Brilliant tips for holiday storage

January 05, 2021

Hello there and happy new year! I hope you had a lovely holiday season! I didn't mean to take two weeks away, but I've been busy getting the Christmas decor put away and it took longer than I thought. 

I forgot when I was putting it up that I have to put it allll away. ;) Although in general I find putting holiday decor away is much faster and easier than setting it up. This year I bought new storage bins, so I reorganized and the whole process took longer than usual. 

I'm sharing my Christmas decor organization methods and a few tips I've figured out along the way! 

I will tell you off the bat that this won't be one of my thriftiest organization posts. I spend a little extra to make things easier and more efficient when I pull things out for the next year. (But they will last from year to year!) These little tips save my sanity each November when the holiday decor comes back out! 

-- Label your decor for next year --
My first tip is to label as much as you can -- especially the stuff you put up in the same spot every year. I have found over the years that labeling light strands I use for specific areas helps a TON!: 
DYMO label maker for storage bins

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You can find my awesome label maker here! This smaller version works great too -- it's just a little more basic. Both are super easy to use. 

I label any spot that uses more than one strand of lights -- both inside and outside. So when I get them out I know exactly how many bushes or trees are covered by that group of lights. I also label them inside, like the strands on our stair garland. That way I'm not trying to figure out how many I used the year before. 

I use a LOT of these remote plugs and switches for our indoor lights -- I store them away with the lights that need a remote, like on our stairs. I just keep them plugged into the light strand. 

If you have more than one set of these remotes, you know the joy of trying to figure out which one goes with which remote. ;) I label the matching sets so we know what goes with what: 
label maker for holiday decor

-- Store your trees upright! --
Next up is the trees! We have...uhhh, quite a few. ;) My dream my whole adult life has been to store our Christmas trees upright -- and not take ONE thing off of them each year. Yes...this is the stuff that makes me giddy. 

Well in this house, my dreams were realized, at least for some of our trees! We have a storage room in the basement with plenty of room to store our two basement trees upright. 

I found this stand up Christmas tree bag years ago and it works GREAT! You just place it over the tree and tuck the branches in here and there -- it zips up and then cinches as well: 

standing tree storage bag

You may have to fluff a little the next year, but otherwise everything stays put!

I loved that cover so much, I went to buy another one -- but they were sold out. I looked around some more online and ended up with these plastic tree covers and they work just as well: 

They are made for nine foot trees so are plenty big for our seven to eight foot trees. It's so roomy that it's easy to grab up the extra and tie it at the bottom. To carry them around, one of us grabs the top and one the bottom. You'll be surprised at how much stays put! 

We've stored a couple of our trees like this for years and they look almost perfect when we uncover them the next holiday season. It saves a TON of time -- you just need to have the space. And really, they don't take up much more space than the horizontal bags, you just have to have the vertical storage space. 

-- Designated spot for Christmas decor --
For years we stored all of the Christmas decor in our basement, but I realized a few years in that it was a major chore to get it all upstairs (sometimes two flights). Since then I've stored everything in our garages. 

This year I treated myself to new, clear storage bins for our Christmas decor. I'm a geek -- it made me so happy! Our old bins were covered with paint or busted up. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about seeing everything inside -- I was worried it would feel too messy. 

clear storage bins for holiday decor

Ahhhh I can't even tell you how NICE it is to see everything! I was going to label each bin, but decided against it once I got everything in there. There's no need really. 

I did a serious purge of all our decor before putting everything back. I haven't really gone through the Christmas decor in years. I chose to use more smaller bins instead of larger ones we had in the past. 
wood shelves for garage or basement storage

We had similar wood shelves built up to the ceiling in our last garage, and we loved it so much we had them built again in just the second day in this house! 

Up till now this corner has had a mix of holiday and other random stuff, but I decided to make it all seasonal this year. It's mostly Christmas, but I have Halloween and Fourth of July stuff here too. 

By the way, I organize my seasonal decor by item, not room. I put all garland in one bin, extras for the tree in another, soft stuff like towels and pillow covers are all together and general decor is in its own bin.  This makes it easy for me to switch things up room to room every year! 

These are the bins I used -- all of them have latching handles. I used this small clear bin for most of the decor: 
small clear storage bin
I already had some of these, then got more. THEN I found out that these are $4 cheaper each! Argh. 

This medium storage bin is the perfect size: 
medium blue lid storage bin

And this bigger one is great for bigger stuff like our outdoor decor: 
large clear storage bin

Somehow I ended up with way more room than we had before! I am determined to NOT fill that!: 
wood shelving for holiday decor garage

It's killing me a little that those two bins on the left are different. Ha!! We already had those so I didn't want to replace them for basically the same thing. But...

We had these shelves built to fit the big parts of our giant family room tree -- if you build something similar, make sure to measure your bins and then build your shelves so you can stack numerous bins on each one. 

Do you do anything specific with your holiday storage that makes the next year easier for you? These tips help me a ton -- especially the stand up tree covers!

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  1. I was wondering how you keep your garland from scratching the wood railing?

    1. The garland is soft, but I use cup hooks underneath to hang it. :)

  2. My label maker is by favor my most-loved purchase of 2020. SO helpful for seasonal decor and my pantry!

  3. This was very helpful & I enjoyed reading it! To answer your question, yes, I have an itemized list on the box of what is in each box. Now of course that isn't anything new, but it is very helpful when PUTTING AWAY things. The biggest way it helps me is as I pack each box I see my list, and then remember to get the bells from the front doorknob, etc. If I don't do that it seems like every year, everything is all put away (in basement here) and then I spy some Christmas books, a pillow, kitchen towels, or something that got missed. Arg! So this helps keep me from missing an item!
    I really admire your system, and am always trying to improve mine. Having an organized method helps make it more 'enjoyable'. Thanks and Happy New Year! Christine

    1. Great idea and I'm borrowing it. I also spend all year with some random Christmas item in my closet because I didn't notice it until everything was packed away. Thanks.

  4. I also use clear plastic storage bins. It's so nice to be able to see what's in each bin simply by looking at it. Your storage area looks so neat and tidy. Good job!

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE stand-up tree storage!!! I wanted it for decades and finally have it now!! 😍

    I also love your blog, Sarah, and quote you all the time! Haha
    Thanks for all your share with us!!

  6. Such a great idea for storing your trees. My dream house would have a tree closet off of the main living area to store two or three fully decorated trees that would sit on wheels and could just be rolled in and out. Ha! That will likely never happen...I can dream.
    I switched to clear plastic storage bins three years ago and like you, I used smaller bins. It makes it so much easier. I do label mine with a standard form printed on 8.5 x 11 card stock that I just slip down into the bin in the side that will be visible when the bin is stored on the shelf. That way it is easy to see and read exactly what's in there when I take them down and I know which bin they belong in when I put things away again.
    Looking forward to lots more of your great projects and tips this year!


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