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8 Clever Ways to Store Your Christmas Decorations, According to Professional Organizers

With these pro packing tips, you'll never have to wrangle with tangled lights, clean up crushed ornaments, or blow layers of dust off your wreath again.

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Find specialized storage

If you’ve been shoving your wreath into a shopping bag or trying to wedge it into a wrong-sized box, you might be pleased to know large plastic containers and garment bag-style boxes are available specifically for wreath storage. This 24-inch zip-close box, sold at Target for $5.99, will keep your wreath intact and dust-free. If you can’t swing the specialized box, hang the wreath on a hanger and cover it with a plastic dry cleaning bag to keep your wreath safe. Check out these cheap Christmas decorations you can make yourself.

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Repurpose egg cartons

Instead of recycling that cardboard egg carton, save it as an organizer for more breakable ornaments. “Empty egg cartons are the perfect solution for storing fragile bulbs and other small ornaments,” says Anna Moseley of Ask Anna. “That’s what I call an EGG-cellent idea!” Secure it closed with a rubber band and make sure to stow it on its own shelf or on top of the other decorations, to keep the ornaments safe. Make sure to avoid these Christmas decorating mistakes.

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Put each ornament in its place

The obvious solution here is a dedicated Christmas ornament storage box, which starts at $7.99 and keeps even glass globes safe and secure till you need them again. If that’s not an option, what you don’t want to do is put ornaments into bins directly, because you’ll risk breakage and mess. If you must DIY your ornament storage, the pros advise putting the globes into plastic bags, then into shoeboxes, and then into bins. So if one or more ornaments breaks, instead of cleaning the bottom of the bin, you’ll have to rescue only the unbroken ornaments from the bag before tossing it.

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Grab a label maker

The goal of any Christmas storage project is to keep everything organized, safe, and out of the way until next year. Pro organizers swear by the simple brilliance of a label maker and clear plastic boxes. If you can label and see everything you store, you’ll have an easier time pulling it out in the future. This system is great for organizing your Christmas cards and funny family Christmas photos. Get ready to transform your life with these creative label maker tricks!

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Keep lights untangled

Another one of Anna Moseley’s tips is to use any leftover cardboard from boxed Christmas presents to wrap your lights. Christmas lights can be one of the most frustrating parts of organizing Christmas decor, but if you wrap them around 8 x 10-inch pieces of cardboard, they’re less likely to get tangled. “This solution will keep the lights organized and keep your recycle bin empty,” she says. The Family Handyman recommends using zip-ties corral cords of particularly tricky holiday lights. When you wrap the lights around the ties, it’ll prevent serious tangles (and frustration) next year. Check out these other pro home organization tips for every room in your house. Try traveling this holiday to have the white Christmas of your dreams.

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Grab the colored duct tape

If you’re using an artificial tree and have to unpack and re-pack it every year, The Family Handyman has a tip for you: Use duct tape to color-code each layer of your artificial tree. When the time comes to unpack it the next year, it’ll be so much easier to assemble. Here are the secrets your Christmas tree wishes you knew.

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Use a garment bag to help store extra wrapping paper

Leftover Christmas wrapping paper can be a pesky thing to store, especially since it can wrinkle, rip or fade over time. Stores sell wrapping paper boxes, but if you want an easier solution, Cortnee of The Chic Site recommends using a garment bag. “Just grab all the loose rolls causing clutter in your closet and place them neatly in a garment bag,” she said. “Hang the bag in the closet and easily access what you need when its gift-wrapping time!” When the holidays do roll around, put out these creative appetizers for Christmas.

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Edit your collection

While boxes and labels are great storage solutions, you don’t want to end up with a house full of bins. Blogger Yvonne of StoneGable recommends curating your collection of holiday decorations as much as possible. Yvonne’s storage mantra: Be ruthless and don’t be sentimental. “I went from 30-plus boxes and big blue bins to just what fits on two utility tables,” she said. If you’re more of a maximalist, buying these fun Christmas games will make you jolly.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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