It’s a dark and a snowy night in early December. You go to unpack all of your holiday decorations in preparation for decorating your home the next day. Still, instead of finding neatly arranged ornaments and perfectly strung lights, you find complete Christmas chaos. Broken Christmas bulbs and ornaments, tangled string lights and tinsel, chipped ceramic figures. Those Christmas mugs you take out once a year for holiday hot chocolate? Who even knows where those are.
While your own experience unpacking your decorations in preparation for the holidays might not be quite this disastrous, pretty much all of us have experienced the frustration of improperly packed Christmas supplies. There are a few reasons for this, most notably that, by their nature, decorations are challenging to organise and pack efficiently. They’re extremely fragile, and often in a wide variety of odd shapes. Couple that with the fact that packing them up is big and time-intensive undertaking and it’s no wonder organizing and packing holiday decorations can be such a mess.
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Decorations bring the magic of Christmas to life! The holidays wouldn’t be the same without tinsel, handmade made knickknacks, Christmas trees, lights strung everywhere, snowmen, and pine-scented candles. Holiday decor is a very special ingredient to experiencing the magic of the season, but as joyful as it can be, it is often filled with angst and stress when it comes time to taking them down and storing them away. Between having too many decorations and trying to figure out how to pack it up, the magic begins to fade and the stress piles on.
A great way to start this holiday season is to ask yourself why you put up holiday decorations. Focus on the intention of why you decide to display your holiday decorations coupled with these organizing tips, and the holidays will always be a time of joy and magic. Here are our top organization tips for storing holiday decor so you can start the season on the right foot.
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Foundational Tips for Seamless Organization
Declutter Every Year
Before you start storing your holiday decor, it is important to backtrack and make sure you declutter your decorations every year. Holiday decorations accumulate quickly, and this first step is vital to storing your decor in an organised way. As you are putting away your decorations, pause and take a second to decide if you need each piece of decor consciously. Does it still fit your style? Is anything broken that needs to be discarded? Do you have too much of something? See if the gently used items you no longer need can be donated. Before you start storing your decorations, take the afternoon to declutter all of your holiday decors.
How you decide to categorise is a personal preference. The important thing is that your decorations are sorted in a way that works for you, so you have peace of mind knowing everything is in order before you pack it away. Generally, there are two ways one can organise their holiday decor. The first way is to categorise all like items together—candles, Santas, snowmen, etc. The second way is to categorise by room if you set up your home the same way every year. This takes the guessing game out of remembering how you decorated the previous year. Taking a few extra minutes to store your holiday decor by category is the best way to end the season in an organised way.
Invest in Proper Storage
The holidays will be back year after year, so make a one-time investment to buy great quality holiday storage. Invest in sturdy red or green bins, so you instantly know what items are holiday decor, and invest in storage with proper compartments for ornaments, lights, and collectibles. You will not have to make this investment again for many, many years, and it will save you time, money, and stress.
Separate Your Holiday Wrapping
Organise your holiday wrapping separate from what you use for the rest of the year. By separating it, you won’t have to dig through bins of holiday gift paper when you just need the supplies for a birthday present. One good option is to invest in a wrapping station, or for a budget-friendly option, you can create your own. Wrapping stations are a great purchase because they have designated pockets for wrapping paper, bows, scissors, tape, and bags. To create your own, use a large container and add smaller containers inside for specific products. File your gift bags inside one large bag and lay it on the bottom of your holiday wrapping container. Then, organise your bows in one small container on top, your ribbon in a second small container, and your tape, scissors, and supplies in the third small container. Now you have one large container with smaller categorised sections inside to keep everything organised. You can store your special occasion wrapping paper in a very tall bucket or container and store it right next to your holiday wrapping container.
Keep Holiday Pillows and Blankets Fresh
Store holiday pillows and blankets in airtight containers to preserve them and prevent odours. Your holiday decor is stored away for an entire year and most often are stored in the attic or basement where they are exposed to drastic differences in temperature. By storing them in an airtight container, they will last longer and refrain from getting musty or mildewy.
