Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How to put away your nativity scene(s) faster

I hope you had a great Christmas!  I certainly did.

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to put the Christmas decorations away.  (Awwww, sad face..)

If you have a nativity scene fancy enough to come in a foam box with little individual spaces for all the figurines, putting it away will likely take five minutes (or ten) since the spaces do not perfectly resemble the figure that goes in it and you have to fuss with it just to figure out which way the figurine goes in.   (“Is Joseph supposed to go here or is it the standing wise man?  Hmm... Is Joseph supposed to lie on his back or his side?  Dang, I can never remember!”)

I finally figured out a way to eliminate all the guesswork about which figure goes in what space AND a way to eliminate all the time it takes to find the orientation of each figure.  With this system, it takes maybe 45 seconds to put away the nativity set.

What figure goes in which space?

First, number all the figures in your nativity set.  Write the number on the bottom where it won’t show.  Or you can write the name of the character in the space where it goes.  (Numbers help when you have multiple nameless shepherds and multiple animals included in the set.)
This wise man was dubbed "3"

As you figure out which figurine goes in which space in the box, write the number of that figurine in the bottom of its space where you can see it.  Ta-da!  You have halved the time it will take to put away your nativity set!

Space "3."  Also notice the dot with arrow coming out of it, which is explained in the next section.
Which way does the figurine fit in its space?

When you have figured out which way the wise man fits in its space, take it out and place a dot on the wall of its space to show where the wise man’s feet would be.  When you see the dot, you will know the feet should always "stand" on that dot.

 Then draw an arrow from the dot that points in the direction that the wise man will face when he’s put in correctly.

Congratulations!  You again halved the time it will take to put away your nativity set!  In total, it should take a quarter of the time than it did before!

This may not seem like it buys you much time if you have just one nativity set, but if you are one of those people who happens to collect nativity sets and display them all, this tip will really save you a lot of time and effort. My Mom helps with a church nativity display that involves something like a truckload of nativity sets, and she has a very similar system to help her put them all away in the right place.  (She also has to code the figurines and boxes so she knows which figurines go in which boxes.)

Do you need extra help with organizing and de-cluttering? Hire me! Go to for more information about my services! Did this article help you? Be sure to share it with your friends!

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