Christmas Decoration Organization - Tips to Follow
Christmas is NOT over...not by a long shot, but the dread of having to put all the Christmas decorations away is real. Putting Christmas decorations away can be a lot of work, and after a busy and fun-filled month, putting them away properly can sometimes feel overwhelming and not worth the effort. I am here to tell you that it IS worth the effort. A little bit of planning right now can make your 'taking down Christmas' day not only easy but will set you up for a seamless setup the following year.
So here is everything you will need to know. Save this info. File it away for a few weeks from now when I promise it will come in handy. I wanted to share it now so if you need to buy containers and any of the products I am sharing, you can get ready and be prepared for when you are ready to pack it all up. I promise that taking the time to organize your Christmas items like the pros will make your decorating exponentially easier next year.
Christmas Decoration Organization Products
Things you'll need:
Totes (I'll share all my favorites later)
Labels (this is my favorite labeler and slip covers for Christmas items)
Christmas Decoration Organization Bins
The two most important things to consider when organizing your Christmas décor are location and timing. Where does the decor go? And when do you typically get it out? Each category should be specifically labeled. I like to use slipcover labels where a piece of paper slides into a sticker-backed clear slipcover. This makes it easy to change the categories through the years. So if you typically like to decorate your family room first, I would label Family Room Christmas and if you have more than one tote of those items, then you can separate out 'Family Room Mantel Christmas' from 'Family Room Sideboard Christmas'. I always keep tree décor in its own tote and if you decorate more than one tree, create different totes for different trees. My favorite totes for storing décor are these bins from The Container Store. They are clear so you can easily see what is inside and come in many different sizes. A more budget-friendly option (but limited as to size options) is this tote from Target.
*Pro-tip: I like to put different colored paper in the slipcovers to easily identify holiday bins from a distance.
*Pro-tip: edit as you pack up. If you didn't use it this year, you probably won't use it next year. If you have sentimental items you really don't want to throw out but also most likely won't ever use in your home, put them in a separate and neatly labeled bin so those items don't take up space with your regular décor. Also...if you like shopping the after-Christmas sales, great. Just be mindful of what you already have and what you actually think you will use next year. It is so easy to get suckered in by a 75% off sticker.
As you pack up the décor you know will use next year, put it in appropriately sized containers, and label it, you are establishing a system that will save you so much headache and work next year. I know it sounds simple, but it is. Keep reading for my Christmas organization tips on tricky items that aren't so cut and dry.
Other Christmas Decoration Organization Tips
Outdoor lights & décor:
Pack these items up separately. Make sure you have replacement bulbs and hooks packed up and ready for next year (there's nothing worse than being on the roof and running out of clips). Also, just like indoor items, if there is a strand of lights you won't be using moving forward and didn't use this year, donate it. If you are planning on fixing a strand of lights that blew a fuse, but then never got to it...let it go.
We have a LOT of Christmas books. I like to store all our books in one place together. I also have a basket I use every year to store them in. I make sure that my basket and books are all stored in the same place. A fun tradition I have done in years past with our Christmas books is to wrap them up and put them under the tree. This is something that could even be done before packing them up if you wanted to use up any remaining wrapping paper. My kids choose one or more Christmas books a night and we unwrap and read them before bed. This fun tradition helps us keep track of the Christmas books we have already read, is fun for my kids (who doesn't love opening presents?), and makes the books we have feel special and new because they only come out once a year.
Do you have an Elf on the Shelf doll? I like to make sure that Eugene (that's our elf's name) is hidden in a specific spot so my kids don't find him crammed into a box while decorating the Christmas tree. Is there anything else that should be hidden? Do you use special wrapping paper from Santa? These items can all go in a specially marked box (make sure it is opaque). Maybe it says "Mom and Dad Christmas" or "Christmas Coal".
Old Christmas Cards
Do you keep them? I know everyone has different feelings when it comes to these. Here are a few ideas.
- Cut each Christmas card into a heart and turn it into a garland for Valentines' Day.
- Put your card collection on a binder ring and keep a few years at a time to look back on (or reference when sending cards the next year)
- Keep past Christmas cards in a zipper pouch, but only keep one from each family (this is what I do). At the end of each Christmas season, I pull out my zipper pouch and replace the current year's card with the previous one. Some families don't send out cards every year, so if we didn't receive a card that year, I like to hold onto the one we got in the past years. I love my stack of cards and for me, it is a sentimental item worth keeping.
The Best Products to Organize Christmas Décor
Have you tried these? Gone are the days that my husband resents me for having to maneuver the giant Christmas tree box out of our under the stairs hiding place. We got an affordable one on Amazon last year and it has been so nice.
If you have a lot of wreaths, they can be very challenging to store. I love storing wreaths on a big hook in storage spaces, but if that is not an option or you want your wreaths protected from dust, having a container specifically made to hold your wreaths is super handy.
I personally don't use these because my ornaments are not fragile and/or from the dollar store...but if you have special ornaments that you are wanting to protect, I recommend investing in ornament organizers that separate them. You can also buy a big foam roll from amazon and wrap your more fragile items.
*Pro-tip: take pictures. If you liked how things were styled this year, take pictures of your entire house and save it in a folder on your phone titled Christmas Décor 2021.... then next year when you go to decorate you will have a map/guide making it faster. It's also fun to see how your home and styles change through the years.
*Final Pro-tip: present bins. If you have the space, something to consider for next year is creating a bin (an opaque bin) for each family member with their name on it. Then as you start to collect gifts (for me I start in August), you can keep the gifts organized and out of sight. It's a system! When you have a system set up ahead of time, life functions so much more smoothly.
Jen is the founder of Reset Your Nest, a Professional Home Organizing business in Utah (Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, Logan, Utah County, and St. George), California (Bay Area, Los Gatos, Hillsborough, Atherton, San Jose), Denver, CO, and Phoenix, AZ. She loves creating order and systems out of chaos. Her specialty is finding a way to continue the aesthetic of any home to every cupboard and drawer. She shares her tips and tricks on Instagram @reset_your_nest.