The Party’s Over – Organizing and Storing Your Holiday Decor

I love Christmas. The decorating, the edibles, the events at church, I love it all. What I don’t love is the putting away of my home’s festive attire. Decorating year after year has taught me a few tips that might help you.

  • PICTURE THIS: Take a picture of every place you decorated.  Keep a digital album of your Christmas decorations on your computer or print them out and attach the appropriate picture to each box. Which leads me to my second tip,
  • ROOM BY ROOM: Box decorations by room – I enjoy decorating one room at a time, it’s less overwhelming and I feel a sense of accomplishment as each room is decked out. The same principle applies when taking it all down.
  • STORE BY COLOR: Items you didn’t use this year but would like to keep, keep by color. For example, in the past I decorated my tree in red and gold, but now prefer blue and silver. Because I keep my red and gold ornaments from the tree in one container, I could easily decorate a tree at our church this year. I also have a box of just silver (garland, beads, etc.) or just gold. You get the idea. Having things by color helps for other events as well. For example, when I decorated for a 50th wedding anniversary–which is traditionally done in gold–I could use some of the items I have stored in my gold box for that event.
  • INVENTORY: Now is the time to do an inventory of your Christmas decorations. Note items you need or would like to add and buy now while they are on sale. You’ll be one step ahead for next year. Be sure and add new items you purchase to your inventory list.
  • SORT: Sort items you’d like to remove from your inventory. Ask your friends if they’d like to look at your giveaway Christmas stash where they can get a new look for next year FREE. My friend, Mary, did just that and the lovely ornaments you’ve seen in my dining room came from her stash a couple of years ago. You can also ask young friends just moving out if they need any Christmas decor. If none of those options work, you can donate your items to a thrift store or charity and get a receipt for tax purposes.
  • LIGHTS: While decorating this year, you may have discovered strands of lights that didn’t work or half worked. Now’s the time to replace those lights! Most stores start out at 50% off all holiday the day after Christmas and the discount increases. I’ve bought some items as high as 90% off! Keep checking your favorite stores every few days. When replacing lights, try to go to more energy efficient versions available on the market now. You might also want to add timers which are also on sale.
  • STORE: Storage is so important. I’m a big fan of using colored totes by holiday. It makes it so much easier to identify in an attic what is Christmas (red and green), Easter (a pastel color) or Fall (Orange). Totes and organizing items are on sale now so if you can afford to buy them, now’s the time.
  • WREATHS: I don’t buy the wreath boxes. Many of them were too small for the wreaths I owned anyway. I hang my wreaths on nails in my attic. Don’t have an attic? Hang them on a closet or garage wall.
  • LABEL: I like large labels on the side’s of my totes. To make it neater, I use either 8 1/2 X 11 inch labels or card stock and type my labels for each container. You can adjust the size of the font and the size of the label based on the size of each container.
  • RECYCLE: If you bought a real tree recycle it. Many cities offer a free service where they process trees into mulch. While you’re at the landfill, grab some of that free mulch for your beds! Check your local landfills and municipalities. You can also recycle the fronts of Christmas cards by donating them to worthy organizations like St. Jude’s Ranch for children. They take any occasion cards so recycle all year!

Organizing your Christmas decor as you pack it away will reap benefits next year when it’s time to decorate again.

Happy New Year!

Jo Rae

  1. Claire, 07 January, 2011

    Thanks for the organizing tips – I like all the ideas – I’ve hung up wreaths in kitchen garbage bags too.

  2. Roy Chaney, 30 December, 2012

    Interesting reading. I can use some if your tips in other applications.



  3. jorae, 01 January, 2013

    Thanks, Butch. Organization ideas can be used anywhere and I’m so glad you found them useful. I pray God blesses you beyond all you can imagine in the new year. Blessings ~ Jo Rae


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