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Save Yourself From Decoration Disasters!


If you’re like me, you get your holiday decorations arranged just the way you want them, a year passes, and then you have no memory of where that wreath went or what shelf you used for your favorite candle. Problem solved!

Tip #1 – Holiday Decorations (Apply these tips for ALL Holidays)

take-picture-ofPrior to taking down your decorations this year, take photos of them all.

You have a couple of different options with your photos: print them and store with each specific decoration or box that it is stored in or create a folder on your computer to house the images and number the photo in the album to match the box that it is stored in with the same number. Either way, next year’s decorating will go that much quicker!

Tip #2Holiday Lights

tangledlightsWho enjoys untangling their Holiday lights each year? NOT ME! Now that all the presents are unwrapped, you probably find yourself with a few extra cardboard boxes lying around your house. (And if you’re lucky, you got a gift from Crate & Barrel so you have a good quality cardboard box.) The amount of lights you have will determine how many “pieces” of your box you will need…you may want or need to use the top flaps, sides and bottom flaps. After you have carefully cut apart your box, make a small slit in either the top or bottom of one cardboard piece. As you begin to take down your lights, first tuck the end of the cord into the slit you made and wrap the string of lights around the cardboard. Continue to wrap the lights until you have filled the piece of cardboard. You can either make a second slit for the other end of your lights, or simply tuck the cord underneath the wrapped lights. Depending on how much of your box is left, you can even drop your wrapped cords into the box for easy storage.

This same strategy can be used for any seasonal lights that you use.

Tip #3 – Dusty Holiday Decorations?

Use a vacuum with a hose and brush attachment to clean larger decorations.

Did your holiday decorations collect a little dust while on display? No problem. Use either an air compressor or a can of compressed air (great for those small, delicate pieces). For some of your larger items, like your tree or wreaths, you may need to use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment and use the bristled nozzle. Whichever method you use, hold the item far enough away to prevent any damage and keep an eye on small and delicate pieces attached to your decorations. If you do the cleaning now, everything will be ready to go for your next holiday and decorating will be that much more enjoyable.

Tip #4 – Organize Your Decorations By Theme.

As you build your collection of Holiday decorations,  take care to organize them in a way that makes it easy to find when the next holiday season rolls around.

Practically all large department and/or home hardware stores sell a multitude of storage options. Look for durable and heavy plastic containers that have different compartments or at least enough room to store your  decorations without squishing them.

Organize each box using all of the decorations you would use for that particular theme and make sure to write in permanent marker (on the side of the box where it’s clearly visible) exactly what is in the container, including the colors and objects (i.e. a wreath, beaded garland, tinsel, etc.). Next year, instead of having to sift through a pile of mismatched  decorations, you’ll only have to pull your desired theme off the shelf.

Tip #5 How to Pack Away Decorations

As you pack away decorations, keep an eye out for broken items. Either repair them or throw them out before storing them for the year.

If you have similar decorations in various parts of the house – lighted garland for the mantle and stairways, for example – label each strand with its location. Knowing whether it belongs on the front door or the back stairs can make your life much easier next year.

Tip #6 Protect Your Decorations From Damage

Ensure that decorations are clean and dry before you put them in storage. You’ll avoid a big mess by making sure items are in good condition as you put them away. Pay particular attention to items that have been exposed to the elements outdoors.

If you store items in a shed or basement, don’t put them directly on the ground – especially if these locations are prone to flooding. Keeping them even six inches off the ground will help them last longer, and it’s an essential step if you’re storing in cardboard boxes.

Tip#7  Preparing For Next Year

Make a note of any damaged or missing items or anything you’d simply like to replace or add for the next year. An easy-to-see reminder will be much better than discovering you need to run to the store when you’re knee deep in decorations the following year!

If you like to hit the post-holiday bargains, make your purchases before 
putting away your decorations. This will allow you to place the items in 
with the existing items so they will be easy to locate and use the following year.

© 2011 Teresa’s Family Cleaning — All Rights Reserved.



  1. There are a lot of good tips here. I am sure that if people follow your ideas the will be more organized and enjoy decorating more.

  2. Those are great practical tips. I have been much more focused on taking care of our holiday decorations since a possum got in our storage building and ruined all my others.

  3. These are such practical tips that I can’t believe I haven’t thought of some of them before. 🙂 The dust can is totally my best friend, but I’ve never thought to organize my decorations by theme when packing them up. What a simplistically brilliant notion!

  4. What great tips… we have RED plastic bins for Christmas and ORANGE for Halloween, ha! Makes things easier on us when digging through the attic

  5. Hiii,
    its great too know that clean and dry before you put them in storage. You’ll avoid a big mess by making sure items are in good condition as you put them away. Pay particular attention to items that have been exposed to the elements outdoors.

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