Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized
Christmas is a time of cheer ... and clutter! You'll find Christmas clutter lining each box and storage bin as you pull out holiday decorations.
An ornament box spills over with hanging hooks and zip ties. The tiny red-tipped light bulbs you need to make light strands blink. Special tools and assembly sheets for your "nevergreen" artificial tree. The dandy gun-shaped light tester, complete with instructions and replacement bulbs. Left to their own devices, they scatter around the house, never to be found when you need them--but popping up to haunt you right into the new year.
How to bring order to Christmas clutter? An under-tree storage box.
To keep Christmas clutter in line, it's as simple as a special wrapped box placed under the Christmas tree. When closed, it looks like just another gift. Inside, it holds everything you need to trim the tree, deck the halls and keep the lights shining bright.
To make your under-tree storage box, choose a sturdy, smallish lidded box. Our 8-inch square box is right-sized for this purpose.
When wrapping the under-tree storage box, reach for heavy, durable gift wrap. Good-quality foil wrap, like these lovely patterns from Martha Stewart's Home Office Holiday Collection by Avery, will stand up to years of use.
(Transparency note: the folks from Staples were gracious enough to send me these samples to evaluate. You can find them only at Staples .... but hurry, before they're gone!)
Choose a pattern and color that have some legs, too. This year's trendy green-and-purple owl design will look dated in a few years, so stick with a classic color and pattern.
Wrap the box and box lid separately, and decorate with ribbon to resemble a wrapped gift.
Tucked away under the tree, it'll keep Christmas clutter under control and at your fingertips all season long. Better, you'll know where to find the ornament hooks next year!