If you’re like me, you want clarity on WHEN exactly to put away your holiday decorations and HOW to start organizing after Christmas.
Spoiler alert: Not every Christmas decoration needs to be put away immediately!
There is A LOT of conflicting advice here.
Some say to get rid of it on December 26th, not let it enter the new year, and others even say to leave it out until Easter has passed. What?!
Personally, if I start putting my decor away the day after Christmas, I know I will feel like I didn’t fully get to enjoy the beauty of the holidays. I’d also just start without a plan, rush to get it done, and possibly break or crush the decor that I love.
Luckily, after many years of going all out on Christmas decorations, I have come up with organization hacks and decluttering tips that have saved my decor from damage FOR YEARS.
I follow the tradition of waiting until the 12th night, or Epiphany, to take my tree down both at my home and my shop.
So I START taking all of our decor down on January 5th or 6th each year. This allows me to enjoy all of my holiday decorations past Christmas day guilt free.
Now that we have the date (my personal perfect time), let’s start with the process.
For the Christmas tree, I remove items in the order that I put them on. So for me, that is:
THEN I group “like things” together. To clarify, I DO NOT group items in the order I put them on my tree.
Instead, I gather matching stems, matching ribbon, matching ornaments, etc. This allows me to be creative next year when decorating my tree.
However, if you want the same look that you created this year, you can put your decor away in a mixed “kit”.
For example: if you like how the ornaments, stems, and ribbons were arranged on your tree you can pack them up together without separating “like” groups.
You can bend your stems back or leave them as is.
Then, remove any dust or excess flocking from them. You can wrap these in acid free tissue paper and then keep them aside to put in your storage bins.
I like long, narrow bins for these, similar to what you may use to store wrapping paper.
Don’t judge me, but I iron my ribbon before I put them away.
I imagine Monica from Friends when I say this out loud, but hear me out!
Next year, my bows and loops will come out perfectly.
If yours are delicate, lower the heat on your iron, or simply use a sheet on top of the ribbon so you don’t damage them.
Then, I look for sweater storage containers and use those to put away ironed and rolled up ribbon.
First, dust off excess flocking.
To store these, I like to look for storage bins that have dividers, or ones that I can put dividers into.
I look for airtight containers with a lid or ones that can be zipped.
Some of these containers have acid free dividers or you can use acid free tissue paper to wrap your ornaments. I use this kind of paper so that none of the chemicals leach onto my ornaments which can cause discoloration.
Then you can put them in your divided containers.
If you don’t have those you can bubble wrap them and put them away but I really do not recommend this approach as once you start stacking them the weight of the top layers can get very heavy.
You can find great storage containers at the Container Store, your local hardware store or Amazon.
Do yourself a favor and invest in a few of these so that you can pass on your decor to your children and grandchildren!
I use these same types of containers to vertically lay in my wreaths and garland.
So they’re easy to label, I try to keep one or two of the same style in each container.
Last but not least, I am talking about all of those cute Santa’s, Gingerbread houses, decorative trees and more.
I take them to my dining table or a big flat area, and then group “like things” together. This helps me keep track of what I have, and how much storage I might need.
Again, I don’t organize Christmas decorations in the same way that I put them up. That way, next year I can do something new.
Then I wrap them with either bubble wrap or acid free tissue paper depending on how delicate it is.
For these trees for example, I tissue wrap them so none of the beautiful details get scratched.
Then I arrange all of these in an airtight container. If there is extra space, I simply use more paper or bubble wrap to make sure nothing moves around in my container.
When you are looking for storage containers, I recommend that you buy more than you need (like five) so that as your collection expands you have plenty of the same style of bin to use.
This helps you so you don’t have to make up a new system and it looks pretty in the area where you will store your decor.
Bonus storage solutions: If you have the storage space I suggest placing your decor in a climate controlled room. Hot and cold temperatures cause different materials to shrink, or expand leading to cracks and breakage. While we may love that distressed antique look on our furniture, I would hate for my beautiful ornaments and Santa’s to crack or break apart over the years. Just something to consider if you have space in your home!
Now that you know when and how to put all of your holiday away with these easy tips, the process is going to be quick. You’re basically a professional organizer now!
You will love looking at all of your beautifully stacked bins, and none of the Christmas clutter from the previous holiday season.
See you next time!
P.S. For more tips on how to deal with Christmas after the season is over, and a demonstration of how we put away our artificial trees, you can watch that video by clicking here.
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