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6 Tips for Organizing—and Storing—Your Holiday Decorations

If your family is like mine, every year around the holidays we trudge down to the basement, returning with plastic tubs filled to the brim with ornaments, a fake Christmas tree, lights that haven’t worked in years, stockings, and an exponential amount of Santa nutcrackers. 

Rather than wait until the day you plan to decorate, why not get a jump and organize your decorations now? Then, when it comes time to transform your house, you can throw on some Mariah Carey Xmas music, light a fire, make some hot cocoa, and enjoy family time. 

Here are half a dozen tips to make sure your decorating is festive, not frustrating. While we’re using Christmas as an example; you can apply these tips to anything your family celebrates. 

1. Get Rid of Decorations that Don’t Bring Smiles

Why is it that even the best de-clutterers have so much trouble parting with holiday decorations?

It’s because the holidays make us feel sentimental. Throw out that macaroni tree you made when you were seven. Donate the artificial tree you put up in your first apartment. Accidentally drop and break the gaudy angel your mother-in-law gave you.

2. Organize the Ornaments & Delicate Items

Maybe you’ve got this down, but many of us somehow seem to struggle every single year finding the right packing material and boxes.

You could bite the bullet and order one of these fancy ornament storage boxes. But if you already feel like you’re spending a thousand dollars a day this time of year, you can simply make sure you have a sturdy box and then spring for some bubble wrap. (If you’re one of the 34 people in America who still has a newspaper delivered, this is your time to shine.)

Remember to pack the most fragile ornaments on top and, if you were not ruthless enough in your purge, this is the time to get rid of ornaments that are stored from year to year, but never make the tree.

3. Deal with the Lights

There are no shortcuts when it comes to lights. You simply have to put in the time. The only winners here are the people who never took their lights down from last year.

Dump your large garbage bags full of tangled lights onto the floor. Separate them into piles of similar strands. Plug in each strand and see if it works. Be honest with yourself: If no one is ever going to fix the broken strands, it’s time to let them go.

As for storage, there are two simple methods to try.

The first is to take a rectangular shaped piece of cardboard and cut notches in both ends, then wrap a strand around it. You can store these in boxes, with a layer of bubble wrap between them.

Another idea is to store each separate strand in a one-gallon plastic bag, then write a note on the outside describing the strand and maybe also noting how many times it has been used. You can also store extra bulbs in the bag. There may be some tangling, but with only one strand in a bag, it will be minimal.

4. Store Holiday Items in Clear Plastic Boxes

If you’ve been relying on old cardboard boxes, it may be time to upgrade to plastic storage containers. Clear boxes that are a reasonable size—not a hard-to-carry gigantic bin—can make decorating a much more pleasant activity. Because they’re see-through, you can more easily find the right box of decorations for the current season.

5. Give Yourself the Gift of a Gift Wrap Organizer

You can buy a simple plastic tube for $7 or a whole closet system for $724, but it does solve a lot of hassle when all of your wrapping supplies are all in one place. Plus, you’ll love using your new gift wrapping station for birthdays and anniversaries, too!

6. Consider Additional Storage Space

If you’re short on storage, holiday decorations can be even more frustrating because they’re likely to end up stashed all over your apartment or house wherever you can find a bit of space.

Whatever size space you need, we offer affordable self-storage units that can be rented on a month-by-month basis and are always clean and well-lit. Check out our Self Storage Calculator and rent a unit online today. There’s no reason to skimp on holiday cheer if storage is the only thing holding you back.