Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Purge of the Day: Winter Decor Pare-Down!

Oh, man. So, you want to know something that's not funny even remotely at all? When you're moving into your new place and everything fits except for two 35-gallon totes of Christmas and Hanukkah decorations.   Back in December, we gave away some ornaments whose origins we were unsure of, and as a result, we were able to pare everything down to the two 35-gallon totes, a small Christmas tree box, two big and two small ornament boxes. It still sounds like a lot, I know, but we do deck everything out.

So, how did we make it fit? It took a fair deal of finagling. The short answer (and the most illogically painful part of the process) is that we threw out the packaging for all of our ornaments and put most of them into the empty compartments of our ornament boxes. It seems like kind of a no-brainer, but it wasn't as much as one might suspect. First of all, we bought the ornament storage boxes to store ornaments that didn't have boxes and multi-pack ball ornaments that were in crumbly old boxes. The idea of throwing out ornament boxes didn't occur to us. Why would you buy a box for something that already has a box?

I could expound on this deeply philosophical question, or I could just answer it. What do you think? Vote today, and we'll talk about it again next Thursday!

Okay, answering it. Because ornament storage boxes take up a hell of a lot less room than the sum of the individual ornament boxes. Think about the amount of bubble wrap and styrofoam you usually find when you open a new ornament for the first time. It's protected that much because it has to survive shipping and in-store handling in those boxes. Do we need to protect ornaments that much once they've found their permanent home (which is most likely in a box in the closet)? Probably not (I'd assume). I mean, super-fragile things should still get bubble-wrapped within a compartment of the ornament box, just to be exta-safe. Anyway, by this logic,  into ornament boxes went all the ornaments!

I would like to point out that this also eliminates the problem of having to find the matching box for each ornament when you're taking down the tree, which makes my list of most tedious/horrible holiday activities, right up there with scraping burned yam juice out of the oven and waiting in line at Best Buy. Never again!

So we moved some ornaments over, recycled lots of cardboard and styrofoam, found a string of Christmas lights and an old menorah that we wanted to donate, and were able to completely empty one of the 35-gallon tubs! We still had the other tub to deal with, though. Isn't math fun?

We had two fabric boxes which, put together, were a little smaller than the tub. We were using them for "maybe clothes." Ugh. Right? So we were forced to make our final decisions, which were almost unilaterally "no," and we were left with two empty fabric boxes, which became two boxes full of holiday stuff that actually fit in our apartment. Hooray!

We were able to give the 35-gallon tubs to a friend, and everything was squared away!


Emily said...

I have a technical question on recycling Styrofoam- how do you do that? I thought it was environmental death! I would much rather be recycling the packing for the crazy stuff Steve buys on the internet! (which also is the source of our need to purge)

mm said...

You can recycle styrofoam in your curbside bin in LA! I'm not sure about anywhere else, though. I read online that styrofoam peanuts can be recycled at most UPS stores. Good luck purging. :)