How many of you dread the first week of January? Christmas is over, but it’s still Winter, and that Christmas tree you were so excited to put up a month ago is now beckoning you to take it down and put it away until next season. As a kid, I always hated the after Christmas clean-up. Getting all the ornaments to fit exactly as they were in my mom’s two boot boxes was no small feat. It was like putting together a puzzle. As an adult, I love the opportunity to get things organized in light of the New Year. From leftover boot boxes to fancy plastic storage containers, check out my Christmas decor storage and organization hacks that will help make your home feel fresh and ready for the new season!
The last thing you want is to open your box of ornaments next Christmas season to discover a bunch of broken pieces. Here’s a few ideas to safely store your ornaments.
- Save the boxes your ornaments come in, so you can pack them back in there when Christmas is over.
- Invest in an ornament storage container.
- Use something you probably already have in your house like a plastic cup, an egg carton, or a drink holder to put the ornaments in.
- Save the wrapping paper and tissue paper from opening gifts to wrap fragile ornaments in.
- When taking ornaments off the tree, be sure to take the ornament hook off, so it doesn’t get lost in the box. You can easily keep these in one place by placing them in a resealable bag, a pencil case, or a small makeup bag.
Do you have special or sentimental ornaments? Be sure to label those with the year acquired and include a special note on what sets them apart. One day your kids will appreciate it!
Untangling Christmas lights has to be one of the most annoying and time-consuming tasks. Here’s a couple of ideas to store lights that won’t have you pulling out your hair next season.
- Consider popping them in a vase for a beautiful glow on your bookshelf.
- Save a piece of cardboard from your Christmas purchases and wrap the lights around it. It’s a sure way to keep them from tangling!
- Use your arm to wrap the lights around it creating a circle of lights. Tie them together with string so they stay in place and put each separate strand in a resealable bag.
Tip: Before putting lights on your tree next season, plug them in to make sure all the bulbs work!
Properly storing artificial trees protects them for future use, so the critters don’t make their way to your attic and use it for their home. A couple of ideas to safely store your artificial tree.
- Keep the box it comes in for storage. Just make sure any holes or entry points are closed up.
- Buy or make a cloth bag to store it in and hang in a closet or your garage.
- Use plastic wrap to wrap the whole tree. Not only will it protect it, but it will also size it down for easy storage.
In our family, we buy a real tree every year. Here are a few ways to dispose of your real tree after the holidays have passed.
- Take it to a tree recycling center. A quick internet search will show you some places in your area you can take your tree to.
- Schedule a curbside pickup with your city. There might be size requirements, so be sure to check the details. You might need to cut it up a bit before putting it on the curb.
- Repurpose it yourself. Let the kids use it to build a fort. Chip it yourself for mulch in the garden. Use it for outdoor fires. (Note: It is not recommended to burn pine in your fireplace as the needles are highly flammable.)
Wreaths and Other Decor
It’s not just the tree and ornaments that make your house festive. It’s also all the other knick-knacks. Here are some ideas for storing those items.
- Put wreaths inside a plastic garment bag and hang in a closet or your garage. Tying the bottom up will protect them even more.
- Use clear plastic bins so you can see what’s inside, and be sure to label the contents (ornaments, lights, misc. Christmas decor, etc.).
- Store wrapping paper where it won’t get damaged. Specially made plastic bins or storage containers for wrapping paper means you will be able to use it next year. You can also re-purpose a clear zip-up garment bag to safely store your wrapping paper. I even recently saw a wrapping paper storage bag that hangs in your closet. Great idea if you have space.
As you’re packing up all of your Christmas decor, be sure to toss any broken ornaments or decorations. If there’s any you don’t want for next year, instead of packing them up, go ahead and toss or donate. You’ll be glad you did!
How to Get Your Kids Excited About Cleaning Up Christmas
Most kids don’t look forward to clean-up time. Here are a few ideas that might make them want to be involved.
- Make a party out of it. We always make an event out of putting up the tree. Why not make an event out of cleaning up after Christmas? Order a pizza, set out cookies, sip hot cocoa, put a movie on.
- Have smaller children? Turn it into learning time. Ask them to bring you all of the red ornaments. Then all of the silver ornaments and so on. You could also practice numbers by asking them to bring you three ornaments, then five ornaments, etc.
- Turn gathering all the Christmas decor in the house into a scavenger hunt. If they find all the decor and safely bring it to the table, then they get a prize.
- After all the ornaments and lights are off the tree, then tell your kids that if they bring the tree outside, and sweep up the needles left behind in the house, that they can use the tree to play on outside. Your adventure-loving kids will have a blast with this!
Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18, 19
Storing and organizing Christmas decor might seem like a necessary have to, but in a unique way, it’s a physical act that is ushering in a new season and making room for the new as we read in Isaiah. As you’re doing all that taking down and organizing, remember there’s a bigger picture of inviting God in to do a new thing!