Tips for How to Store Christmas Lights and Ornaments

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It’s that time of year again- taking down all the holiday decorations and storing them until next year. I don’t know about you, but I’m always more excited about decorating for Christmas than undecorating. It seems like such an endless task and is a bit depressing to put things back to “normal”.  Over the past few years I’ve found a few things to help make it less of a hassle.

  • First check your Christmas boxes and cull any ornaments/decorations that weren’t used this year and you don’t foresee using next year, unless they hold sentimental value. Set these aside for a garage sale next fall.
  • Group ornaments by theme, as well as by room and tree if you have multiple trees.  We put ours into brown paper sacks and boxes that are labeled.  It makes it easy to spread each sort of ornament around the tree because we come to them all at once. Our labels are: music, fishing, bells, balls, gold plated and Disney.  The miscellaneous ornaments all go into another bag.  We use the tissue paper and wrapping paper from a Christmas about 10 years ago as the cushioning in the bags and boxes.
  • Wrap garland and lights around each bag or box to keep them from tangling.  You’ll have to put the garland and lights on the tree before putting the ornaments on the tree next year anyway! You could also wrap them around paper towel cardboards or coffee/formula cans.  The cans would also be a great place to store more ornaments.
  • If you have an artificial tree and have room in your attic or storage place consider not taking it apart.  For several years we kept the lights on our tree and took it right up to the attic as is. The lights were wrapped around each branch to make it a homemade pre-lit tree. The lights could be unplugged at each of the 2 places where the tree detached to make it easier to get upstairs. Keeping tree with lights on it and whole made the decorating process much quicker each year.
  • Store other decorations in tubs or bags by room or area.  We used to have garland and lights on our front door so I kept the garland with lights wrapped around it in a garbage bag labeled “front door”.  In another garbage bag I had the garland and lights wrapped around it for our upstairs balcony.  There was no guessing which garland was for which place or having to readjust lengths/lights to make them fit. When things are labeled by room you’ll be able to take only the items for each room to decorate at a time.  It’s less overwhelming than having all your Christmas decor out because you have to dig through nearly every box to find what you need for a room.
  • If you buy decorations during this year’s after Christmas sales, be sure to store them with the appropriate items or next year you’re likely to not find them when they’re needed.  There were a couple of years when I had to go buy new hooks because I didn’t store the $0.10 packages I’d bought the previous year with the ornaments, or was finished decorating the tree when I found a couple of new ornaments I’d bought that no longer had a place on the tree.
  • Store holiday zip-locs and candles (if they won’t melt in your storage area), paper towels, napkins etc. with your Christmas decor so that you’ll find them when it’s time to use them and they won’t be taking up space in your kitchen for an entire year.

My husband used to hate getting everything out for Christmas. By being better organized I’ve managed to make it less of a chore and now he seems to enjoy decorating for Christmas a little bit.  Who knows?  Maybe he’s just learned to humor me!

Do you have any other tips for storing Christmas supplies?

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