By TMoM Team Member Anna Keller

When “’Tis the season” becomes “’Twas the season,” it’s time to take down those festive Christmas decorations and tuck them safely away for another year. (I know – this part isn’t nearly as much fun as getting them out and making your house all Christmas-y and warm and inviting!) But one thing that makes this task marginally more palatable is having a good system for packing up and storing your decorations, knowing they’ll be totally intact when you get them out again in late 2022.

A few tips to keep in mind while putting away your Christmas decorations this year:

Take photos before you pack up your decorations.

If you love the way things turned out this year (the mantle, your table for Christmas dinner, etc.), snap a photo and save it in an easily recognizable file on your computer so you can recreate the look again next year! You could even go the extra mile and print the photo(s) to store along with the decorations.

Declutter as you go.

This is a tip I definitely plan on using this year! If you have decorations you don’t put out, and yet keep in bins and pull down from the attic each year, use this time as you’re putting things away to pare your décor down. Donate the unused decorations in your house so someone else can enjoy them…and so you avoid keeping more things than you actually use.

Invest in ornament storage containers.

This really is the best way to go to make sure these keepsakes stay protected in the “off season.” This will make putting ornaments away much easier, help avoid or limit breakage, and also make it easier to decorate your tree again next year.

Christmas decorations

Hang up your wreaths.

One great way to keep your Christmas wreaths looking fresh as a daisy (err…poinsettia?) is by using the discards from your latest dry cleaning run. Keep the plastic bag and wire hanger, and then bend the bottom of the hanger around the wreath, cover the wreath with the plastic bag, and hang it up for next year. (This also works for garland storage!)

You can use a hanger for your lights, too!

You’ll want a plastic hanger for this one. Wrap the lights around the hanger, and plug the strand into itself to keep everything intact and easy to unwrap next year. Hang these up alongside your wreaths and garland!

Wrap up your tree.

If your family uses an artificial tree, instead of taking it apart and having to assemble it again next year, consider shrink wrapping your tree. Then next Christmas you’ll just have to unwrap it and give it a good fluff, then it will be ready to decorate.

Labeling Christmas Decorations.

Pack up your decorations with a system in mind (maybe everything for the living room, or all the music boxes, etc.) and then clearly label the boxes. When you get them out again next year, this will help with the task of getting things set up – AND it will make taking them down again simple because you’ll know what fits where.

Use airtight containers for pillows and blankets.

Your decorations are likely stored in a spot where the temperature isn’t super consistent (like an attic or basement), so be sure to protect fabric items by stashing them in airtight containers when they’re not being used.

In summary, if you take just a few extra minutes when putting away your Christmas decorations this year, it may save you an abundance of time in the future!