No one can miss the fact that the holiday season is upon us.

We all know that this time of year is filled with shopping, parties, decorating, stress for some, and peace for others. Lurking in the back of many people’s minds are thoughts related to Things.

All of us interact with Things, whether work or personal objects, each day. During the holidays we have additional Things to keep track of. For example, we have Things for decorating, Things to buy for others, Things for baking special recipes, and Things we will receive from others. Whew! That is lots of Things!

Decorating Things
You may really enjoy decorating for the holidays. On the other hand, you may dread it because of the effort it takes to get out the decorations, decorate, and then pack up the decorations. Let’s look at a couple of ideas which might reduce the stress of decorating and undecorating.

-As you unpack holiday decorations, evaluate your current storage:
-Do you have the right size containers for the items to be stored?
-Are all containers in good condition? Do they have lids that fit properly?
-Do you have enough storage? Too much storage?

Now that you have evaluated, it is time to consider what types of containers you will need to restore those decorations. Go ahead and groan, but it will be much easier to make wise purchase decisions when your needs are fresh in your mind. In addition, holiday storage containers are only available during and right after the season.

When you purchase containers:
-Think about what types of items need to be stored. -Consider buying clear containers with colored lids that match the season. Ensure that the lids fit properly.
-Establish the amount of area that you will have to store the items. Think vertical storage. You will fit more articles into a smaller space.
-Determine the features you might need for your storage containers. Some of these features include: wheels, drawers, and type of material.

When you repack your decorations:
-Put similar items together. For example, put all Christmas tree decorations in one box.
-Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on the top. This is true within a box and within a stack of boxes.
-Label, label, label! Be as specific as possible.
-Put all candles and other items that might melt in one box and store them in a temperature controlled place.

Baking Things
Items used for baking special holiday treats, while consumable, take up space and sometimes create clutter in the kitchen. One suggestion is to create a holiday baking shelf or plastic box that is located in an out of the way location for the majority of the year.

On the shelf or in the box, place seasonal bakeware such as cookie cutters, seasonal ingredients that have a long shelf life, copies of pertinent recipes or the location of those recipes, and a shopping list of the ingredients you will need for your baking. Make multiple copies of this list so that you don’t have to create a new list each year. Now it will be much easier to make those holiday treats!

General Thing Questions
Do you know how Things come in to your space? It seems like a relatively simple question. Some Things are brought into your space by you or another family member. Some Things are given to you for a special occasion such as a birthday or an anniversary. Other Things are given to you because someone else wants to get rid of them or thinks you would like them.

Do you know what happens to your Things while they are in your space? Some Things are used on a regular basis while other Things have specific times of use. However, there are Things that never seem to be used or which seem to get lost in your space.

Do you know how Things leave or don’t leave your space? Many people are good at acquiring Things, but not as good at unacquiring them.

Being more conscious of your Thing habits will reduce some of the stress associated with Things.

Author's Bio: 

Janice Russell, CPO-CD. NC’s first Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization. Her firm, Minding Your Matters® Organizing, have built a reputation for helping business and residential clients. A Golden Circle Member of NAPO and past president of the North Carolina Chapter of NAPO. Janice is the author of the book Get Organized This Year! and two audios: Stop Letting Stuff Overwhelm You and Tackle the “No Time” Trap.