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  • Nancy Collins

Now WHERE was that Ceramic Tree of Grandma's Again?

As if this year hasn’t been confusing enough, decorating for the holidays can sometimes be a chance to bring out your inner Grinch. I don’t know about you but try as I might I spend a little more time than I need to pawing through those plastic bins looking for the….(insert your favorite decorating item that you can never seem to quite locate here).



Last year we got a little better—at least all the bins were located in the same place in the garage and each bin was labeled outside a vague description of what was inside (think : “outside lights, white”). As a professional organizer I have helped several clients this year locate their holiday decorations a little earlier than last year (I think we all needed a little Christmas early in 2020), and it’s been interesting to see the novel ways some of my clients organize and categorize their holiday decorations. I’ve seen everything from “in the left hand corner of the garage, or maybe the rafters, I think” to “oh I have everything in bins. Red ones I think”. I know for our family it was easier to find them this year than in previous years with a little help from our friends at the Post-It-Note factory.


If you’ve managed to find all your holiday decorations this year, congratulations! One less stressor for sure in the “oh geez what NOW” category. To keep it going for next year, I stumbled on the most amazing app to make your decoration-retrieval process next year a piece of cake. By the way this app works great for more than just Christmas decorations, once you use it, you will never fear putting things away in the garage or attic ever again.




The app is called SORTLY—and it’s free! Just look for it in your app store.






How does it work? Oh my gosh, just take a photo of the item or item and sortly helps you slip it right into a category. So, every item you put in a box or bin, take a photo of it. I will go one step further and take a photo of the open bin after it’s packed, I think..just to keep myself honest. Then, here’s the cool part: you can create a label for that box or bin with a QR code on it—which reminds you exactly what’s in that box or bin (so you don’t just have “green and white decorations”) with a categorized list and the photo of the item. You can print them on actual labels or just on a piece of paper and cover it with tape to protect it and slap it right on the box or bin. Then you can save the list in a separate file (hint” print duplicates if you want) or email it to yourself. Next Christmas, just scan the QR code with your photo app on your phone and the list pops up!







This app will be a game changer for sure for your holidays for years to come. Oh by the way, I am thinking this app is something you would want to think about using on ANY box or bin you have stored to make it oh so easy to find what you need, or for insurance purposes

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