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Decorating for Christmas can be so much fun, but when it comes time to put the decor away, it can be a bit chaotic. After the festivities of Christmas, many of us are eager to get back to a clean and uncluttered house for the New Year. Trust me, I get it. 

Getting all those tree ornaments – and not to mention the tree itself – organized and stored away does not need to be a daunting task. 

So I have found some ways to help you get organized and spend less time worrying about your holiday decorations. 

Related: Christmas tree collar ideas

Preparation Before Storage

Before you get too eager and start packing up everything, it’s crucial to be sure you do it in a way that next year you are happy to open up the storage boxes and decorate. Nothing is worse than being excited to decorate and realizing your boxes are unorganized and dusty from the year before. 

Cleaning Decorations

Before storing Christmas decorations away for the year, be sure to wipe them down with a dusting cloth. If you have a real tree, clean off any sap that may be on the ornaments so it doesn’t permanently damage them. You can use a mild soap and water solution to clean them, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly and let them dry completely before storing them!

If you have delicate ornaments that need cleaning, taking a small craft brush and dusting them works really well.

red Christmas ornament bin
ornament storage box

Sorting and Categorizing

Make it easy on you next year by sorting the decorations before packing them away. You can either sort by type (ie. ornaments, artificial trees, string lights, holiday wreaths, etc) or sort them by the room they go in. I go into detail and sort my ornaments by color scheme to make it easy to decorate the next year. 

I love using these colored totes for storing my decorations, it makes it easy to tell which boxes are Christmas decor! Label each box with what the item is and which room it goes to. I need to quickly get all my Christmas decorations stored away but in an organized way so that they are ready for when I need to start decorating again the following year. 

christmas decorations organizational totes and holders

Red Totes Organization Options via So Much Better With Age

Christmas Decoration Storage Area Ideas

Not only is it important to choose the right storage totes and plastic bins, but where you store them is also equally as important. 

If you live in a climate that gets really hot during the Summer months, storing delicate items like candles and Christmas lights in an attic is not great. Also, if you live in an area prone to flooding or moisture, storing cardboard boxes in a basement will also make for an unhappy situation next holiday season. 

Attic: Since they are not climate-controlled, it’s important to use stackable containers and properly pack the decorations inside to weather through the year. Avoid storing items prone to melting like candles or lights.

Garage: Honestly, the garage is a great place to store your tree. Depending on the tree and the storage solution you use, you can have it standing in the corner or lifted off of the ground on a storage shelf. Choose which one fits best with your style of tree. 

Closets: Do you have a spare bedroom or two with closets going unused? Fill them up with Christmas decor storage! They are a great place to store breakable items as they don’t need to be moved very far the next season when decorating. You can use cardboard boxes, original packaging, or clear containers here. 

Under the Bed: Those spare bedrooms again make for great organizational hacks. Grab a couple of under-the-bed storage boxes that don’t take up too much space. These are perfect for gift wrapping, linens, books, etc. 

Garage shelves with clear tote bins full of colored Christmas ornaments

How to Store Artificial Christmas Trees

These days, I store our artificial trees in Christmas tree storage bags and just pop them up in the attic when not in use. 

I’ve also used Upright Tree Storage Bags that allow you to store it upright, and keep your tree fluffed and shaped for the next year!  All you have to do is pull the bag up and over the tree and you’re done!  They are a good option if you have space in a basement or garage, but the regular bag is better for an attic. 

putting a Christmas tree into a storage bag

How to Store Ornaments

There’s nothing worse than being excited to decorate your Christmas tree but your favorite ornaments are nowhere to be found. Or worse, they’re shattered to pieces. at the bottom of a cardboard box. 

Storage bins are your best friend when it comes to organizing Christmas ornaments (and organizing most things!)

I personally like to organize all my decorations and ornaments by color where possible. This makes it a breeze to find what I need the following year. If you decorate more by “theme” then maybe that makes more sense for you. But by color works great.

clear storage bins with Christmas ornaments inside

Using these clear tote bins makes it easy to see what’s inside without having to go crazy with labels, but I also do love the bright red bins that make them stand out in a crowd of clear bins!

