I don’t know about you, but every year there are items in my Christmas storage bins that I look at and just put back into the box (and they haven’t been displayed in years!). But this is the year I am taking the time to scrutinize my holiday décor - to decide what to throw away or pass on to someone who will use them - and organize the Christmas items we love!
This may seem like an activity better done after the holidays but if you have ever looked for Christmas wreath storage after 12/25 you know it can be impossible! Christmas storage is a purchase I like to make in-person or order for local store pick-up. Before you purchase storage, you need to know how much to buy. This will require some sorting and possibly eliminating some of your holiday décor.
Most of us are excited to get the season started and less excited to clean up. So, let’s capitalize on the joy and anticipation of the season! Put on some Christmas music or your favorite Christmas movie (if that will give you extra motivation), make some hot chocolate, and dig in.
Where do I begin? If you have already decorated this year then the items you love are already adorning your house as I type. So, pull out the boxes that are holding all the Christmas décor that you passed on using this year!
Give yourself time to look at each item to decide its fate. Take one storage box at a time – look at each ornament and place them into one of five piles: broken (want to repair), broken (throw away), keep, donate, or sell.
Broken (want to repair) – these are items that you love and want to fix and displayed again. If you can’t repair these items yourself, is there somewhere you can take the items to be repaired? If yes, add that task to your calendar to complete before Christmas. (We work best with a deadline.)
Broken/Trash – these are items that are broken and aren’t worth repairing. Ornaments made of paper or other material that aren’t holding up can be photographed (if sentimental) and thrown away.
Keep – these are the items you truly love or have happy memories associated with. Most of these items you will want to display every year. But sometimes we have ornaments that have a special meaning that we want to keep even if we don’t want to display them every year. But let’s keep those to a minimum.
Donate – these are items that you have duplicates, are out of style, or no longer your style. These items might make a great addition to someone else’s space. Box them up and drop them off at Goodwill or other donation location. Sell – these are items that are in great shape (even better if in the original box) but you have more than one or you never put them on your Christmas tree. They might be just the ornament that someone is looking for, especially if they are part of a collection. There are several ornament resale options online. If you aren’t interested in trying to sell ornaments then donate them! What do I do with all the items I am keeping? We like to organize “like items with like items”. I have décor and ornaments stored by category so I can find exactly what I am looking for quickly.
Some of our bin categories include:
Kids Ornaments Living Room Décor Silver Ornaments Dining Room Décor Porcelain Ornaments Outdoor Décor Tree Specific Outdoor Lights
Kid’s Ornaments – If your kids are grown (or have at least outgrown their childhood ornaments) separate their items into a bin for each of your children. Keep their ornament collections, personal ornaments, and handmade ornaments together. Encourage your adult kids to go through this bin before you pass it off to their future spouse (speaking from experience).
Box for each tree – I am a one tree kind of a gal but I know many people like to decorate more than one tree each year. I recommend having a storage bin for the ornaments of each tree.
Ornaments collections – I have silver and porcelain ornament collections that I don’t put up every year. Once my kids outgrow cartoon ornaments and making flimsy decorations, I will have my tree decked out in these special ornaments. I keep these ornament collections separate from our other ornaments and we don’t haul them out of storage every year. But I take a peek at them each year to make sure they are holding up where we have them stored.
Décor – I keep holiday décor in bins separate from the ornaments. Some years I want to put out décor items before we are ready to decorate the tree. I keep items such as holiday cookie jars, nativity sets, advent wreaths, etc. more accessible than the tree ornaments.
Types of Storage
Bins – if your ornaments are individually boxed then put them in regular bins. My silver and porcelain collections are still in their original boxes so I find it easy to put these into bins as they are. You can use bins you already have or buy festive red and green ones.
Ornament Storage Boxes – If your ornaments are no longer in individual boxes then put them in ornament storage boxes. These are bins that come with dividers that will help keep your ornaments safe and secure. The dividers come in different configurations to accommodate various sized ornaments and some are adjustable.
Gift Wrap Storage – I like to keep my Christmas gift wrap separate from the rest of my gift wrap. I have a long under-the-bed storage box to keep holiday wrapping paper, coordinating ribbons and bows, small gift bags, gift tags, etc. I store this with my Christmas décor but put it under my bed during the holidays for easy access.
As mentioned before, buy storage early in December (or as soon as you see it in the stores) – it is often gone by the time Christmas arrives. Where to find storage...Target, Home Depot, Lowes, and The Container Store. Target, Home Depot, and Lowes are very affordable and carry almost everything you need. The Container Store is the place to look for specialty storage items. And if you have Christmas dishes and/or stemware to store, The Container Store has a great selection of sturdy china storage.
We hope we have given you some ideas on how to declutter and organize so Christmas next year will only include your favorite décor!