helps drain the water out of it for winter storage.
- Pave it – If you have a beaten path in your lawn because it is traversed so often, like the route to the trash cans or pool, consider setting some pavers or stepping stones. It will save time and money from constant reseeding or sodding and as a bonus, keep you on track.
After the winter holidays have passed you’ll face the enormous task of packing and storing all of your holiday decorations for next year. Below are eight tips that will make the task go more smoothly than before and make it easier to decorate your home next Christmas.
- Christmas lights – At the end of the holiday season take inventory of your holiday lights. Throw away or recycle and strands that no longer work properly. Then, roll each good light strand in a ball and place each ball in a separate plastic bag. Place all of the bags of lights in a plastic storage container preventing moisture damage.
- Artificial Christmas tree – The original box your artificial tree came in seems like the most logical storage box. However trying to squeeze the tree back into the box will seem like an impossible task. You’ll have to smash and bend all the branches in order to squeeze the tree back into the box. Also, the cardboard box can deteriorate if subjected to moisture and could also be prone to insect infestation. Instead of using the Christmas tree box, consider purchasing a Christmas tree bag or a commercially available Christmas tree storage box.
- Christmas wreaths – Most department and home stores sell holiday wreath storage boxes of various sizes. Make sure you buy the right size storage box because you’ll damage the wreath if you try to squeeze it in a box that’s too small. Also, consider boot boxes. They often work well for medium-sized and smaller Christmas wreaths. Just remember, whatever you use to store your wreaths must be able to maintain the shape of the wreath until next year.
- Ornaments – Many holiday ornaments come in individual boxes. It often works best to just repack these ornaments in their original boxes and store together in a large container. Try using other small boxes for homemade ornaments or wrap them in tissue paper and store together in a larger box. For small ornaments, use an egg carton.
- Holiday linens – Store each Christmas linen in an individual Zip Lock bag if possible (or tightly wrap larger items in lager plastic bags or trash bags). Place all of your plastic-wrapped linens in a large plastic storage container to prevent moisture damage. Another option to consider is dedicating the top shelf of your storage or linen closet to holiday linens, towels, blankets, pillows etc. Place a few dryer sheets in between your items to keep them smelling fresh until next year.
- Decorations that you’ll have to reassemble next year – Before taking down Christmas decorations that you had to assemble in order to display, take pictures of them the way you set them up so you can remember how to do it next year. Then take everything down and or disassemble in the reverse order of the way you set it all up.
- Christmas candles – Wrap each candle in an old stocking, sock, tissue paper or a plastic shopping bag to prevent scratching. Store together in a box or storage container. Be sure to store away from heat sources such as an attic where heat could melt the candles.
- Label the storage boxes – Tape a detailed list of what is inside each box to the outside of the box so you can quickly determine what is inside when it is time to decorate next year. Clearly number the boxes so you know how many you have (for example, Box 2 of 9). Use the number order to identify which boxes should be unpacked first next winter. Box 1 should be prominently labeled and contain all the things you’ll need at the beginning of the holiday season like your advent calendar and the holiday greeting cards that you’ll be sending to family and friends if you bought them on clearance this year.
With these holiday storage tips and a little planning and effort, you can organize and store your holiday decorations in an efficient manner that will make them easy to find and display next year.