8 Clever Ways to Store Your Christmas Decorations, According to Professional Organizers

With these pro packing tips, you’ll never have to wrangle with tangled lights, clean up crushed ornaments, or blow layers of dust off your wreath again!

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Christmas wreath
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1. Find Specialized Storage

If you’ve been shoving your wreath into a shopping bag or trying to wedge it into a wrong-sized box, you might be pleased to know large plastic containers and garment bag-style boxes are available specifically for wreath storage. If you can’t swing the specialized box, hang the wreath on a hanger and cover it with a plastic dry cleaning bag to keep your wreath safe.

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Christmas ornament close-up
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2. Repurpose Egg Cartons

Instead of recycling that cardboard egg carton, save it as an organizer for more breakable ornaments. “Empty egg cartons are the perfect solution for storing fragile bulbs and other small ornaments,” says Anna Moseley of Ask Anna. “That’s what I call an EGG-cellent idea!” Secure it closed with a rubber band and make sure to stow it on its own shelf or on top of the other decorations, to keep the ornaments safe.

Here are 5 Things to Do with Egg Cartons!

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Christmas decorations
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3. Put Each Ornament In Its Place

The obvious solution here is a dedicated Christmas ornament storage box, which keeps even glass globes safe and secure till you need them again. If that’s not an option, what you don’t want to do is put ornaments into bins directly, because you’ll risk breakage and mess. If you must DIY your ornament storage, the pros advise putting the globes into plastic bags, then into shoeboxes, and then into bins. So if one or more ornaments breaks, instead of cleaning the bottom of the bin, you’ll have to rescue only the unbroken ornaments from the bag before tossing it.

Wondering what to do with shoe boxes? Here’s five ideas to get you organized.

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Christmas ornaments
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4. Grab a Label Maker

The goal of any Christmas storage project is to keep everything organized, safe, and out of the way until next year. Pro organizers swear by the simple brilliance of a label maker and clear plastic boxes. If you can label and see everything you store, you’ll have an easier time pulling it out in the future.

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Christmas lights
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5. Keep Lights Untangled

Another one of Anna Moseley’s tips is to use any leftover cardboard from boxed Christmas presents to wrap your lights. Christmas lights can be one of the most frustrating parts of organizing Christmas decor, but if you wrap them around 8 x 10-inch pieces of cardboard, they’re less likely to get tangled. “This solution will keep the lights organized and keep your recycle bin empty,” she says. The Family Handyman recommends using zip-ties corral cords for particularly tricky holiday lights. When you wrap the lights around the ties, it’ll prevent serious tangles (and frustration) next year.

Check out these pro home organization tips for every room in your house.

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Christmas tree
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6. Grab the Coloured Duct Tape

If you’re using an artificial tree and have to unpack and re-pack it every year, The Family Handyman has a tip for you: Use duct tape to colour-code each layer of your artificial tree. When the time comes to unpack it the next year, it’ll be so much easier to assemble.

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Christmas presents
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7. Use a Garment Bag to Help Store Extra Wrapping Paper

Leftover Christmas wrapping paper can be a pesky thing to store, especially since it can wrinkle, rip or fade over time. Stores sell wrapping paper boxes, but if you want an easier solution, Cortnee of The Chic Site recommends using a garment bag. “Just grab all the loose rolls causing clutter in your closet and place them neatly in a garment bag,” she said. “Hang the bag in the closet and easily access what you need when its gift-wrapping time!”

Here are 13 Things You Didn’t Know About Gift Wrapping.

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Vintage Christmas ornaments
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8. Edit Your Collection

While boxes and labels are great storage solutions, you don’t want to end up with a house full of bins. Blogger Yvonne of StoneGable recommends curating your collection of holiday decorations as much as possible. Yvonne’s storage mantra: Be ruthless and don’t be sentimental. “I went from 30-plus boxes and big blue bins to just what fits on two utility tables,” she said.

Ensure a happy Christmas future with these tips for cleaning ornaments of every kind.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest