Protect Precious Ornaments
Repacking your holiday decorations in an organized fashion can save time next year, plus your favorite pieces are a lot less likely to go AWOL between seasons. Store fragile ornaments in a nest of tissue paper (shredded or sheets) within plastic divider trays inside boxes. Any box will do--a cardboard one or an unused plastic bin. You can also pick up ornament boxes at your local home-improvement store this time of year. Label boxes by the room--family room, foyer, kitchen, and so on--in which you display the ornaments.
Gift Wrapping Just Got Better
Handy over-the-door closet organizers are good for more than just keeping track of shoes. Get one with clear plastic pockets, and fill it with present-wrapping necessities. (Advantage #1: No more disappearing scissors and rolls of tape.) Stock gift tags, bows, box toppers, tissue paper, and even small gifts, such as candles, that you can grab at the last minute. Whenever you're running low, restock items so you're never out of something when you need it most.
Stash Ribbon Scraps
Southern Living editors and stylists hate throwing out even the smallest pieces of pretty ribbon--you never know when you might need them! Our answer? Keep leftover ribbons in a tall glass container, such as a hurricane vase. This way, you can quickly grab the color you need; the setup actually makes a cute display wherever you have some spare shelf space.
Be Clever This Christmas: Preserve Memories
As your ornament collection grows with special gifts from family and friends, here's a fun way to never forget who gave you what. Write a reminder with a fine-tip permanent marker on a narrow piece of satin ribbon, and use that to hang the ornament on your tree.
"Home Tips: Simply Smart Holiday Ideas" is from the December 2006 issue of Southern Living.