NAPO Michigan Blog / Media Center

The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers invites you to explore this blog so you can be informed of the latest news, events and trends in the organizing industry.

January 15, 2013

Ho Ho … How to Organize and Store Your Holiday Decorations!

These simple tips from the National Association of Professional Organizers in Michigan will help you organize and store your holiday decorations.

Items you will need to help you organize:
Large Containers

Preferably the strong, stackable, plastic type with a lid. They come in an assortment of sizes and colors. Cardboard boxes won’t stand the test of time.

It is recommended that you separate your indoor decorations from your outdoor decorations in different bins.  This will make decorating each area much easier.

If you select the clear (see-through style) bins, you will be able to see what’s inside. Otherwise, if you prefer to use colored bins to differentiate the holiday decorations (indoor/outdoor, etc.), simply label the outside of the container

Have a container for each room of your home that you decorate. This system will make it much easier to       locate those special items dedicated to a certain area, such as train sets or holiday villages. 

Ornament Keeper / Ornament Storage Box

These items can be purchased from many local hardware and home d├ęcor stores where organizing products are sold.  They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and will help you safely store up to 72 ornaments in bin.

Just be sure to mark them FRAGILE and put these bins on top of the stack so the ornaments don’t get crushed. 

Cardboard Tubes 

Save your empty wrapping paper tubes or paper towel tubes for storing your tree lights. Simply put a slit in one end of the tube to secure the end of the string of lights and then begin to gently wrap them around the tube to keep them from getting tangled. This is also a good time to inspect the lights and determine if they need to be replaced with a new set. Some light sets suggest replacement after 90 days use (or equal to approximately 3 holidays).

Plastic Bags

Once the tree lights have been wound on the cardboard tubes, place them in a plastic bag to protect them.

Commercial wreath storage bags can be purchased to store wreaths. The bags will help keep the shape of the wreath if stored properly. 

Other helpful hints:

Wrapping paper should be stored in a box (with scissors, tape, gift tags and ribbon) in a closet or under a bed. This way you will have everything together and it will be protected from being tattered, dusty or even moldy – depending where you may have stored it.  

This is also the best time to inspect your decorations. If they are discolored, chipped or broken, it is time to repair or toss them. Watch for post-holiday sales when items are deeply discounted to purchase the replacements to your holiday decorations.

Organizing your holiday decorations is easier than you think! 
For more organizing tips, visit 

Article submitted by Chapter member Marilyn Sclafani. Founder of


January 1, 2013

Choosing and Using a Calendar

Calendars are the most basic and widely-used tool of time management.

Calendars link events and actions to a particular date and time.

Calendars also serve as a record of the past. 

Endless variations exist. Choosing one can be daunting: a traditional paper wall calendar or desk planner? An erasable whiteboard? A computer-based solution?
Before deciding, make a wish list.

Will you be using the calendar in one location?
Or do you need something portable?

How many events are you scheduling each day?
How many people need to refer to it?

Will you be the only one adding, revising, and deleting events?
Or do others need to contribute to it?

Do you want your calendar to delight or inspire?
Do you want to frame time by the day, the week, or the month?

Winnowing through the options becomes a much saner task when you know which features are essential. Try different designs and types to learn which features support you and which get in your way. Keep in mind that a style that works well for one phase in life may not function at all when your needs shift.

An unused calendar is just a piece of clutter.
People who use a calendar effectively:

   Consult it before making appointments (to avoid double-booking)

   Record every appointment (if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t happen), and

   Refer to it frequently (at least twice a day: in the morning so that you keep your commitments; in the evening so that you’re prepared for tomorrow).

Caution: use only one calendar at a time. Multiple calendars generate chaos!!

For more organizing tips, visit

Article submitted by Chapter member Melanie Sobocinski, owner of