Tips for Organising and Storing Christmas Decorations …

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Christmas decorations can be a real challenge to store because they come in so many different shapes and sizes and won’t necessarily fit together like a neat puzzle.  This year I decided it was time for me to review and revamp my decoration storage.  I normally take my tree down on New Years Day but this year I’ve decided to take my time and really put some thought and effort into organising and storing my decorations. Every task starts with a goal and my main goal is to store everything relevant to Christmas in the least amount of space, keep it all together in one place and keep it safely protected from damage.

 

It’s definitely worth the effort because an accumulated collection of decorations can add up to a lot of money.  It’s taken me years to accumulate my current collection, buying things as I’ve seen them over the years.  I, therefore, want to look after everything and not waste money replacing decorations that are damaged because I haven’t stored and packed them well.

 

I’ve tried various storage solutions over the years and I’ve found the most effective way is to use large, clear plastic boxes or crates.  These are typically light but sturdy with the added advantage of being clear so I can see what’s inside.  There are loads of purpose made storage items available for decorations, lights, wreaths and so on but these can almost be as expensive as the item themselves.

 

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Discount stores like The Reject Shop and Crazy Clarks are great places to pick up inexpensive boxes and crates but I found these fantastic boxes from Masters Hardware.  They were being sold as a storage box for wrapping paper but I thought they’d be perfect for my decorations.  The thing I loved most was that they are perfectly square unlike a lot of plastic crates that taper in at the bottom.

 

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To really make the most of these boxes, I grabbed an old cardboard box and some scissors and created my own dividers.  It is possible to buy boxes with dividers but creating my own allowed me to perfectly tailor it to my needs.  When cutting the cardboard, try to get it the exact size so that it fits snuggly against the sides of the container and doesn’t move around too much.

 

Next I grabbed my supply of zip lock bags. I grouped all my similar decorations together, placed each type in a separate zip lock bag and then layered them on top of each other in the box.  Heavy weight items go on the bottom, medium weight items get layered next and finally the lightest weight items are on the top.  For my tree, I tend to buy decorations in multiples of 6 (not sure why, but I do) so when I’m packing up I store the same decorations together by type so I can find them easily.  This helps me hang the decorations evenly around the tree so it looks balanced.  Fragile ornaments may require a little extra care so for those I use household tissues, tissue paper and bubble wrap.

 

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Tinsel, lights, beading and other garlands can be a nightmare to store because they can become a big tangled mess.  Here’s a simple solution, grab a piece of sturdy cardboard and make a small cut on one side.  Thread the start of the tinsel into the groove you’ve cut and then wrap the remainder around the cardboard.  Once you get to the end, cut another groove in the cardboard and hook or slide the end into that to hold it firmly in place.  Next time, simply unhook one of the ends and you’ll have no more tangles.

 

I do use one large plastic 80 litre crate to store all the bulky items like wreaths, table linen, and anything else that’s large.  I also like to pack away Christmas platters to prevent them taking up valuable space in the kitchen.

 

And finally, here are a couple more general tips to help with the Christmas pack up:

 

  • Each year check what decorations you have and evaluate what you are actually using.  If you find you still have a lot left over after you finish decorating the tree, maybe it’s time to get rid of some.  Either throw them out or offer them to family, friends of charity.  Give yourself permission to let them go and then do it!

 

  • It’s tempting to buy lovely new decorations when they are on sale either before Christmas or in the after-Christmas Sales but stop and think.  Do you really need them or are you only buying them because they are 50% or more cheaper?

 

  • Once completely packed up, I like to keep the tree and all the Christmas Decoration boxes together in one spot, which for my house is in the garage.  This means I don’t spend forever searching for a missing, elusive box that I know I have but just can’t find.

 

  • Think “outside the square” to come up with creative storage ideas.  For example, plastic cups and used egg cartons are perfect for storing baubles and small hanging decorations.

 

  • Some decorations you might want to store in the original packaging but, unless it’s absolutely necessary, consider getting rid of it as it can be bulky and take up lots of room.

 

  • I also pack away into these boxes everything that’s relevant to Christmas.  Things like Christmas books, DVD’s, clothing, jewellery, candles, Santa Hats, stockings, table linen, tea towels, etc. also get packed away and brought out only for Christmas.  This means I don’t have to worry about storing those things in regular drawers and cupboards throughout the year, it also meant that these were like new items each Christmas as that was the only time the kids saw them.

 

  • Separate your decorations into zones e.g. pack all your outside decorations in different boxes from your indoor decorations . If you decorate a single tree, keep those separate from other miscellaneous items like advent calendars, wreaths and so on and if you decorate more than one tree, separate the decorations for each tree into different boxes.  This means you won’t have to unpack all the boxes at once, only the ones you need and you won’t find yourself searching for decorations for a particular tree because they are all mixed up.  If you have multiple trees and only decide to put up one, then you’ll only need to unpack the single box that holds the decorations for that tree.

 

  • Keep it simple … I do love Christmas, putting up the tree and decorating but it only lasts for about a month.  The more you decorate, the more you need to buy and the more you need to store and pack away for approximately 11 months of the year.

 

So there you have it, some simple tips to help organise your decorations each year that will save time, space and effort.

 

So tell me, do you enjoy decorating the house for Christmas or do you find it all to be a bit of a chore?

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Excellent ideas here for making sure that next year not only can you find your decorations but also have them in one piece. A few years ago I bought large plastic containers from the supermarket and I use them to store my decorations. I keep them in the cupboard under the stairs and they system is working well! xx

    • My decorations were getting a little out of control, so it feels good to have sorted and organised them again. I find it’s the kind of job that needs to be reviewed every few years x

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