I still got to eat amazing food and see some of my favorite people AND I got to do amazing, practical things - like organize Mom's wrapping paper closet.
I spent most of my life being a horrible slob and then I grew up, had a roommate who was the Felix to my Oscar, and realized how much less likely I was to break/lose things if I kept them tidy.
So now, I get a huuuuge rush out of cleaning and organizing. It helps to have it not be my own things and to have it be things with little sentimental value, but either way - it is immensely satisfying and I wish I could do it professionally.
Anyway - we started with this.
This is even after a whole bunch of the stuff fell out as I was trying to get enough light for the picture. I started by taking everything out, there is really no point in organizing if you are only going to do it half way.
This is maybe 3/4 of the stuff. The rest is on the floor and on the chairs.
Then I organized like with like. All the boxes together, all the Christmas bags in one pile and the "various other holidays" in another.
A dining room table is a perfect place to do this because you have the added benefit of having chairs to put your piles on. If a pile cannot fit on a chair, it is too big and needs to be reevaluated.
Throw things away. Anything that was kind of broken or dirty and I didn't think I would want to present to someone as the wrapping for their gift automatically went in the trash. I probably threw away at least as much as I kept, if not more.
And then think critically about how you are going to use things. My mother mostly wraps presents at Christmas, so those things are the most prominently featured (the bag on the right and the paper at the top of the pile). Everything is easily accessible, the boxes are full of other boxes - the goal is to not have to take out more than one thing to get to what you need.
The only caveat to my brilliant plan is the shipping supplies (big boxes, peanuts, etc) are behind all of this. I wish there had been a way to make them more accessible but since they are always used in conjunction with everything else, it seems like it won't be too tedious. We'll have to see how she does.
Anyway, please let me come organize your house. You will have to pay me some money, but it turns out that, for now, I work for brunch and peanut butter M&M's.