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Ask the Organizer: How Can I Best Store My Holiday Decorations and Supplies for Next Year?

Professional organizer Kelly Humiston, owner of New Leaf Organizing Service, provides tips for storing holiday decorations and supplies.

Q.  What are some tips for storing my holiday decorations and supplies so that I can easily get to them next year?

Often, because their holiday decorations and supplies are accessed only once a year, people store them in an out-of-the-way area of their attic, basement, or garage that is difficult to access.  In addition, the items themselves often are not particularly well organized or stored correctly, leading to wasted time and the added cost of replacing missing or broken items.

Here are some tips for putting away your Christmas or Hanukkah decorations and supplies:

  • Purge first.  Gather all your decorations and supplies and see what you no longer use or love.  Then give those items away, sell them, or toss them into the garbage.
  • Place decorations and supplies into separate boxes or bins for each holiday.  No mixing of holiday paraphernalia allowed!  Then label each box or bin clearly and legibly on the top, as well as the side that faces out.

Pro tip:  Large plastic bins are a good choice if holiday decorations and supplies will be stored in a damp area and/or one that attracts mice.

Pro tip:  Consider buying tall shelving units for around the perimeter of the room where you store your holiday decorations.  Being able to get to the boxes or bins you need easily is much easier when they are stored on shelves, not on top of each other.

  • Store your items carefully.  Ornaments should be protected from breaking by using special ornament boxes or being wrapped in tissue paper in a partitioned liquor or wine box.  Smaller ornaments can be stored in empty egg cartons secured with a rubber band around them.  To keep strands of holiday lights and garland from becoming tangled, wrap them around pieces of cardboard.

Pro tip:  Keep wrapping paper that's used year-round in an accessible, yet out-of-the-way place, such as in a cleaning supplies closet or under a sofa or bed.  For simplicity’s sake, consider keeping only one or two kinds of gift wrap and one or two colors of ribbons and bows that work with everything.

Pro tip:  Cover hanging decorations with plastic trash bags, label, tape shut and hang from the rafters in your basement, garage or attic.

If you would like the help of a professional organizer, consider contacting New Leaf Organizing Service at www.newleaforganizingservice.com or at (203) 450-1099.  We organize things big and small — once and for all.

Have an organizing question you’d like answered?  Feel free to submit it on Patch.com, via the Comments function, or e-mail it to Kelly directly at kelly@newleaforganizingservice.com.

Coming next time:  Tips for Organizing Your Linen Closets

© 2012 New Leaf Organizing Service. All rights reserved.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Clare January 03, 2013 at 07:33 PM
My refrigerator is over crowed and completely unorganized. I have to pull 10 items out trying to find one thing. Any suggestions to get it back in shape and stop over shopping?
Leah Salomoni January 03, 2013 at 07:48 PM
GREAT suggestion. I have this problem as well...so many tupperware containers!! Can you help us, Kelly?
Kelly Humiston January 03, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Absolutely! Per your request, the next "Ask the Organizer" blog post will be on just that topic. The solution is surprisingly simple. Thanks for the question, Clare!

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