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Suggestions for safe and easy storage of holiday decor

The holidays are over and now it is time for the dreaded task of taking down all the decorations and storing them away.  This part is not nearly as fun as putting the decorations up, is it?!? 

I searched on Pinterest for clever ideas for storing Christmas decorations and thought I would pass on my favorite finds, along with a few of my own tricks of the trade.

Fragile Ornaments

As shown in the photo above, one method for storing decorative balls and other breakable ornaments is to place them in Tupperware containers with cardboard dividers (you could probably cut down some of the cardboard dividers in a wine box).  Another clever suggestion is to use fruit storage containers – such as the plastic containers that apples are sold in at Costco – but you might have to buy a lot of apples to store all your fragile ornaments this way!  Similarly, egg cartons function well as a storage container for small ornaments. 

I saw several other creative storage suggestions, such as using plastic cups. With strong cardboard as dividers, you could place several layers of cups in a plastic bin.  However, I think I will stick with my own tried and true, simple and easy method – which is to wrap fragile ornaments in a paper towel and put them in a cardboard shoe box.  Then I put multiple shoeboxes full of ornaments in a plastic bin and label it, “Tree ornaments.”  Nothing has broken yet. 

Strings of Lights

Dealing with the lights that you string on the tree or outside your house is probably the most vexing aspect of the whole decorating process because they

get so easily tangled.  To avoid this problem, we wrap our strings of lights around an object such as a board or stiff piece of cardboard (sometimes we use the round tube inside a paper towel roll) and then place each string in a zip lock plastic bag.  Similarly, I saw a picture of lights wrapped around a coat hanger, but the most intriguing solution I found was to wrap the lights around a garden hose reel!  (Our method works fine and costs a lot less!)

Large Decorations

If you are like most people, you have some Christmas decorations that will not fit easily in a bin – or if they do fit, they take up so much room that you can’t fit much else in the bin.  These are my favorite decorations to store because they are so easy – I stick them in a large shopping bag and place a plastic dry cleaner bag on top to keep the dust out.  Because I find this method of storage so convenient (carrying several large shopping bags is easier than several large bins), I sometimes put boxes of decorations (such as the pieces of the crèche) in a shopping bag rather than a bin.  I have several other large items (such as decorative platters) that will not fit in a plastic bin – these go in a large, sturdy cardboard box, separated by something soft such as an old towel (or perhaps you could use your Christmas linens as dividers). 

Wrapping Paper

I found a number of interesting suggestions for storing wrapping paper, such as using a cardboard wine box with dividers, a clear plastic garment bag that can hang in the closet, a shoe organizer that hangs on the back of a closet door with holes cut in the pockets so the rolls can stand up through the pockets, in a plastic under the bed storage bin, and a particularly clever use of a piece plastic shelving to corral the paper against the wall in a closet.  My own frugal and functional approach is to use an old plastic kitchen trash can.   

Artificial Christmas Tree

We do not have an artificial tree (yet), so I cannot comment from personal experience, however, I found that there are ways to wrap your tree fully decorated so that all you have to do next year is cut off the wrap and you are ready to go enjoy the holidays!  Sounds appealing….


So, I hope you have enjoyed your holidays and that these tips will make the un-decorating process a little easier! 

Happy New Year!