Before you start organizing, you need to figure out what exactly you have. If you've been accumulating decorations over a number of years, the first thing to do is pull out your storage bins or boxes and look inside. Are there any decorations still in there? Many people hold on to some broken or unused decorations, for no reason other than that it seems wrong to throw them away. But in doing so, you may be losing several inches of storage space in each container. So, take a few minutes and a plastic garbage bag, and decide whether those unused decorations should go in the trash, be recycled or be given away to someone who might actually use them.
The next step can be to gather up all your holiday decorations, and place them in one area or room of your home. Try bringing your boxes or storage bins there, too. If you have a tree full of ornaments and lights, you might just gather everything near the tree and go from there. Decide whether you are going to store your indoor and outdoor decorations separately. Many people choose to store their outdoor decorations in the garage while their indoor decorations go into the basement or attic.
Once you've collected your decorations into one place and your bins or boxes are within sight, you may have a better idea of how many containers you need and whether the containers you have are adequate. Sometimes things that are packed away properly might take up a little more space -- for example, your fragile decorations may be better protected if packed inside newspaper or small individual boxes rather than crushed dangerously into a corner of the bin. So if you need an extra container, now is a great time to get one.
Now, you should be ready to move on to the next step. Read on to learn techniques for sorting your decorations.