We traditionally put our Christmas decorations up the Friday after Thanksgiving. Yesterday I crawled into the storage area and pulled out all the boxes. And, I do mean ALL the boxes. I think we had about 30 plastic bins of stuff -- not the big bins, but the medium bins, but still we have a lot of stuff. My mission yesterday was to put up our decorations and sort out the bins. As much as I love Christmas, no one needs many Christmas decorations as we had.
It took all day, but I managed to donate about 15 brown bags filled with unused decorations to a local resale shop. I figured I freed up about five or six bins. This meant we still had a lot of bins, but here's how I figured it broke down:
1 very large bin for artificial Christmas tree
3 ornament crates
4 bins of lights -- indoor and outdoor
1 bin of Christmas glasses/mugs
1 large bin for a small artificial Christmas tree
1 bin of Christmas linens
So far we accounted for 11 containers. The rest were filled with other decorations. In my defense, though, I cannot take credit for all the Christmas decorations. Our girls LOVE the Hallmark plush table-top decorations that move and sing. For the past four years, my husband has bought the new one for them. This means two bins are reserved for those items, and another two are full of the other animated snowmen that seem to multiple in our house each Christmas.
I'm sure I could consolidate more if I'd take everything out of the original packaging. The stocking hangers take up a full bin because the Styrofoam and box are three times as big as the actually stocking holder.
Of course, that's just how I rationalize having so many bins. In the end, even though we donated a LOT of decorations, we have so many Christmas decorations just because we like it.