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Holiday Decorations…Sort, Organize and Label

Now that the excitement of the holidays has passed, it is time to tackle the un-decoration! Just a few short weeks ago it seemed like such a great idea to decorate every room in the house.  At this point, you might even be avoiding rooms, knowing that there are more items to be packed away.

Perlman Christmas tree copy

“Sort, Organize and Label” we associate these steps with cleaning out closets, pantries and garages but they are also valuable in packing up holiday decorations.  Regardless of the holiday you celebrate, next year when you pull out your decorations, you will be thankful that you took a few extra minutes to sort, organize and label when packing things up, this year.

Before starting the Sort, Organize and Label process there is one more step…cleaning! At this point, you are probably thinking that this blog could not get worse.  Trust us, you will be glad you did this!

  • Check your tablecloths, napkins and holiday towels for stains-these wont magically disappear by next year, in fact, they will get worse.  If stains don’t come out you should thin about discarding the item.
  • Light strands-only pack them if all the bulbs are working
  • Hanukkah Menorah-remove the wax
  • Hanukkah candles-you need 44 each Hanukkah, so fi you have several open, half used boxes combine them-you might not need to buy candles next year.

So now for the “fun stuff”:  Sort, Organize and Label

  • When packing up your decorations store “like” items together, being sure to label the boxes:
    • Tablecloths, napkins and holiday towels
    • Stockings with stocking hangers
    • Wreaths with wreath hangers
    • Lights
    • Ornaments
    • Assorted decorations-group by theme or room, depending on what is more purposeful for your decorating style
  • Be sure that fragile items are stored in a way that they wont break or get damaged

christmas storage

  • If you have decorations that you no longer use but want to keep for memories or to pass along when your children get older, store those separate from the ones you will use next year-label them accordingly “For Suzie’s first home”, “Family Keepers”
  • Holiday cards are letters-stack them, wrap with a ribbon and attach a tag with the year.  These are fun to look through to see how friends and family have changed over the years…don’t forget to save one of yours as well!
  • If you have  special holiday pajamas, slippers or linens go ahead and pack them up-yes, it seems unusual to pack them with holiday decorations but when you think about it there is no need to store them in a separate location. Again, label accordingly!

So once again our running theme of Sort, Organize and Label is used in a different way!

Happy New Year!


How many sheet sets does one household need?

How many sheet sets does one household need?


If you found the last blog helpful, then you will probably be pleased with this one. After these two blogs you will be on your way to a well-organized linen closet. The key to not having an overflowing linen closet is to not have too many things in it-brilliant concept we know!! The pressing question is “How many sheet sets should I have?” Again, there’s no law, just suggestions and recommendations based on purposeful thought and no emotional ties to your linen closet.

Good news-the math is a bit easier with sheet sets versus towels-whew, big relief we know!  Here you go, plan and simple:

2 sets of sheets for each “Sleeping Space

What is a “Sleeping Space”? Any sort of bed family members and guest may sleep on.  This includes: sofa beds, blow up mattresses, campers, bunk beds, beach/mountain/lake homes (unless you keep linens there-in which case, follow the same rules).


As expected, there are a few extra thoughts, suggestions and exceptions to the rule:

  • If you have a bed-wetter, keep an additional set for those beds
  • If you aren’t always quick with the laundry turn-around, pick up an extra set
  • Keep your spare beds made and ready to go, even with the sofa beds-sheets will fit folded in the bed
  • Consider purchasing similarly colored sheet sets so you can mix and match
  • Your old sheets can be donated to the animal shelter or cut into rags
  • To make changing linens easy (yes-that is a slight exaggeration, the only real way to make it easy is to have someone else do it), keep your sheet sets together in your linen closet.  Fold your flat and fitted sheets, then put them inside the pillowcase, extra pillowcases for the bed can also be placed inside.  This way when it is time to change the linens they are ready to go.


Permission Granted

Permission Granted

Permission granted? For what?  We are officially granting you permission to get rid of a few things we know you have stored somewhere in your home.  Typically, we keep such items for three reasons:

1.  “I used to use it all the time”-the key words here are “used to”.  If you no longer use it, you aren’t going to suddenly start using it.  It is probably taking up space or at least collecting some serious dust.

2.  I have such great memories of it”-Yes, we know you do, but do the memories only exist when you in the presence of the item? Or can you remember the event without having to see/touch the item? We know the answer. 

3.  “Guilt”-This is the toughest reason of them all! We want to assure you that no one will turn over in their grave and the world wont stop spinning if you pull this item down from your attic or up from your basement and get rid of it.

Here are some examples of the items we are referring to:

  • The homemade ice cream maker.  We know you bought it to bring the family together on hot summer nights.  More than likely, no one agreed on the flavor, it took forever to be ready and it was way cheaper to buy ice cream from the grocery store.  Go ahead and toss all the ingredients you bought to make the ice cream.


  • Children’s medicine and baby thermometers.  If your kids are in high school or better yet, have moved out, you wont need these.  Our guess is the medicine is expired anyway.
  • (Most) Owners’ Manuals.  This probably sent a wave of panic through you.  You may be thinking “But what if I need to fix my lawn mower?” So what you are saying is,  if your lawn mower breaks down, you have the skills to repair it.  Well good for  you! However, most manuals are typically available online.  If you are still nervous about this, check the company’s website, if the manual is there, ditch your copy.  If not (and this would be quite a surprise) permission granted to keep the manual.  For sure, get rid of the manuals for the items you no longer own.


  • Take out menus.  Pretty much same goes for these as Owner Manuals.
  • Anything purchased in the middle of the night, during an epic battle with insomnia, from any 30-minute long infomercial or website you stumbled upon.  Good news, many of these glorious items (bacon bowls, exercise equipment, pasta strainers, food hydrators…) can be bought locally, during the day when your judgement isn’t impaired by sleep deprivation.
  • VHS tapes, especially the ones you recorded yourself.  Yes, we all enjoyed TV shows from the 80’s and early 90’s but think about it-Do you have a VCR? If the answer is NO, then the VHS tapes are useless.  If you answered YES, then we suggest you think about getting a DVD player, you will be amazed with the quality.  In addition, there are many options to watch your favorite shows-Netflix and Hulu are two that quickly come to mind.  If what you recorded has sentimental value you can always get it converted to a DVD so you can actually view it.


  • Now the really hard items-gifts from family members.  You know you aren’t wearing that ugly sweater your mom gave you (Sorry Mom!), you aren’t setting out the decorative placemats, that DO NOT go with your home, at your next dinner party and you have no wall space for the framed 11 X 17 family picture (the one where everyone looks terrible, someone is likely crying and everyone is in matching turtlenecks). Get rid of the items.  You aren’t throwing away your mom or destroying your memory of your family by discarding the items.  Remember you can always take a picture of the item (digital-not to be developed) so you can alleviate your guilt for ditching the item.

SO-permission granted…and you are welcome!