5 Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Christmas Ornaments – 'It Makes Next Year's Decorating so Much Easier!'

These professional organizers reveal the common Christmas storage mistakes that you'll grow to regret

christmas living room dining room
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The time has come - it's time to take down the Christmas decor. It's the moment you've been dreading since the beginning of the festive period and it's a task universally despised amongst families, not only because it marks the end of celebrations, but it's always sheer chaos.

Christmas decorating is fun, but we're also eager to see our living room restored to its former glory. Taking down decorations is no mean feat - it requires focus, strategy, and expert precision, all of which seem to be non-existent in the weeks after Christmas. As a result, we all end up committing a few cardinal sins according to professional organizers. 

We spoke to these experts to discover the biggest mistakes people make when putting away their Christmas decs for another year, alongside tips on how to avoid them and what to do instead. Ensure you read these five tips before attempting to dismantle the tree and take down the lights - it promises to make next year's decorating so much easier.

1. Not investing in quality storage

gift bags and wrapping paper

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

One of the biggest mistakes professional organizers continually note as an issue is people not investing in quality storage solutions when attempting a decluttering project. This remains an issue when it comes to Christmas organizing, especially. 

'Using bins that we have lying around after the holidays to store decor may seem like a good idea, but it's better to use good-quality plastic storage bins,' says professional organizer Sara Bereika. 'Look out for plastic bins which keep items from getting wet or damp and protect them from dust and critters.'

If you have a lot of ornaments, consider buying a specific organizer. Proper storage boxes designed for ornaments will keep your items adequately protected and will help to store them in an ordered manner. 'It’s even better to get bins specifically designed for ornament storage, as they make it easier and faster to put away and set up ornaments while keeping them intact,' says Sara. We love this viral Christmas ornament organizer which makes it so easy to put the tree decorations away, while this one from Amazon is super affordable and stores up to 128 ornaments.

2. Not decluttering as you go

Every year we say we'll declutter our Christmas decor, and every year we just shove everything back in the cupboard without an inch of order. This is a rookie mistake according to expert organizer from House 2 Home Organizing, Ben Soreff.

'Before putting anything away look at all the decorations and think about what you didn't put out,' says Ben. This is a telling sign of things that perhaps it is time to get rid of. Similarly, as you put things away, toss anything that is broken or no longer of use. Ben advises following general decluttering tips when taking down your decorations since streamlining your collection will make the process a whole lot easier in years to come.

3. Not taking time with your lights

christmas lights

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As you put up your Christmas lighting I guarantee there was some point where you were cursing your past self for leaving them tangled. Not taking your time to take down lights is a huge mistake so it's always worth spending the extra time on lights - your future self will thank you for it. 

'To avoid any hassle, I recommend using a paper towel tube or wrapping paper tube to organize your lights,' says Sara. 'Cut a notch at one end of the tube and insert the plug end into the notch so that it sits in the hole of the tube, as you take down the lights, begin wrapping them around the tube.' This will prevent any lights from becoming tangled and will aid easy decorating in the future.

4. Not organizing your storage

Utilizing labels and clear storage can help you to identify and locate items quickly. Another mistake both of our professional organizers mentioned was not having an easily accessible storage system. If you want to be uber-organized, sort your decor into categories such as lights, tree ornaments, and garlands before putting them into designated boxes. 

'All decorations should ideally be in clear bins so that you can see things,' says Ben. Failing that, labels are a great way to see what is in each box without having to open them up. When you come to decorate in 2024 you will find the process so much smoother as you'll only have to take out specific boxes at a time. To create a seamless system, you can even stack your boxes in order of how you want to unpack and decorate.

5. Not packing away wreaths properly

christmas wreath on door

(Image credit: Getty Images)

'Storing wreaths can be a challenge, especially if you want to keep them looking fresh and new,' says Sara. This is because the delicate foliage can easily be damaged. 'Overstuffed storage can flatten them, and they can be quite expensive to replace,' Sara explains.

When it comes to how to safely store and organize holiday decor, one mistake is just shoving your faux wreaths in a cupboard or on top of a box. 'If they get dusty you’ll never get all the dust off,' Sara says. 'To avoid this, it's best to store them in designated wreath bins or plastic trash bags and, if you choose to use plastic bags, make sure to hang them on the wall away from anything that could squish them.'

'Taking the time to store them carefully will pay off in the long run, and you'll be grateful every year when you take them out and they still look great,' Sara goes on to explain. The same applies to any type of storage - taking the time now will reward you in the future.

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.