Packing up holiday cheer for a cheerier next year

January 17, 2012

Ok – it’s January 17th and I still haven’t put away my holiday decorations. I don’t want the holiday season to be over! I love twinkle lights and ornaments and wreaths. I love all of the silly holiday photo frames with family poses from years past, and homemade ornaments that prompt the telling of silly stories. I especially love all of the photo holiday cards from my friends and family that I have displayed around the house.

All good things must come to an end though, I suppose.  Here are some packing-up tips that will help make the season that much brighter next year when you bring out all the holiday cheer again:

1. Wind lights around a piece of cardboard to keep them from getting tangled, and make it easier than ever to re-hang them. HINT – use a piece of cardboard 12″ wide and for every time you wrap your lights around once, you’ll know how many total feet you have. You can write the length on the cardboard and take the guesswork out of next year’s lighting scheme ideas.

Curved ends keep lights from slipping off

2. See what’s tattered, broken or missing now, and hit the sales to re-stock! Many department stores have large holiday clearance sections throughout January with really quality items. Don’t be surprised that you’re one stocking short next year and have to shell out a small fortune, go hunt for a bargain now.

3. Love to try to save the prettiest gift wrap you received – only to never use it again? Wrap your delicate ornaments in tissue and gift wrap to keep them safe until next year. You can feel good about re-using while protecting your baubles and bits!

4. Change out holiday photos in seasonal frames now before packing them up, with some of your newest favorite moments from this year’s celebrations. That way you can concentrate all your energy on enjoying your friends and family and taking new photos!

Best family photo ever (till next year!)




Vaulted master

November 9, 2009

The Sunday foray to the house was VERY exciting.  Electrical conduit piping is routed around all the interior and exterior walls on both floors.  Can light boxes are in place in the ceilings on both floors.  HVAC duct work is going in to the basement and can be seen through the first few vent cut-outs on the first floor.  The floors are all patched up and no longer have any scary holes around the area where the chimney used to be. I could do cartwheels across the length of the living and dining room space now if I wanted to.  Or was able to. But I’m old and uncoordinated. So I won’t. Cause I can’t.

Most exciting is that the second floor, master bedroom feels dramatically different than it did earlier in the week.  The old exterior stairwell area that we’ve begun converting into living space has a completely new roof that, rather than being a flat adjunct as it used to be, is now an extension of our A-frame.  You can really see the difference from the outside:

Old flat roof

Old flat roof on the attached stairwell space


Newly built roof matches the existing roofline

Newly built section on the now-turned-living-space that matches the existing roofline


On the inside, the room feels wonderfully tall and airy.  The room is approximately 13’ x 15’ but it feels bigger now – it feels like a grand master.  Plus, with the skylight cutout, it’s light and bright, even towards dusk, which is when I was there.

Master skylight

View of the master bedroom skylight cutout


Master closet framing

Sunlight streaming in through the windows and skylight and bouncing off the framing of the master closet



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