Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Storage And Organization Solutions For Your Holiday Decorations!

Maybe you have already put your holiday decorations away this season and maybe you are just sick of the mere mention of the holidays, but making changes to the way you organize your decorations now will change your life.  Okay, it's possible that I'm over exaggerating the outcome. But I can promise, if Christmas music isn't keeping you merry & bright while you're lugging box after box from the basement or attic, having a better storage system will definitely help! Especially when it comes time to everything down and pack it away, because there is no after Christmas music to keep you cheerful...someone still needs to invent that! 

Beautiful & practical holiday storage boxes.
 I have always felt I had to mentally gear up for a 2 day commitment of lugging, looking, unpacking, and searching through mounds of tissue paper in various containers all in the effort to make Christmas happen.  The middle part aka holiday decorating, I love and thoroughly enjoy! But after the successful execution of that event, when things are winding down, was the nagging knowledge of another 2 day ordeal of making Christmas disappear!

I already had a basic system in place with large red and green plastic bins purchased years ago. Gathering it all in one place is the first step. It doesn't matter what color storage boxes you choose, but stick to one that will be for holiday storage only and easy to identify.

From our basement storage room makeover last fall. 
   The next step is to give each bin or box a label.  Being able to identify at a glance, without removing a single lid, what each bin contains will feel like a gift from Santa! The labels need to be specific. This is so important if you truly want the "pack-up" to go quickly and painlessly...meaning everything fits back into the exact same place it came from.  Added bonus: labeled boxes are the best solution when you come across that one thing that got left behind and used to get shoved in some random place!

Specific labels are key to easy decorating. What a pretty box
with it's Acanthus Leaf motif!

A small tree in my daughter's room decorated
with her collection of dog ornaments.

My son's tree with all his childhood ornaments.

Each year I put the box in the hallway between their two rooms
 for them to carry out their tradition of decorating their own little
 trees and pack them away after Christmas!
Eventually, I realized I that my bin labeled "glass balls" was not working as well as I had hoped. It just wasn't large enough. I have a set of large peacock blue glass balls and a few others that are over sized that did not come in packages. I was storing them loose in tissue and I was always concerned they would break. I needed storage for them and that got me thinking about why was so hung up about keeping everything in it's original package? The solution??? Sort and store the glass balls by color. So I last year I figured out what additional storage was needed and ordered it.  While I waited for it to arrive, it gave me time to sort through several bins and figure out what could be donated. I remember It wasn't until the first week of February before everything was put away. Totally worth it!!!

Sort by color!
These gorgeous peacock blue glass balls are my favorites.

Finally, a place for these too.

I like using index cards for labels because they are cheap and easy to write on and read. For the plastic bins I just tape the label to the end facing out.  For the cardboard/fabric covered boxes I put it on top of the contents inside the box. If you really want to go all out, take a photo of the contents of each bin and that way no matter who packs it up, there is no question about what goes where. This will also help you identify what type of storage containers you are lacking so you will be able to make a list of what needs to be purchased.

These storage solutions for my holiday decorations came from Target, Container Store and Ultimate Christmas Storage .  One last thing. I absolutely think it's worth purchasing acid free tissue and shredded filler. It will keep your decorations safe from breakage and the possibility of corrosion. Do it once, do it right and you will be one happy Elf next year!


  1. Oh my goodness, you are so organized! I am impressed and hanging my head in shame. This is my year to organize each room, drawer, and closet in my house so I will get there month by month. Happy packing! XO

  2. I took the time to organize everything last year and it was so much easier when it was time to get it out. Instead of the normal bringing of the thousand tubs and dumping them in the sunroom while I rooted through them, I could decorate each room at my leisure by just bringing what I needed. Worth the initial pain of organization, no doubt.

  3. You are so organized , how wonderful! The busier my life gets and the more I really need organization it seems the less I have. Your really inspiring me.

  4. I organized the decoration storage when I moved into this house four years ago. This Christmas, I had un-decorated and put everything away by 3:30PM Christmas day! I was tugging on the New Year to come in by then. :o)

  5. Okay now you are living my dream, I am so impressed. I do much of the same as far as labels go and I do put ornaments by colors but not in such pretty boxes with shredded paper, Oh my!! That impresses the heck out of me!!! I agree do it once and do it right. Maybe next year?!! Will you remind me? Next year put this post up the week before Christmas so we can be prepared,hehe,Kathysue

  6. great tips and your boxes are gorgeous!

  7. I admire this wonderful way of organizing your Christmas decorating treasures. You and my mother are the most organized of everyone I know with storing Christmas ornaments, both in very good company!

  8. Wow! You put me to shame!
    As I am about to de-holiday the house tomorrow, this came in the nick of time.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Funny thing is I just packed up our ornaments and decorations about 30 minutes ago and I was no where near organised as this! Just plain o;d bankers boxes for me!

  10. Love what you did! I went through all of my Christmas decor this year and have 2 bins to donate/garage sale. My kids too had their own trees growing up!
    I have my office torn apart for purging, reorganizing and restyling. It's going to take me a while!

  11. I am so happy you did this post because you have just reassurred me this is what I need to do next year. I have a lot of ornaments in various sizes and shapes and I grumble and grumble as I wrap them and put them away - storage is one of those things like cookie sheets I had spending money on. I will buy an expensive bottle of wine but won't but Christmas storeage LOL! I think I just need to bite the bullet and do it. I know in the end it will make my life so easy and make the holiays so much more enjoyable. Thanks for the process and suggestions.

  12. I am all about organization and I love these!!! Best, Kate

  13. Oh my lord - I'm with Sande - impressed and duly hanging head in shame. Clearly you could always have a second successful career as an organizer - some lucky people just have that gene. I've been staring at my poor tree in dread of the process. And now of course whatever I take off will bring umpteen dead needles with it! I also love that your kids have their own little trees - how sweet! And..those peacock balls - how divine!! So - on to your recommended site to see I can do this better!

  14. I am so movitated....for next year. I'm embarrassed at how I put everything away this year, but I was trying to do it quickly. I've never thought of the shred for the ornaments. It might actually decorating for the holidays and taking it down a pleasure! Great ideas!!

  15. Your beautiful organizational skills are so inspiring...and your childrens trees are beyond sweet! Still a few items left to put away here...getting on this today!:)

  16. Okay, now I want to
    perform a total re-do
    on my Christmas boxes!
    Your kids' trees made
    me smile, as mine also
    have their own and my
    daughter also has a large
    collection of dog ornaments!
    Thanks for the inspiration,
    and for listing your sources.
    You are such a doll!
    xx Suzanne

  17. I cram all of my stuff into box's, very delicately of course! ;)

  18. And one more thing...I was honored to witness first hand how organized Rebecca is! I was impressed and NEED to tear a page out of her book badly!

  19. Have you ever thought of charging for an audio blog, sort of tutorial class on tips for creating an organized home. I am always impressed by your order here. All the details and careful attention impress me, along with inspiring me to do a better job!


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