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If your family celebrates Christmas, there’s probably few things more fun than decorating your Christmas tree.

There’s also probably few things less fun than having to clean it all up when you’re done. There’s ornaments that need to be safely wrapped up and put away, those strings of lights have to go somewhere, and it can all be a huge pain if you don’t have a plan.

What’s that? You don’t have a plan? Good thing you clicked on this blog! Here’s a few ideas we’ve found to help make storing your Christmas decorations easier than ever, and make getting everything back up next year faster than it was this year.


Sort by size: A lot of Christmas decorations need to be stored in the safest manner possible to make sure they don’t get broken while in transit or storage. One of the easiest ways to ensure everything stays intact is to sort everything out by size, as that will better determine what needs to be stored where (and how).


The right box for the job: Many of us are content to simply pile up everything into one plastic storage bin when we’re done with the holidays, but this method can quickly lead to things getting lost or broken. After you’ve divided everything that needs to go back in the basement or attic, try to find appropriately-sized containers for each of your decorations. For example, our attached lid storage bins are great for longer items like tree branches or endless tangles of lights, but they can lead to smashed ornaments in the bottom. Find better homes for the smaller items to keep them safe and easy to get to next year.


Hang out: Similarly, a lot of things like garland strands or rope lights may be better off stored on the walls of your basement or garage instead of gnarled up in a box somewhere. Get some wall hooks, bike hooks, or even repurpose some sports equipment garage storage to help wrap longer decorations around and provide easier access than trying to rummage through piles of storage bins.


Belt it up: When the tree comes down (provided you have a fake one), a good trick to helping organize the individual branches is to wrap them up using belts from a thrift store. This will help compress everything down to fit back in the box more easily, and will make sorting them by size faster and easier.


Color code: If your tree is color-coded to indicate what branches need to go where (a common practice for many models of artificial tree), these colored bits can wear off or break with time. Grab different-colored duct tape or electrical tape to wrap around the most visible part of the base to make sure you always know what branch goes where.


Space(r) it out: Anything stored in a box or a bin needs some kind of shock absorbing to help prevent breakage. If you don’t want to mess around with dumping a huge bag of packing peanuts everywhere, you can easily make your own spacers for ornaments by gluing plastic cups to a sheet of cardboard to place around the ornaments in order to keep them steady. If they’re the right shape and size, you may also want to consider keeping them in an old egg carton.


Wrap it up: You might want to use this time to put away any gift wrapping supplies. Get a desk organizer to tuck away any tape and tissue paper you may need, stack your wrapping paper up vertically against a wall somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of humidity (since you don’t want to have to replace it all next year if moisture ruins it), and be prepared to buy new Sharpies if your current ones dry out.


Stack it as you need it: Finally, this may be a good time to find somewhere safe for all these bins you need to deal with. Try to get something resistant to moisture and rust like wire shelving and organize your storage bins in order of what they contain—priority items like the tree and lights can go up front for easy retrieval, and the ornaments can stay safely nestled in the back to stop them from getting accidentally bumped into while you walk around the basement or garage.

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