10 TIPS TO ORGANIZE & STORE HOLIDAY DECORATIONS
It may seem odd to talk about putting away holiday decorations before the big day even arrives, but my mission to help you have the best holidays ever extends to setting you up for holiday success next year. And a little preparation and planning now, about how to organize and store your decorations when you do take them down, will make decorating faster and easier next year. So, if you like making holiday tasks faster and easier, read on for 10 great tips!
10 EASY Tips To Pack and Organize Holiday Decorations For Easy Decorating Next Year
1) Take photos of where you display your decorations.
Before taking down your decorations, snap photos of them with your cell phone to use as a reference when decorating next year. You’ll save time trying to remember where everything goes and speed up the decorating process.
2) Use appropriate storage containers.
You don’t want containers that are so big you can’t lift them when they’re full, or so small you need 50 to store everything. You also want something sturdy enough to hold the weight of the contents and that will protect your decorations from possible water, mildew or mould damage. Finally, containers with lids are ideal for stacking. I use the pictured 63 litre bins I got from Canadian Tire along with a couple of larger Sterilite 114 litre bins from Rona.
3) Store “like with like”.
I store my decorations by the room they are displayed in. It makes it quick and easy for me to get the right bins, with the right decorations, into the right areas of my home. But some people prefer to store theirs by type of decoration or by colour. Determine what “like with like” means to you and go with it.
4) Use Labels.
Labels let you know, in one quick glance, what decorations are in what bins. I don’t make a detailed inventory of everything in each bin; the rooms the bins go in with one or two descriptor words work for me (i.e. Lower Level Family Room Tree and Lower Level Family Room Decorations). Again, find what works for you and go with it. Just make sure the label is facing OUT when you put the bins away. For your own free printable holiday storage labels, click here.
5) Take the time to neatly store your lights.
I know taking lights down isn’t fun and you just want to get the job done. But 11 months from now, when you’re getting your lights out again and don’t have to spend 45 minutes untangling them, you’ll be SO happy you took the 10 minutes to pack them away neatly. I kept the spool our lights came on and re-use it every year. You could also keep some cardboard from holiday gifts and store them as pictured above, or use a Holiday Light storage box like this from Canadian Tire.
6) If you have the space, store your tree upright and decorated.
I know this is a luxury many people won’t have. I didn’t until we moved into our current home a few years ago that has a large storage room big enough to store 2 of my indoor trees and my two porch trees completely assembled with lights and garland on them. I take the ornaments off the larger tree (as they fall off when being moved up and down the stairs), but leave them on the smaller tree and put an inexpensive king mattress cover over the trees to protect them. This is a HUGE time saver and if you have space, I highly recommend it.
7) Determine if you’re ready to let go of any of your decor.
When packing decorations away, examine them for damage and consider whether they have served their purpose for you. If they have, don’t pack them away to be dealt with again next year. Set them aside and discard or donate them.
8) Keep fragile ornaments protected.
If you have fragile ornaments, use stacks of plastic cups in bins separated by layers of cardboard to keep them protected. Because I have a 6-year-old, 99% of our ornaments are “unbreakable” and I just store them in these plastic cases some sheets came in many years ago.
They keep the ornaments together and contained inside the larger bins. Tupperware, shoe boxes, even plastic bags would work.
9) You don’t have to put it all away at once!
I have a lot of Christmas decorations and use to spend an entire day putting them all up and an entire day taking them all down. I was happy when each task was completed, but I was also exhausted. Then, I let go of the self-imposed requirement it had to all get done in one day. I started decorating over a week, doing a little bit each evening until it’s done, and taking it down the same way. It’s such a simple tweak (that I can’t believe I didn’t figure out sooner), that has made a huge difference. I no longer stress about finding a whole day to complete the tasks and I’m not exhausted (at least not from decoration-related tasks 😉).
10) Colour code your bins by holiday/occasion.
I use light blue bins for Christmas, grey for Halloween, dark blue for birthday decorations and clear blue for Easter. Although they are all labelled, the colour coding is a quick and easy visual cue that lets me go right to whatever holiday bins I am looking for.
Following these 10 tips to pack and organize your holiday decorations this year, will make it faster and easier to get them out and decorate next year. I promise, your 2020-holiday-decorating-future-self, will thank you!