Decluttering your home after the holidays doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Having a plan for Christmas decoration storage and organization will help prevent seasonal stress.
Here are some tips for efficiently storing your seasonal decor.
1. Recycle Your Christmas Tree
The end of the Christmas season doesn’t have to mean the end for your tree! There are all kinds of ways to use Christmas trees after the holidays.
Many cities and counties accept real trees, at a collection site or curbside, and reuse them. They may grind old Christmas trees into mulch for public parks and landscapes, place trees in wildlife reserves as habitat for birds and small animals, or drop them into lakes and ponds as habitat for fish.
No local recycling program? No problem! Plant the tree in your backyard as bird habitat and decorate it with strings of popcorn, cranberries and suet; cut up the branches and add them to your spring compost pile; mix pine needles with cinnamon sticks, dried fruit and flowers, nutmeg and whole cloves for homemade potpourri; or fuel bonfires with evergreens.
If you have an artificial tree, chances are, it’s made of steel and PVC plastic, so it’s not biodegradable or recyclable.
But don’t discard that plastic pine and send more junk to the landfills — instead, sell your fake tree, if it’s a high-end model, or simply donate it when you’re ready for a new tree.
For more ideas, read, ‘How to Recycle a Christmas Tree’
2. Label Your Christmas Lights
Decorating your Christmas tree with strings of lights can be stressful. You have to cover each row of branches evenly and measure carefully to ensure enough lights will reach the top — or bottom, depending on the direction you’re working toward.
Similar concerns of size and reach apply for exterior Christmas lights. And, throughout all of this, the strands of lights tend to tangle and become a mess!
You can ease some of these holiday headaches with a simple storage plan. Just notch a piece of cardboard on each end and carefully wrap your Christmas lights around it.
Then label the cardboard with the location where these lights were used (like, “Christmas Tree,” “Mantel Garland” or “Roof”).
Finally, place each set of Christmas lights in a clear plastic container labeled, “Christmas Lights.” That way, the next time Christmas rolls around, you’ll be able to quickly find your lights and, thanks to the cardboard labels, know where to hang each set.
3. Box Up Your Ornaments
When storing your Christmas tree’s ornaments, you need to do two things: make sure none touch each other, and place the box high on a shelf so the contents are safe from being smashed.
You can store ornaments in a cardboard box or a plastic container. Either way, insert some vertical cardboard strips notched at the top, and place horizontal cardboard strips over them to create a grid of cubby holes for storing each ornament.
Add some crinkled, shredded packing paper — or simple tissue paper — in each cubby hole to prevent fragile ornaments from rolling around.
4. Store Your Wreaths
The key to shielding wreaths from dust and moisture, and keeping them in good shape, is proper storage.
Cover each wreath with a store-bought wreath case, a trash bag or — for a unique look — a fabric shower curtain.
That’s right! If you’ve got a sewing machine (or even just a manual sewing device from the dollar store), all you need is a fabric shower curtain, some elastic, fabric markers and a safety pin, and you can make a custom-sized wreath cover.
Whether you use a plastic bag or a fabric shower curtain, just make sure you hang the wreath in storage. That way, it won’t be smashed!