We know… it’s only been two days since Christmas. But the reality is, it’s time to start thinking about taking down all of the holiday decor if you haven’t already done so. Depressing, isn’t it?

In an effort to make your life easier this time next year, here are 11 helpful hacks when it comes to storing all of your holiday decorations.

#1: Take a photo of everything.

This will make putting everything up again next year so much easier. If you like the way you’re set up this year, be sure to take pictures of everything before you tear it down. That will save you an abundance of time next year – time that can be spent baking cookies for people like me!

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#2: Inventory everything.

Ever open up your holiday boxes and think to yourself, “I thought I had one of…?” Or bought something at the store only to realize you already have 3 of the same thing at home?

Related to taking pictures of your favorite set-ups, you should also keep an inventory of your holiday decorations. This helps in case anything gets damaged or broken. Make yourself notes of anything you need to replace come this time next year.

And keep your inventory somewhere like your phone or your computer. And maybe a paper copy somewhere else.

#3: Invest in some real storage.

My wife and I hit up Target* yesterday for their storage sale and bought ourselves some Christmas light storage boxes, a wreath box, and some holiday-colored storage bins.

This helps protect all those items you’ve invested so much money in. Your attic is full of things that could ruin your holiday decor – not mention our occasional freezing temperatures and our Texas summers.

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#4: Designate an ‘open first’ box.

Pulling everything out and setting it up at once can be a little overwhelming. So maybe think about putting your decor out in stages next year. What’s the first thing your kids want to see after Thanksgiving ends? Put those items in a box and mark it as the box you want to open and put out first.

#5: Pack in reverse.

Following your ‘open first’ box, pack all your other decorations in reverse order – putting the items you care the least about at the back of the pile so that if you don’t get around to putting those things out again, it won’t matter so much.

Also be sure to put anything that requires steps in order. So, if you need your extension cords before the Christmas lights, pack those up after the lights and organize them all so they’re easy to find together.

#6: Reuse your gift packaging.

When it comes to my gift packaging, I get a little protective. And I think that’s okay! I invest a lot of money in gift bags, boxes, etc. and having to go out and re-buy those every year sounds exhausting and expensive. So gather everything up and find a safe space to store it over the next year.

Another good idea is to keep any product packaging that could come in handy again next year. Or you could also use it to store your decor!

#7: Use ribbon and hangers to keep string lights straight.

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. You open your Christmas light box only to find a  huge tangled mess that takes all afternoon to undo.

In an effort to keep the Christmas spirit alive in your home next year, take us up on this tip. Save a piece of ribbon from this year’s gifts and tie it to the end of the string of lights to save yourself time spent searching for the plug. Then wrap the string of lights around a hanger to keep it from getting tangled.

This is, of course, if you didn’t buy the legitimate light box storage boxes like I did.

#8: Designate a space.

This might be one of the most important tips we’ll give you. Designate a space in your attic, garage, storage room, whatever for all of your Christmas decor so that you’re not digging through mountains of other stuff to find all the random boxes you packed up this year.

It’ll ensure you don’t forget or lose anything – and it will also probably save you several unnecessary trips to the attic.

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#9: Repurpose egg cartons.

For all those miniature decorations that can tend to get lost in big boxes, egg cartons are actually a great solution. Put anything tiny inside the individual wells and then place the carton in your regular decor boxes.

Just make sure you label the egg cartons first so you know what’s inside when you pull them out next year.

#10: Keep a ‘forgot it’ box.

This happens in our house every year. We get everything boxed up and put away and then we realize we didn’t actually get everything and we find a stray pinecone or candy dish lying around somewhere.

The best way to deal with the frustration that comes along with forgetting something is to keep a “forgot it” box around until the end of January and then add it to the rest of your boxes in storage.

 

 

*Target’s storage sale is going through this Saturday, December 31st. Save on select storage items and you can also get a coupon for $5 off when you spend $25 on storage & organization.