Friday, December 27

How to Organize + Store Christmas Decor

I think we can all agree on one thing: the worst part of Christmas decorating is taking them down when Christmas is over. Ugh.

But it doesn't have to be so bad. This is your chance to set your self up for success next year! As you pack up, start by re-evaluating what you have, deciding what you truly need and want to keep, and purging the rest. Then, once you've settled on what is staying in your stash, you can organize and store your items in a way that makes them easier to find and use when you're decorating, and easier to pack away when you're done. So today I'm going to share some of my favorite tips for packing and organizing decor that is easy, cheap, and will save you both time and sanity next year.

Let's start with the big picture of storage: the boxes. Did you know that buying one large box is much cheaper than buying multiple smaller boxes? Plus you can fit larger items (obviously). So I like to get the large boxes, then use cheap or free items to divide up the space and organize things a little better. My mother-in-law usually wraps our Christmas gifts in large reusable shopping bags (like you find at Marshalls) so I have a nice little collection, and they fit perfectly into my large bins side-by-side:

That bin is divided up into sections for beads, lights, and ornaments (they're all on the tree already, so I just shoved a garland in there so you can see the three zones better). One thing I love about using these bags is that if I don't fill them to the top (I don't have that many beads), I can fold down the top of that bag and stack another bag on top for different items. It keeps things super organized and they pack together perfectly! Plus it's easy to pull out the things I need - I keep lights on the bottom because they get heavy, but they are the thing I need first! This way I can pull out the bag on top and get right to the lights.

Some items need to be stored more neatly or carefully, like breakable ornaments, and I like to use small up-cycled boxes for that. No need to splurge for new storage bins, friends! I love using Christmas tins like the one above for this job because it fits my Christmas spirit (that one was a hand-me-down, but I occasionally come across them at thrift stores) but a lot of times I just use small cardboard boxes from amazon that are totally free! I'll wrap breakable things in tissue paper or newspaper and tuck them safely away. Small boxes like this nest perfectly on top of my shopping bag dividers.

Now about those lights. You can buy all kinds of contraptions to store lights and prevent tangles. But my favorite technique is the simplest of all. Just wind them up into a loop, then wrap the end around the center of the loop and tuck it in. Make sure the end you plug-in is the last part that you wrap around the bundle - that way you can unwind it as you put them on the tree, tangle-free! It makes these tidy little bundles that are easy to pile in my tote, and they are ready to unwind and go next year.

Once all my decor is stashed in my bins, they all fit into our 2x4 shelving unit in the basement. It's all in one place and easy to pull out next year. I labeled them with regular old masking tape (cheap, friends). I currently have one bin for beads, lights, and ornaments, one for garlands, and one that's actually full of things we didn't even get out this year (we're going more minimal, peeps).

And then I actually have a few more things on the next shelf... but I didn't buy more bins. I'd like to add one more (or empty that last bin and put it to better use), but for the last few years I've just used a couple empty diaper boxes. One is full of my mini tree collection, another has Christmas toys and books that are in storage the rest of the year, and one more just has the little bit of decor for my kitchen and dining room (you can see that here). I also store a bunch of wreaths in garbage bags piled on the top shelf to keep the dust off (we didn't get those out this year, either), and I have another shopping tote that holds a few Christmas signs (you can see how we use them at the end of this post).

It's not pinterest-worthy to look at, but it does the job perfectly and was super cheap to get going. Our only cost was buying those three totes years ago! Now with everything neat and organized, it's actually pretty quick to get our whole house decked-out for the season. And it's not totally terrible to take it all down again. And it's definitely worth taking a few minutes to wrap up lights and sort out beads right now to save a lot of time and hassle next year.

So let's hear it: what's YOUR secret to decor-storage success?

No comments:

Post a Comment