What to Buy, What to Toss
Problem: Every year, you forget what you've got on hand.
Solution: Start a decorating notebook with an inventory sheet for each holiday so you can keep track of how many strands of lights and how many feet of garland you have, says Kelley Taylor, author of Holiday Decorating for Dummies ($13, dummies.com). "Consult it to make sure you don't overbuy when it comes time to decorate again," she adds. Remember: Any surplus items will just complicate your storage woes.
Problem: You don't have the space to store all your trimmings.
Solution: "Evaluate your decorations annually, and keep only what you are really going to use," says Valerie Parr Hill, author of Decorating for the Holidays. If an item is damaged or has lost its color, get rid of it. "Give yourself permission to let some of that stuff go," Hill says. And consider using natural accents―nuts, pinecones, and fresh greenery or flowers―that you can toss after the New Year.