The annual task of packing Christmas decor is always a chore, but somehow it feels good to start the new year organized.
My Path to Organized Christmas Decor
16 years ago I broke my leg a few days before Christmas – not fun right. I went to see Santa with my then 2 1/2 year old son, while on crutches. Can you imagine??? A 2 year old, while on crutches and in a cast for 5 weeks? Definitely a defining moment in my life. Luckily, my parents were visiting and stayed behind to help pack up all of the Christmas decor that year.
They were literally aghast at the lack of organization I had around my decorations and charted a new course for me. I’ve improved on their processes every year striving to make the packing and installation of my Christmas decorations easier NEXT YEAR. To me it’s all about hitting the easy button!
The next Christmas my marriage was over, I was packing up and moving to a new town, building a house, and living in a hotel with my son for a couple of months, with our stuff in storage.
You can imagine how grateful I was that my parents forced me to get organized and pack my decor with purpose. Setting up for Christmas the following year was easier because of their efforts. Then a working single mother with a 4 year old, it helped to keep me sane my first Christmas “alone” 🙂
Clever Ways to Pack You Decor for Next Year
Many people are so creative with their organizational skills. Everyone’s approach to organization is different, so I hope to introduce another way to tackle this annual project. Maybe it will inspire an idea for how to organize your items! The way I organize keeps my items preserved and easy to install the following Christmas – the ultimate goal! EASY.
Several Ways to Think About How to Group Items for Packing
Look around your space and think about what items you use pretty consistently from year to year. Those are the items to get organized and packed away for easier installation next year. You can group them in a variety of ways and it’s really how your mind works. I pack my decor organizing by using the following themes:
- Area or Room
- As Is
Luckily, stores like Target know we are getting ready to organize at this time of year and much of their Christmas and clear storage is on sale. Look at the size of your items and what needs a new or different container. Here are the tools that assist me in packing my holiday decor. Affiliate links included.
- Dymo Label Maker
- 90 Quart Clear Tote
- Under Bed Clear Container
- Clear Shoe Boxes
- Wreath Bags or Original Boxes
- Small Tree Clear Container
- Stackable Clear Containers
- Divided Ornament Tote
- Wrapping Paper Box
- Grocery, Trash, Dry Cleaning, and Snack Bags
Hover over each picture and look for the chain link icon. Click to be taken directly to the product featured.
For the small items I LOVE my Dymo label maker and for the large items good old fashioned painters masking tape and Sharpie marker work just fine! Have those ready to go before you do anything.
Pack by Room
First, I start in one room and usually it is my dining room. All of the Christmas decor that needs to be packed away gets pulled down and staged on the table for packing.
Then I look at what needs to be wrapped to protect it or put into clear storage bags to keep them from floating in the box and damaging the more fragile items.
This is what it looks like when I am finished and EVERYTHING I need to decorate the dining room (other than the chair wreaths) end up in one box. This one box contains items to decorate the table, chandelier, and credenza!
Pack by Project
Christmas Stockings and Mantel
CLICK HERE to see my easy mantel and how I pack the box at the end of the season. The stockings I keep in close proximity to the mantel and I like to keep them in a space that is temperature controlled. DON’T store candles in the attic or garage! I’ve made that mistake a time or two 🙂 Not pretty.
Two sets of stockings and holders are stored in this drawer, along with the Christmas tree skirt. It’s important to keep precious family heirlooms protected from extreme temperatures and this is the perfect place for our stockings. The candles on the mantel are stored in the cabinet in this same piece of furniture.
Everything that goes on the mantel (other than the candles!) is placed in one large clear tote in layers. This is pulled down from the attic and assembled in minutes each year!
Outdoor decorating is always a big undertaking it seems. My storage method now sets me up to get all of the decorations up in an hour or less! Everything for outside is stored in a crate together: extension cords, railing hangers, outdoor timers, and door hanger.
Christmas lights are always a challenge and I’ve tried several different methods to keep them organized and working! The best way I’ve found that goes quickly is to wrap each strand between my hand and elbow to make a small loop. Then, I layer dry cleaning bags and store three strands per layer. It keeps them organized and from tangling together!
This is one of the original totes my parents helped me label! Good old masking tape and Sharpie marker 🙂
Pack by Type
This year I created new chair back wreaths for the kitchen bar stools (CLICK HERE for that project), so a new storage option was needed. Under bed clear storage containers were perfect to store the 5 small wreaths and I left the ribbons attached. All I have to do next year is pull them out and pin them to the chairs!
Think about the items you use as accents in your holiday decor. Usually I change up this part of my decor. Group ornaments and decorative elements you typically use together in one clear container. This is where the shoe box size works really well.
Make sure when labeling to note a room location, if you plan to install it in the same place next year.
Pack As Is
I’ve found success doing this by keeping filler items in small containers and also with mini trees! Look for items you think you can protect and pack up as they are currently decorated. Put them away as is. Luckily, I have a large walk in attic that makes much of this possible.
Our football themed mini-tree is going to stay decorated and placed in the attic. A large trash bag works well, if you secure the bottom so any ornaments that fall off remain in the bag. All I will need to do next year is plug in the tree and reattach ornaments that fall off.
This really is the easy button. Keep everything in place and put it away! This reindeer and sleigh gets stored in the attic as is and has for 3 years so far! It comes out perfectly and ready to be placed on the kitchen island. Using a grocery bag the sleigh filler is kept in place and the reindeer antlers are wrapped in tissue paper. All of that is placed in a large tote for safe keeping.
Hopefully, one of these ideas inspired you to save time and pack your holiday decor in a new way. Then next year, you can hit the easy button with me and have more time to enjoy your decorations!