Use Hooks for Garlands and Wreaths
Hooks are an efficient way to store your holiday wreaths and garlands. If you have a safe place to keep your wreaths and garlands where weather and temperature will not affect them, then hooks are a great option to keep them organised without having to use another container. You can also use hooks to hang your holiday gift bags.
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Mark Your Holiday Containers
If your holiday storage bin is not a recognizable holiday colour, use a red or green index card, an image that represents what’s inside, and a sticker to find your holiday decor bins easily. This label will allow you to keep your containers organised by colour and a photo. For example, all the holiday decor bins can have a green index card with a photo of a Christmas tree on it. This will keep your items looking organised, uniform, and easily identifiable.
Frame Holiday Keepsakes
Christmas keepsakes add that extra special touch to your holiday decorations and fill your home with memories you hold most dear. If you are storing holiday letters from loved ones, a great way to store them and use as the decor is to frame them. Whether it is a coloured drawing from your child to Santa or a handwritten note from your mother, by framing your keepsakes, it helps you easily preserve them for years to come. Store all your framed holiday keepsakes in one container with bubble wrap to ensure your most precious decorations are packed safely.
Pare Down Holiday Photo Cards
Holiday cards are very special, but they can inundate your home if you keep them and store them year after year. To avoid this, follow these two steps for storing them in an organised way. First, sort through them and discard any that do not have a special message inside or are a photo card of your closest family and friends. The gift is in receiving a card from someone letting you know they are thinking of you, but if you do not sort through them, they will easily turn into clutter. Save the ones that hold special meaning to you and then store them in a binder so you can flip through your “Holiday Card Memory Binder,” and revisit the memory of your loved ones. Do not let hundreds of old holiday cards pile up in your attic. Instead, turn them into a coffee table decor piece so you can enjoy looking at them every year. When you are ready to store them, they will be organised in one binder to pack away.
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What Improper Packing Can Do to Your Decorations
Not packing your decorations carefully or correctly can lead to problems down the road, both for your precious heirlooms and for your sanity. Glass and ceramic can easily chip when stored incorrectly, and improperly storing Christmas lights, tinsel, and garland can lead to tangles, resulting not just in frustrating knots but also broken bulbs and warped wiring. It’s also extremely easy for favourite items to get misplaced if everything isn’t organised and stored together.
We get it, and packing is a pain even in the best of times. And when you’re exhausted from all of your holiday festivities and trying to ease back into reality after the Christmas magic has faded the last thing you want to do is spend hours making sure your decorations are perfectly organised, wrapped, packed, and stored. But not taking the time to pack your decorations the right way is a major misstep that can—and often does—result in more work and effort down the line.
So what’s the best thing to do? Get a plan of attack in place early on, gathering the supplies you’ll need and coming up with an organization strategy so that when the time does come to take down your decorations and store them for the next year, you already know exactly how you’re going to go about doing it. We promise—it’s not as much work as you might be thinking, and any extra effort you do put into will save you a ton of time when you’re ready to set everything up again.
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Have a smart holiday decoration storage plan
By putting a little extra thought into how and where your holiday decorations will be stored, you can save yourself from some future headaches.
Garages are ideal for a lot of your holiday decoration storage needs, whether you’re storing decorations for Christmas, Halloween, birthday parties, or holidays like the Fourth of July or Canada Day.
The garage has to be used the right way when storing your holiday decorations, however, to maintain the functionality of the space.
Plastic storage bins are perfect for most decorations
Whether you’re storing your holiday decorations in the garage or elsewhere in your home, plastic storage bins and containers make more sense than cardboard boxes.
Plastic storage bins are sturdier, stack easier and more safely, are easier to move around, and provide superior moisture protection compared to cardboard boxes. They’re also not a fire hazard.
Some people prefer using clear plastic storage bins because it helps them to identify stored items quickly. That may sound practical, but it’s probably a better idea to use non-clear, solid colour containers with labels. Holiday ornaments and lights, especially ones you’re keeping for many years, can lose their colour faster if they’re exposed to too much light when stored.
Fabric bags specifically made for storing holiday decorations should be stored indoors if possible, due to the higher moisture levels garages commonly have.
Use overhead racks for your holiday decoration storage
For the most effective use of your garage as a holiday decoration storage space, add some overhead storage racks.
Ceiling-mounted overhead racks take advantage of the vertical storage space in your garage’s upper reaches that is typically underutilised.
In addition to maximizing your garage’s storage space, overhead racks are also ideal for storing bulky items and things that are infrequently used – which describes unneeded holiday decorations pretty much perfectly!
Storage bins filled with things like tree ornaments, artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, holiday lights, and holiday lawn inflatables can be stashed up high.
Your daily routine can even run a little smoother simply by using this out-of-the-way storage space for your holiday decorations. There won’t be bulky storage bins taking up valuable garage floor space, which makes parking more difficult.
And less floor clutter means extra space for keeping tools, sports equipment, and other items you use regularly more efficiently stored and easier to access.
Don’t store these types of holiday decorations in the garage
While the garage is a perfect spot for many of your holiday decoration storage requirements, it’s not the best storage area for certain items unless it’s climate-controlled.
The temperature fluctuations and excess moisture found in many garage environments make them less than ideal for storing these types of holiday decorations:
- fabric-based festive decorations and adornments (examples: tablecloths, Christmas stockings and hats, tree skirts)
- candles (store them somewhere cool)
- very delicate glass, crystal, and antique ornaments
- food-based decorations
If you have to keep some fabric-based decorative items stored in the garage for any reason, make sure they’re sealed tightly in a plastic container. Wrapping items in acid-free paper or using silica packets to absorb moisture can help preserve the storage bin’s contents.
Another reason to avoid storing fabric-based and food-based decorations in the garage is that they can attract pests.
Storing an artificial Christmas tree in the garage
Because of its bulkiness, an artificial Christmas tree’s go-to storage spot in most homes will probably be the garage.
Don’t leave an artificial Christmas tree uncovered in the garage because it’ll naturally gather a lot of dust for a year. Why add an artificial tree cleaning to your busy holiday to-do list 11 months (or so) from now?
When storing an artificial Christmas tree in the garage, definitely ditch the cardboard box it came in and invest in a proper plastic tree storage bin. Look for a container with wheels, so it’s easier to transport.
Tree storage bags are also popular, although they’re less suited for a garage environment. Also, note that white artificial trees or trees with those snow dusting treatments are prone to yellowing and shorter lifespans if temperature and humidity storage conditions aren’t optimal.
While this garage is clean and organised, that poor artificial Christmas tree could really use a proper storage container.
Additional holiday decoration storage tips
When preparing your holiday decorations for storage, here are a few final tips you might find useful:
- use bubble wrap or decoration storage containers (avoid wrapping decorations in a newspaper, as the ink rubs off)
- fragile decorations such as bauble balls will be less prone to breaking if they’re stored in boxes with dividers or egg cartons that are kept in tightly sealed plastic containers
- prevent string light tangles by using string light
- reels or even wrapping them around discarded wrapping paper tubes
- declutter holiday decorations you haven’t used for a few years (donate any items that are still in good condition)
- make a list of what broken holiday decorations need to be replaced for next year
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Get organised to start the new year
Free up your living space by storing seasonal or outdoor items in a backyard storage building. Sheds provide ideal space to store seasonal decor, storage bins, bikes, outdoor equipment, and more, and they keep your things dry, safe, and protected.
If you have a New Year’s resolution that includes tidying up your home, start by storing your holiday decorations in an organised manner and somewhere that’s out of your way.
We can help you create more storage space for your holiday decorations and anything else you need to store in the garage, in addition to making space look much nicer.
Most people don’t like thinking about the end of the holidays, but that usually means that decorations and leftover wrapping paper get quickly thrown into a box to deal with next year! Before you banish your jewels back to the garage, make use of these simple storage hacks to keep them looking their best for next year.
This should help you to start getting your home back in order once the festive period is over after you’ve finished enjoying mince pies and eggnog with your loved ones. Until then, everyone here at Wessex Garage Doors would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.