Taking all of your holiday decorations down isn’t nearly as fun as putting them up, but it’s a chore that must be done. After all, nobody wants to have the house with colored lights still on it the middle of March. Although, getting organized after the holidays doesn’t have to be a pain.
If you got a real tree this year, it should be covered in a large plastic bag (to prevent needles and sap from falling onto your floors) and then placed at the end of your driveway, where your local yard waste management company will pick it up. But if you have an artificial tree, you’ll have to find somewhere to store it in the off-season.
Dismantling the tree and then having to put it back together the following year can be frustrating and time consuming. Instead, consider investing in a rolling base and a TreeKeeper bag. Simply cover your tree with the bag without having to take it apart, and use the rolling base to wheel it into a closet or garage. You can wrap old belts around the tree to make it a bit smaller. Try storing your tree on the same floor on which it was displayed. This way, you won’t have to lug it up or down a flight of stairs.
My family and I have ornaments on our tree that have been passed down from generation to generation, so we want to keep them protected and in good condition while in storage.
Egg cartons: Keep your delicate ornaments secure by placing them in egg cartons. Apple containers can be used to store your larger decorations.
Plastic cups: Adhere plastic cups to a piece of cardboard using a hot glue gun, then insert the cups into a plastic container. These cups are the perfect place to keep your ornaments safe in storage.
Instead of recycling your holiday cards, turn them into albums that you can proudly display on your coffee table each year. You can always add more plastic sleeves to make room for additional cards.
It can be tempting to just shove the strands of Christmas lights back into the box and put it away for future you to deal with during next year’s holiday season. Save yourself the frustration by trying any of these light storage options:
Tension rods: Neatly wrap your lights around tension rods and place the rods in a plastic bin or box.
Cardboard: Think twice before you recycle any of those cardboard boxes that came with your Christmas gifts. The cardboard can be cut into individual rectangles (about 12-by-6 inches). Wrap the lights around the rectangles, and make a slit along the edge of the cardboard where you can keep the end of the strand in place.
Zip ties: Once you’ve arranged the strands in a neat circle, use the zip ties in three different places to keep the lights from getting all tangled together in storage.
Plastic bags: Wrap the strings of lights around your arm and place them in a plastic bag. Put the lights for the tree, your mantel and the exterior of your home all in separate bags. Label the bags as such so you know where each set of lights goes next year.
Wrapping paper, bows and ribbons
If you haven’t used up all of your wrapping paper, bows and ribbons, try these organizing options:
Garment bag: Have an empty garment bag? Fill it with all your wrapping paper rolls, zip it up and hang it in the back of your closet.
Plastic containers: Organize your bows, ribbons, gift tags and wrapping paper into separate containers. You’ll be able to see inside them and won’t have to dig through each box to find what you’re looking for.