This is How Professional Organizers Take Down Christmas Decorations – 'It's the Most Effective Method Out There!'

Store your Christmas decorations in the most efficient way possible with this 5-step guide from the experts

A dining room with pink chairs and plum toned trees on the table
(Image credit: Justin L. Jordan Photography. Studio credit Bethany Adams Interiors)

The time has come to start thinking about taking the Christmas decorations down. Adorning your home is such an exciting activity, but the same can't be said for removing all your ornaments. Every year we tend to just throw everything in boxes, chuck them in the loft, and forget about them for the next 11 months, but not this year.

We all know this part isn't as fun as Christmas decorating, but make the effort now to store all your stuff properly and you'll thank yourself for it next year. Around four weeks ago I swore I would be more organized in packing my decorations away and, as a woman of my word, I will be doing so later this week. 

If, like me, you want to find a way to store your ornaments, lights, and garlands in a more ordered way then look no further. I sought out some of the most organized people out there and with their insight and expertise, I've compiled this five-step guide to packing away your Christmas decorations. Believe me when I say it's the most effective method out there!

1. Invest in storage

Stackable wicker storage boxes.

(Image credit: Amazon)

If you want to organize your decorations properly, you'll need appropriate storage. 'You only get to use holiday decorations once a year, so it is important that you can easily find them and use them all during the holiday season,' says Janelle Cohen - who recently partnered with Kelley Blue Book to announce the 2024 Best Buy Awards.

As she points out, investing in proper ornament storage, like this organizer from Amazon, is essential when taking down all of your Christmas decorations. 'I like these ornament organizers because they have a hard exterior to protect breakables and can easily be stacked,' she says. 'You can move the dividers around to accommodate different ornament sizes as needed.'

'The organization is only as good as the storage solution you have, so start by investing in some quality supplies', adds Di Ter Avest of Di is Organized. 'If you don't have storage containers, you can invest in durable, clear plastic bins to protect your decorations from dust and moisture and storage for the lights and wreaths.' To ensure all your items are easily identifiable use a label maker to mark each box of contents.

2. Start by auditing everything you didn't use

The quickest way to get organized is to get rid of any decorations you didn't use this year. Before you start putting anything away look at what didn't make it out the box.

'Look at all the decorations and think about what you didn't put out. What was the reason? Maybe it was a homemade ornament and should now live with the keepsakes? is it broken or dirty or tangled?' says Ben Soreff from House to Home Organizing. This is the first task you should complete and should be a quick process. Be ruthless. Try following the Swedish death cleaning method if you are struggling to be decisive. 

3. Categorize everything

A Christmas color palette of blues and burgundies

(Image credit: Kaitlin Green. Design Emily Henderson)

As you take your ornaments down with your storage ready, it's time to put everything into categories. 'Divide the decorations into categories to streamline the organization process,' says Di. 'Sort them into ornaments, lights, wreaths, garlands, and any specialty items such as blowouts, large nativity sets or figurines.' T

Not only will this make the process of decorating so much easier next year, but it will make your storage cupboard look far more ordered. When it comes to how to safely store and organize Christmas decorations, categorizing your items will help to prevent the likes of tangled lights and broken tree ornaments. 

4. Protect delicate items

Keeping your delicate decorations in good condition means bubble wrap - and lots of it. 'Holiday decorations tend to be sentimental as well, so you want to make it a priority to keep them in good condition to be handed down to the next generation,' says Janelle.

To ensure nothing gets broken in storage, follow these tips from Di. 'When placing items in storage containers, consider layering them by placing heavier items at the bottom and lighter, more delicate items on top to prevent breakage,' she says. 'Use bubble wrap, tissue paper, or even old newspapers to provide extra padding between delicate decorations.' This is especially important in the case of Christmas tree ornaments which are often made of glass.

5. Review as you pack away

A fireplace decorated with a Christmas garland

(Image credit: Wild at Heart)

Almost all of our expert organizers recommended taking stock of your decorations as you take them down. 'We suggest reviewing when you are putting them away,' says Ben. 'One of the most important steps before packing your holiday items is to get clear on the quantity.' 

It can be easy to throw things in the loft and forget about them, resulting in an unnecessary amount of decorations. This can quickly get out of control, so auditing as you go is the way to trim down your collection and, if you're unsure how to go about purging your decor, there are many tips on how to start decluttering

'Do a quality check to assess the condition of each decoration,' Di says. 'If it's damaged beyond repair or missing crucial pieces, it's time to say goodbye. You can also use the One-Year Rule; if you haven't used a decoration in the past year, or the decor didn't even leave the storage bin this year, consider letting it go. This system applies to broken items, outdated decor, or things that no longer fit your style.'

Following these guidelines will help you have a stress-free time taking down your decks, and promises to enhance your decorating process next year too. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

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Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.