Christmas Decorations: How to Store Linens, Trees, and Wreaths

Family decorating Christmas tree
Westend61 / Getty Images

Decorating for the holidays is often a fun and exciting activity that families look forward to every year. However, it can also be a daunting task to shop for everything and to put decorations up around the home. To save time and money, many families decorate every year by keeping their Christmas ornaments and reusing them when the holiday season comes again. To save decorations correctly, there are some useful tips and tricks for Christmas and holiday storage.

See the 10 ways to properly store away Christmas decorations below in order to preserve your holiday trinkets, make them easy to transport, and keep them bright and fresh for years to come.

1. Storing Christmas Linens

Before storing linens, it's important to clean them, as stains oxidize over time. One way to store your holiday linens is in a suitcase, to keep away the risk of moisture damage. You can also keep your Christmas towels, rugs, and blankets on an unused shelf in your linen or personal closet. To keep away moths and keep your linen smelling wonderful, you can put one or two lavender scented dryer sheets between the linens. Although this method of storage takes up space in your home, it will prevent linens from developing stains, poor scents, holes, and other nasty surprises when they are pulled out the following year. Remember to also never store Christmas linens in a garage, attic, or place that isn't climate controlled.

Keep wood pulp like tissue paper, newsprint, and cardboard away from linen, because it releases gases that ruin the fabric and turn it yellow. Remove objects like labels, tags, and safety pins which can also discolor and damage linen. You should also be aware of certain materials like plastic, masking tape, and hangers, which can release gases or degrade into materials that make linen sticky or rusty.

2. Storing Christmas Wreaths

Containers that you use to store your wreaths must be able to preserve its shape throughout the year. Many storage methods smash or damage wreaths—especially attachments like extra bows and decor. Look for wreath storage that is large enough to truly preserve the shape and ornaments of the item so that it will be usable for years to come. You can also keep wreaths hung up in your closet with a closet organizer that holds several hangers. The wreaths will easily slide onto the rod which will prevent them from getting flat or ruined.

3. Storing Christmas Trees

Although the box your artificial tree came in may seem like the perfect one to repack it in for storage, this is usually not the best idea for preservation. In fact, the cardboard boxes begin to deteriorate, making them more prone to insect infestation. Try a commercially available Christmas tree bag or Christmas tree box to protect your tree. There are also convenient tree bags with wheels, big and strong storage bags for large trees, and bag sets that split up the weight of the tree. With endless options, you can choose the best Christmas tree storage option that personally fits your needs and home.

4. Storing Christmas Ornaments

Special ornaments often benefit from being stored in the boxes that they originally came in.

You can also store smaller ornaments in clean and dry egg cartons. Plastic ornaments that are not fragile may also be stored in plastic sandwich bags and tightly organized in a box or bag. Additionally, there are nifty containers and storage boxes available to neatly and securely store holiday ornaments in, which can help to especially protect fragile or glass decorations.

5. Storing Christmas Candles

Wrap candles in old socks or knee-high stockings to prevent scratching. Candles can also be wrapped in cellophane to prevent any type of melting or color transfer. Plastic wrap and wax paper should not be wrapped in candles, as they can easily stick to the candle when they get warm. Make sure to store Christmas candles away from heat, like in the attic, basement, or other areas that can melt them.

For temperature control, you can also put candles in a container or consider using digital flameless candles altogether which often helps with heat issues.

6. Storing Christmas Pictures for Reassembly

Take pictures to remember the way you set up your decorations before you take down your Christmas ornaments. This is also a great way to get other people to help you decorate for the holiday, whether it's family or friends. You can keep the photos digitally on your computer, phone, or in the cloud, and share them with Santa's elves when the occasion arises. Alternatively, you can go old school and get them printed so you can physically hand them over. After you have some photos, take everything down in the reverse order in which it was put up. You can then store your pictures in a handy holiday organizing notebook. This might also make for a nice picture album if you add or change to the decor at all over time.

7. Storing Decorations and Planners

Don't pack away your holiday planning notebook. You will need this notebook during the year to keep track of recipes, address changes, gift ideas, and gifts purchased. Store your holiday planner on a bookshelf in a space that's out of the way but that is also accessible throughout the year. Although this may not seem necessary for non-planners, the holiday notebook can help you remember how and where you have stored everything, along with organizing your budget, Christmas cards, traditions, and more.

8. Storing Christmas Lights

Do away with the tangled mess of the years past by organizing your Christmas lights before you pack them. First, make sure to dispose of any lights that have been damaged or are not working properly. This is just one way for you to save yourself storage space. Then, you can wrap holiday lights around coffee cans, cardboard pieces, Pringles cans, or even a handy-dandy hanger. Conveniently package these in a large box, bag, or container for the next year.

9. Storing Away With Labels

Save yourself time next year by thoroughly labeling your Christmas decorations.

First, you can get organized by making a detailed inventory on the outside of each box. Then, you can number the boxes so that you'll know how many you have (i.e. Box 1 of 12). Labeling the boxes this way also lets you order them according to the sequence in which they should be unpacked. You can also make note of your labeling system inside of your holiday planner. If you don't want to make your own labels at home, there are printable Christmas storage labels available online and sticker labels available at arts and crafts stores. Finally, consider wrapping your Christmas decoration boxes in wrapping paper for festive and easy identification.

10. Storing Christmas Boxes Strategically

Be sure to prominently label the first box to be opened at Christmas. For example, "Box 1" could contain your advent calendar, tree stand, Christmas cards, and anything you need at the beginning of the Christmas season. Having the first box marked will help to locate the most important items that kick off the holiday season.

Before boxing and labeling things away, you may want to do some brainstorming on what decorations are most important for you to put up first. You can use your holiday planning notebook to outline how many boxes you will have and what each of them will contain before organizing the boxes themselves.