Jen Martin, owner, Reset Your Nest @reset_your_nest

The dread of having to put all the Christmas decorations away is real. Putting Christmas decorations away can be a lot of work, and after a busy and fun-filled month, putting them away properly can sometimes feel overwhelming and not worth the effort. I am here to tell you that it IS worth the effort. A little bit of planning right now can make your ‘taking down Christmas’ day not only easy, but will also set you up for a seamless setup the following year.

Here is everything you need to know for putting it all away. If you take the time to organize your Christmas items like a pro, you will make your decorating exponentially easier next year.

Things you’ll need

  • Totes
  • Labels
  • Tissue paper or foam
  • Tree bag, wreath bags, ornament organizer

The two most important things to consider when organizing your Christmas décor are location and timing. Where does the décor. go, and when do you typically get it out? Each category should be specifically labeled. I like to use slipcover labels, where a piece of paper slides into a sticker-backed clear slipcover.

This makes it easy to change the categories through the years. If you typically like to decorate your family room first, label Family Room Christmas and if you have more than one tote of those items, then you can separate out “Family Room Mantel Christmas” from “Family Room Sideboard Christmas.” I always keep tree décor in its own tote and if you decorate more than one tree, create different totes for different trees.

Pro tip: Put different colored paper in the slipcovers to identify holiday bins from a distance.

Pro tip: Edit as you pack up. If you didn’t use it this year, you probably won’t use it next year. If you have sentimental items you don’t want to throw out but also most likely won’t ever use in your home, put them in a separate and neatly labeled bin so those items don’t take up space with your regular décor.

Outdoor lights and décor

Pack these items separately. Make sure you have replacement bulbs and hooks for next year (there’s nothing worse than being on the roof and running out of clips). Just like indoor items, if there is a strand of lights you didn’t use this year, donate it.

Books

We have a lot of Christmas books. I like to store all our books in one place together. I also have a basket I use every year to store them in. I make sure that my basket and books are all stored in the same place. A fun tradition I have done in years past with our Christmas books is to wrap them up and put them under the tree. This is something that could even be done before packing them up if you want to use up any remaining wrapping paper. My kids choose one or more Christmas books a night and we unwrap and read them before bed. This fun tradition helps us keep track of the Christmas books we have already read and makes the books we have feel special and new because they only come out once a year.

Old Christmas Cards

Do you keep them? I know everyone has different feelings when it comes to these. Here are a few ideas.

  • Cut each Christmas card into a heart and turn it into a garland for Valentines’ Day.
  • Put your card collection on a binder ring and keep a few years at a time to look back on (or reference when sending cards the next year).
  • Keep past Christmas cards in a zipper pouch, but only keep one from each family. At the end of each Christmas season, I pull out my zipper pouch and replace the previous card with current one. Some families don’t send out cards every year, so if we didn’t receive a card that year, I like to hold onto the older cards. For me, cards are sentimental items worth keeping.

Christmas Tree Bag

Have you tried these? Gone are the days of maneuvering the giant Christmas tree box out from our under stairs hiding place. We got an affordable bag on Amazon last year.

Wreath Bags or Boxes

If you have a lot of wreaths, they can be very challenging to store. I love storing wreaths on a big hook in storage spaces, but if that is not an option or you want your wreaths protected from dust, a container specifically made to hold wreaths is super handy.

Ornament Holders

I personally don’t use these because my ornaments are not fragile and/or are from the dollar store, but if you have special ornaments that you want to protect, I recommend investing in ornament organizers that separate them. You can also buy a big foam roll from Amazon to wrap fragile items.

Pro tip: Take pictures. If you like how things are styled this year, take pictures of your entire house, and save it in a folder on your phone titled “Christmas Décor 2023”. Then next year when you decorate, you will have a map/guide to make it faster. It’s also fun to see how your home and styles change through the years.

Pro tip: Present bins. If you have the space, something to consider for next year is creating a bin for each family member with their name on it. Then as you start to collect gifts, you can keep the gifts organized and out of sight.