Best Tips for Organizing Holiday Decorations

Here are our best tips for organizing holiday decorations to lower stress and chaos, and boost the joy in your festive season!

You may be struggling just to find the time to put up your tree, let alone manage decorations and corral holiday clutter—if so, I know how you feel!

That’s why I’ve compiled a shortlist of my best tips for helping you avoid holiday headaches. I’m all about tweaking what you’re already doing, NOT adding big tasks to your to-do list…


Photos of how fussy pieces fit into their storage boxes

Sometimes re-packing feels like doing a 3D puzzle. Simplify next year’s job by snapping a few photos of how multi-piece items were packed. No more guesswork—you’ll see at a glance how all those things fit into their storage foam, or even a whole storage tub. (Unless, of course, puzzle-solving is a hobby…) 

Separate the “keepers” from the “maybes”

As you pull items from their storage boxes, you’ll know the keepers right away—the ones that warm your heart like precious old friends. Find homes for these first.

  • Next, focus on the “so-so” items: those having sentimental value, but not a great fit for your current displays. Designate a box or two to hold these “maybe” items.
  • Create a separate box of broken but repairable decorations—later, decide if you’ve got time to fix, forget… or need to trash them.


Reduce chaos by going room-by-room

Store items by the room in which they were displayed. This will not only cut down on your steps, saving you time and energy for fun today, it’ll also seriously simplify your job next year.

  • Label the tubs/boxes with the room and what’s inside.
  • If re-designing your decorations isn’t a personal joy, snap some photos of displays that came out well so you can easily replicate them next year. No fuss, no muss!
Create a safe-storage zone

What’s safe storage? Somewhere you can store items that may otherwise be a melted mess come next year!

  • If most of your decorations get stored in the attic or garage, these areas tend to get roasting hot in summer… so gather your meltables (e.g., candles, wax figures, items with hot glued accessories) into a separate box/boxes. Store in a climate-controlled space.
  • If you have a large number of decorations in this category, consider labeling items with the room they’ll go to, as well.
Streamline setup for next year

One of the most time-consuming challenges in setting out decorations tends to be gathering all the bits and pieces needed to pull them together: cords, hangers, tape, hooks, angled plug converters… you name it. But you have the power to change all that this year—and make next year a breeze—by following these tips for organizing holiday decorations!

  • Store specialty hanging pieces along with the hanging item—e.g., store the wreath hanger with the wreath, or the extension cord or power strip with the village.
  • For outdoor decorations, create a dedicated space for cords, weights (to prevent decorations from blowing away), bulbs, re-usable garlands, and similar items.
  • Label your light strings with cord tags like these to remind you exactly which area, side of the house, and so forth that the cord goes.  You can do the same thing with extension cords inside or out.
  • Avoid tangles by wrapping light strings around gift wrap inner tubes—or, if yours are the kind without cardboard tubes, cover rolls you can use again next year with foil to protect the paper, and then wrap the lights.
Get a jump on savings

Of course, I’m not ALL about the purge! Adding new decorations is fun, too. And this is a terrific time to invest in holiday décor, replacement bulbs, wrapping paper, holiday cards… you name it. Discounts are high, and it’ll still be easy to store items along with your existing inventory.

Finally, as you’re getting ready to shelve the boxes for next year, grab a mug of cocoa with all the tiny marshmallows… and revisit those boxes of decorations that were on the “maybe” list. Evaluate each item you chose not to use:

  • Is it worth the space it’s taking up?
  • Are you ready to let it go to make room for new stuff you picked up this year? (At the very least, consider saying goodbye to the same number.)

I hope these tips for organizing holiday decorations will help you not only corral the clutter, but enjoy some extra time just relaxing with your family and friends. If you’d like help tackling your home or office organizing needs, I’m happy to help—virtually, or in-person in the Raleigh area; contact me for details. And if you have questions or ideas to share on holiday organizing—I’d love to hear from you!

SOS by Lisa | Professional Organizer, Home Organizer
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