Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Controlling the Chaos

I have too much holiday stuff! I know this because my husband keeps reminding me plus I can never find anything when I need it. (I can blame that on my parents - the original pack rats.)

Until last year I lived under the delusion that I functioned in organized chaos. Well the chaos thing was correct but organized?? I finally decided to do something about it. Unlike some previous attempts at organizing my holiday stash, this one seems to actually be working so I thought I'd share it.

First, I gathered up all the containers of Halloween items I own. No easy task as they were scattered everywhere. I started with one container at a time to keep things in order.

Next I grabbed a notebook and logged each item in the container.

Then I took a picture of each item. (This is where you separate the ghouls from the goblins as it takes an incredible amount of time.)

I assigned the container a number (ex: HL-01 for Halloween container 1), labeled it and noted this next to the item description in my log book. (If you're a bit anal like me you'll also want to enter the container description. This is a great backup in case the label falls off.)

The last note in my log book was the location of the container (ex: attic, basement, etc.).

Finally, I uploaded my pics and entered them as well as the other information I had noted into a program called HomeManage 2007 from Liberty Street Software which I purchased for $39.95. The program allows you to categorize your items (obviously I did mine by holiday). You can search by the item, category, location, and a dozen other variables.

So, the million dollar question - did it work? Ghoulies it was amazing! When I was ready to assemble the haunted graveyard I just searched each item I wanted in the program, noted it's location and container info and gave the list to my husband. I kid you not - 5 minutes in the attic and he had gathered everything I needed.

The process took a lot of time but to be fair I have well over 75 containers of Halloween and another 50 of Christmas. I only worked on this in my spare time - I started last January and I'm not completely done. BUT - it was well worth it. There's a certain comfort in knowing where all your severed heads are stored.

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