How to Safely Store and Organize Holiday Decor

Holiday decor and ornaments being organized and stored

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Decorations bring the magic of Christmas to life! The holidays wouldn't be the same without tinsel, handmade knickknacks, Christmas trees, lights, and pine-scented candles. Holiday decor helps us experience the magic of the season, but its downside is the stress of taking everything down and storing it when it's over.

Focus on your intention, couple it with these organizing tips, and the holidays will always be a time of joy.

Foundational Tips for Seamless Organization

Declutter Every Year

Holiday decorations accumulate quickly and this first step is vital to storing your decor. As you are putting away your decorations, consciously decide if you need each thing. Does it still fit your style? Is anything broken? Do you have too much of something? Before you start storing your decorations, take the time to declutter what you have.

Holiday decorations decluttered before storage

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald


Generally, there are two ways one can organize their holiday decor. The first is to categorize all like items together—candles, Santas, snowmen, etc. The second way is to categorize by room if you set up your home the same way every year. This takes the guessing game out of remembering how you decorated the previous year. Taking a few extra minutes to store your decor by category is the best way to end the season in an organized way.

Holiday decor and wrappings separated into categories

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Invest in Proper Storage

The holidays will be back year after year, so make a one-time investment to buy great quality storage. Invest in sturdy red or green—recognizable!—bins, and storage with proper compartments for ornaments, lights, and collectibles. You will not have to make this investment again for many years, and it will save you time, money, and stress.

Plastic storage bins with labels for storing holiday decorations

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Storage and Organization Tips

Separate Your Holiday Wrapping 

Keep holiday wrapping paper apart from regular paper. By separating it, you won't have to dig through everything when you need supplies for a birthday present. One good option is to invest in a wrapping station, or for a budget-friendly option you can create your own. Wrapping stations are great because they have designated pockets for paper, bows, scissors, tape, and bags. To create your own, use a large container and add smaller containers inside for specific products. File gift bags inside one large bag. Organize bows in one small container on top, ribbon in a second small container, and other supplies in a third.

Holiday wrapping paper and bags separated and placed in storage bin

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Keep Holiday Pillows and Blankets Fresh

Store holiday pillows and blankets in airtight containers to preserve them. Your holiday decor is stored away for an entire year, and most often it's stored in the attic or basement where it can be exposed to drastic differences in temperature. By storing them in an airtight container, everything will last longer and refrain from getting musty or mildewy. Be sure items are clean before stowing away!

Holiday pillows an blankets held over storage bins

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Don't Use Hooks for Garlands and Wreaths

While hooks seem like an efficient way to store holiday wreaths and garlands, they can put pressure and weaken their fibers where the hook touches. Hooks are a great option, however, to hang your holiday gift bags.

Holiday wreath held up gift bags hanging on hook

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Mark Your Holiday Containers

Use an index card to list what's inside each bin, and tape it to whichever side of the bin faces front. This label will allow you to keep your items looking organized, uniform, and easily identifiable.

Storage bin lids labeled with red and yellow labels

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Frame Holiday Keepsakes

Christmas keepsakes fill your home with the memories you hold most dear. If you are keeping holiday letters from loved ones, a great way to store them and use them as decor is to frame them. Whether it is a colored drawing from your child to Santa, or a handwritten note from your mother, framing your keepsakes helps you easily preserve them for years to come. Store framed keepsakes with bubble wrap to ensure they're packed safely. 

Holiday postcards and wrapping paper framed

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Pare Down the Holiday Photo Cards You Save

Holiday cards are very special, but they can inundate your home if you keep them all. To avoid this, sort through them and discard any that do not have a special message inside or are a photo card of your closest family and friends. Save the ones that hold special meaning to you and then store them in a “Holiday Card Memory Binder,” which will be a lovely coffee table piece you can add to each year.

Holiday cards organized and placed in memory binder

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald