Looking for some easy Christmas storage solutions? Don’t you wish you could be as relaxed as our cat seems to be when it’s time to put away the Christmas decorations? We humans aren’t quite so lucky. You can choose to reduce your stress level during the holidays by being better prepared for all of that decorating, and stowing away, that needs to be done.
Decorating your house, yard and the Christmas tree requires a great deal of planning and organization to pull it off without a hitch, depending on the amount of decorating you’ll do, of course. It can be a bit of a chore getting out all of your Christmas decorating "gear", getting the lights and decorations on the tree, decorating the house and yard inside and out and then putting it all away at the end of the season…and you are supposed to take everything down every year people.
I’ve got a few simple storage solutions and tips that I’ve picked up over the years to help you with storage and organization. I am 100% positive that there are folks like Clark Griswold that totally go overboard and are more organized than I am. If that’s you then this post is not for you. You’re far beyond needing any tips on organization. You’ve got it down to a science. This post is for the average Joe trying to make his/her life just a little less stressful at the most stressful time of year.
The following simple storage and organization tips should help you year-after-year:
- Use a tree bag. Using a tree bag will allow you to carry it out of your house without having to clean up tons of needles. You have to put it on when you put the tree into the stand. You can also use it on artificial trees to keep the dust off if you don’t feel like cramming it back into its’ original box (a nearly impossible task). You can also buy large duffel bags made to store artificial trees…cuz you ain’t getting that tree back in the box it came in.
- Get out your knee pads and use them when you’re putting the lights on. You can just scoot around the tree on your knees while you’re weaving the lights on the tree. A real knee-saver!
- Keep the original packaging of decorations when it makes sense. Write a description of the ornament on the outside of the ornament box so putaway is simple. Similar looking bulbs get put back in their original box so no mashing the plastic insert to make it fit. So simple.
- Buy a few Christmas light reels to quickly (and painlessly) wrap & unwrap your light strings without tangles. I’ve got 2 types of light string (cord) wrappers that you can see in the photos. I especially like the Wrap-N-Roll Christmas light reels. Each bag holds 3 reels that will accommodate 2 strings of 100 mini-light strings or a 1 string of 150 icicle lights each.
- Buy large plastic storage tubs for all of your gear. We’ve got red w/green for larger decorating items and clear for the smaller decorations so we can get the general idea of what’s inside when they’re stacked. Buy ornament tubs with the dividers for all of the ornaments that aren’t part of a boxed set. The kind we bought have removable tabs so you can make room for larger ornaments. There are also 4 layers in each tub.
- If you decorate more than one tree and have specific ornaments for each, keep them altogether and put labels on the containers for which tree they go with. For instance, "main tree", "keeping room", front porch". You get the idea.
- Buy a couple of the storage containers made specifically for keeping wrapping paper in. Most of them have a couple of shallow trays that rest on the rim above the rolls of wrapping paper. There are other types available so keep an eye out for them. Keep everything you need to wrap in the container so you don’t have to hunt down anything. This includes: scissors, tags, tape, bows and anythng else you may use to wrap with.
- Buy a wreath storage bag(s) to keep the critters and dust off of them while in storage.
- If you keep most of your decorations in the attic, be sure not to store anything up there that is affected by the summer heat. Candles top the list so keep them in a separate box in your basement or other room temperature spot of your choosing.
- Update your address book when Christmas cards arrive in the mail. Make a note of new family members, etc., for next year. It’s important to spell the kids names correctly, too. You’ll look out of touch if you misspell your niece’s name that ends with an "i" rather than "ee".
As you can see in one of the above photos, we use the same storage method for all of our Halloween decorations, also. These simple tips help make our holidays just a little less stressful and every little bit helps.