Stuff Made Simple

Join our “Stuff Made Simple” challenge to declutter and better organize your home and life.

Welcome to “Stuff Made Simple,” our new organizational series that delivers bite-size challenges designed to help you declutter your home and simplify your life.

We’ll be regularly updating this page with easy how-to tips and timesaving cleaning strategies that will inspire you to create your ideal sanctuary – and, more importantly, give you additional time for the people and activities you love.

Challenge #1: declutter seasonal décor

You’re still enjoying the comforting glow of the holiday season, but while having your favorite holiday decorations on display can bring joy to your home (and heart), you still need a good strategy for how to put it all away once the festivities are over.

1. Wrap up lights

Reuse an empty paper towel tube to wrap up light strands. Simply cut a small notch at each end of the tube, fit one end of the light strand into the notch and start wrapping. Secure the other end of the light strand in the notch at the other end of the paper towel tube. Wrapping lights this way will help keep them organized, tangle-free and in excellent condition for the next holiday season.

2. Hang your wreaths

Protect artificial holiday wreaths by hanging them on hangers and a tension rod. Cover each wreath with a plastic trash bag to ward off dust and damage.

3. Store fragile ornaments

Keep glass bulb ornaments, silver bells and other delicate holiday accessories safe by placing them in old egg cartons. After you’ve filled the cartons, secure each with a rubber band and place them a clear plastic tub – you’ll find that they stack easily. If you need more space for larger ornaments, try storing them in plastic cups and placing cardboard in between each layer. Use a Swiffer 360 Duster to dust off your delicate décor and ornaments before storing them.

4. Sort and organize gift wrap

Place all leftover wrapping paper rolls in a tall laundry hamper. Use elastic hair ties to keep paper tidy and snug on the tube. Organize it by color, and recycle or donate all gift boxes you don’t wish to keep.

5. File Décor by Room

Use plenty of labels and clear plastic bins to store holiday décor by room. Whether they belong in the kitchen, in the living room or on the front porch, the plastic container will serve as durable protection for your décor, and the labels will help you retrieve decorations faster when the next holiday season arrives.

6. Purge old or unused décor

With a new year on the horizon, decide what decorations you truly love to display year after year. If only half of your décor made it out of the box this season, donate that Santa you never reach for and the bells you forgot you had.

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