Shatterproof ornaments can just be thrown into the box, but if you plan on storing glass ornaments this way, I suggest storing them in their original box, empty egg cartons (for smaller ornaments), or wrapping them in tissue paper or bubble wrap.

I like to place my tree skirt at the bottom of the containers first since they act as a soft spot for the ornaments to sit on.

As you can see, I have a bin with red ornaments, white ornaments, and gold ornaments. When they put it away in our garage after the holidays, it’s really easy for me to see all the colors.  

This is especially important since I have many bins of ornaments, and I like to switch up my color scheme every year. 

So now, instead of pulling out every single bin, I can just pull the bins with the colors that I need for that year. 

For ribbon, I just wind them around my hand, then slide them off and wedge the ribbon into a corner so that it stays together. You could also wrap it around a piece of cardboard.

Christmas ornament bin with cardboard dividers for fragile ornaments

This year, I purchased a few boxes that are made specifically for storing ornaments. While I’ve never had issues with my glass ornaments breaking in the past, I thought not having to wrap them would be a time saver. Thanks to the individual cardboard dividers for each ornament, I’m confident that any of my more fragile ornaments are safe in their new home.

I bought both the small size and extra large size. The large one has a divider down the middle so it’s basically two of the smaller ones side by side. 

two sizes of Christmas ornament storage bins

Storing and Organizing Christmas Lights

Don’t throw out those Christmas light reels! They are perfect for rewinding lights so that they don’t end up in a tangled mess. 

The reels fit nicely into a tote box or even a storage basket on a shelf. If you throw out the reel or your lights don’t come on a reel, they are cheap to purchase.

Christmas lights wrapped around a reel

Honestly, they are a lifesaver when it comes to keeping the lights untangled and mess-free.

For the smaller fairy lights, wrapping them around a kitchen towel holder or a toilet paper holder is a great way to ensure that they don’t become a tangled mess!

Mini fairy lights wrapped around a toilet paper roll

Storing and Organizing Christmas Wreaths

Wreath storage bags or bins are another great option to keep the dust off your festive wreaths and artificial Christmas garlands.

You can store them flat or hang them on a nail to get them off the ground. I’m able to fit around 10 of my favorite 5ft Norfolk pine garlands in one bag, so there’s plenty of space. I can fit about 3 wreaths without fear of them being squished.

Alternatively, you can wrap smaller wreaths in a trash bag to keep dust and bugs away, and then store them in tote bins, stacked one on top of the other.  I’ve been storing my cheap artificial window wreaths this way for years!

garlands inside a wreath storage bag

Storing and Organizing Gift Wrap

I rarely have enough gift wrap left after Christmas to warrant storing it, but this storage solution of course works for all gift wraps that (like me) you have stuck in the corner of a closet somewhere. If you have a lot of leftover wrapping paper, using the under-the-bed storage box is also a great option. This will set up for your next year’s wrapping station.

I like this smaller round version, but if you own many rolls of wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, etc., the larger rectangular storage bag may be better for your needs.

bag for storing gift wrap

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. You’ve got the full scoop on how I store and organize my Christmas decorations to make it easier to decorate (and undecorate) each year. 

There are many storage options at various price points to fit into any budget. So spend less time packing and unpacking your Christmas decor, and more time enjoying the holidays and New Year.

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  1. Hi Jenna-thank you for the post, since I’m planning to start dismantling this weekend. I do have a question-I don’t have decor by themes or color. We just have a hodge-podge of things we love. Our tree is large amounts of random ornaments collected over the years. I have so many ornaments that I STILL wrap up in their original boxes and then place in big totes. It’s time consuming to put in and out of those original boxes and always overwhelms me a bit when I open the totes to decorate. The boxes also probably waste quite a bit of space. Is it worth keeping those original boxes, or should I ditch them and just wrap everything in tissue? I’ve considered the boxes with compartments for ornaments, but I’d need to many of them and quite a few are larger sizes, so it doesn’t seem like the best idea. Thank you for any advice you might have.

    1. I think if you just wrap everything in tissue and gently place them in a tote you’ll be good! I used to keep the original boxes too, but moving everything to totes (and boxes with dividers in my case) saved so much space.