7 Top Organizing Tips for Christmas Decorations

Posted on Dec 27, 2013

Organizing tips

Organize and Pack Like A Pro

Now that the holiday rush is slowing down, do you find yourself thinking about organizing?  I always do!  Each year I would vow to find a way to organize my Christmas decorations so it would be easier to use them the following year.  And every year I failed…until a couple of years ago when I got some great organizing advice.  No one would accuse me of being a neat freak, so don’t go thinking you have to be a crazy obsessed person to do this.  Nope.  Just a few simple tricks and you’re good to go! With these 7 organizing tips I pack my Christmas decorations like a pro and unpacking is a breeze every year.  Sound to good to be true?  It isn’t and it’s not even hard.

7 Top Organizing Tips to Make Packing Christmas Ornaments A Breeze and Unpacking A Pleasure

 

1. Be Prepared

Get your boxes and ornament packing supplies together before you start removing ornaments from the tree. It doesn’t make any difference if you use fancy packaging materials, tissue paper, prefab dividers or paper towels: have it ready to go. (We use fresh paper towels since I have dust allergies. Keeping the old paper around is an invitation for an asthma attack)   That goes for your storage containers too.  Empty out any debris and wipe them off or wash them so they are ready to go.

2. Take it off and put it directly away.

There’s no good reason to handle anything twice. If you remove an ornament, wrap it (if necessary) and put it straight into it’s container.  Setting it down just means you have to pick it up again.  If you’re taking off ornaments and setting them on a table and them handling them again to put them in their container, multiply all your decorations by 2: do you really want to do twice the work? We also leave the hangers on the ornaments as much as possible.

3. Group like things together.

Organizing tips 1

We get a little crazy at Christmas and actually have 5 (gasp!) of those plastic bins you buy at the home improvement store full of ornaments just for the tree. It would be a nightmare to decorate the tree if we just tossed things in willy-nilly every year. Instead we have a great system.  The Mister mans the storage container and my daughter and I take off ornaments by the “kind”  For example, we’ll take off all the plain green balls, then the green balls with stripes, etc.  If we have original packaging, the ornaments go back in there.  If not, we wrap them in paper towels if they’re fragile, or just stack them directly in the container if they’re not.  Once we finish with all the green, we move on to the pink, etc. By the way, having eggnog while you do this makes it more fun:0).

    For difficult and unique items.

We also use silk flowers and other floral type items on our tree.  They tend to be awkward and difficult to store with traditional ornaments. Once again, we collect them by type so all the lilies are together and all the green glittery branches are together, etc.  Then we store all of that type of decoration in it’s own box.  Keeping all of the floral items together makes it easy to find everything when we’re ready to decorate that part of the tree and keeps the other ornaments from getting tangled in the stiff wired branches and stems. Any nice ribbon we wish to reuse gets rolled up neatly and stored in a baggie.  If I have made a big fancy florist’s bow, I unmake it and roll up the ribbon so it can be used again.  Bows just don’t store well. For one-of-kind type items , like the ornaments I give my daughter each year, we take them off as a “type”  they each get wrapped as they come off since they tend to be breakable or have easily broken parts like a ballerina’s legs or a glass VW bug.  Those all get packed in a box together and go on the tree as a “type” as well.

 

4. Separate layers with a piece of cardboard.

Organizing tips

To keep all the ornaments from just being in a massive heap, cut cardboard to fit inside your storage container.  We used Christmas present boxes and cut them down to fit.  They don’t have to be perfect, just close enough to the edges of the container keep layers of ornaments separated.  As you fill up a layer of ornaments, add a layer of cardboard on top. That way things don’t get so tangled. Next year when you decorate, store the cardboard in the container until it’s time to pack again.

 

5. Apply it to more than the Christmas Tree

We repeat this process for all of our Christmas decorations.  All the garlands go together: all the decorations for each garland go in a large zip-top baggie, marked for that garland, and get packed with the other decorations for the other garlands, etc.  All the music boxes get packed together, all the lights and all the extension cords get packed together, all the wreaths get packed together and so on. I wash all of the Christmas kitchen and bathroom towels first {who wants to open dirty towels? Ugh!}, and pack them in a large baggie together so they are ready to go next year.   It’s really very easy once you start thinking about putting like things together.

6. Take notes and put them where you can see them!

Every year I buy Christmas wrapping paper because I am sure that we don’t have enough…aaannd every year we have too much!  So what I started doing was making a list of all the things we need to replace for next year before I pack them away.  The notes go on my calendar and on my phone calendar for me to find in October.  That way, when the new stuff comes out and I get that urge to start “filling in” I know what I really need.  I also write down anything new we need.  For example, next year I want to make sure I have a wreath over the fireplace and we need new stocking holders.  If I see any in after Christmas sales I can scratch them off the list.  If not, I will be armed with the right information next year and free from wasting my money!

7. Make Your Own Christmas Tool Box!!!!

Organizing tips Christmas tool box

This is the single best organizational tool I’ve ever used.  It’s brilliant and obvious and a “why didn’t I think of that?!” kind of idea. It’s the first think to get unpacked and the last thing to get packed in.  I use a craft supply box with some of the dividers removed to store all the important things that tend to get lost, but male decorating a whole lot easier.  In ours we keep the extra light bulbs that come with the Christmas lights, the extra fuses (otherwise good luck finding those when you need them!), extra ornament hangers, and wired ties for last minute repairs.  If you tend to have fragile ornaments you may want to all so keep different glues on hand for quick repairs

Just imagine taking out your Christmas Decorations next year and being able to find everything and having all easily accessible! Decorating your tree so it looks great will be much easier to do.  Now that makes the extra effort worth it.

More Inspiration:

Growing Useful (and Holiday) Herbs
Place Mats to Pillows, Pottery Barn Style for Less.
Bellagio Conservatory
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