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Organizing Christmas Decor

Sharing how I organize all of our Christmas stuff today.  It’s never as fun to put away as it is to set up, is it?  But even so, it always feels good to have Christmas put away and a nice clean house to start the New Year.  
I store most of my indoor decorations in trunks.  The trunks I own are family heirlooms.  They are antiques that were re-stored by my great Aunt and Uncle and they are priceless to me.    My mom has quite a collection of them herself and I’ve been working on getting my hands on a few of those as well.  C’mon mom.  It’s time to cave and hand over the coffee table trunk.  We both know I’m your favorite.  (Now let’s hope my siblings aren’t reading this.  Pretty sure they’re not since it’s an organizing post and they aren’t interested in organizing.  I know.  How is that possible, right!!?)  Back to the trunks – I have one in my living room and one in my family room and they are perfect for  storing all of my indoor Christmas decor.  I have a goal to fit most of my decor in these two trunks so every year I buy a few new things and then send a few older items to Goodwill to make room for the new.  I store most of my decor for my living room in the trunk in the living room and most of my decor for my family room in the trunk in my family room.  Naturally.  :)
I bought this red ornament box from The Container Store years ago and it has been perfect to house all of my Christmas tree decorations.  I couldn’t find this exact one on-line, but here is something similar.  It came with card board dividers so I place all of my round ornaments on the bottom…

and then place this red fabric board in between…
and then I have a new level to work with!  One of the best organizers ever.  

Some years I’ve divided the top up using all of the slots to store ornaments, 

but this year I took some of the cardboard dividers out to make bigger slots for certain things.  I love an organizer that you can adjust to fit your needs.  
The rest of our Christmas tree decor!  Along with a few Christmas cookie cutters.  
That haven’t been used.  And most likely never will be.  
Then I put on the lid to the box and pile things next to it…
and on top of it.  

A simple plastic zip pouch holds our Christmas cards for my photo garland.

I use the trunk in our family room to store all of our Christmas books…

along with other odds and ends that I display in this room.  

I use a couple of Christmas boxes to house smaller items…  

and then I pile on things like our Christmas tree skirt and stockings.  
Something I’ve done for years is to place the fragile items inside of the Christmas tree skirt and stockings.  Each of our stockings hold small, breakable items.   
I have a red CD case that holds all of our Christmas CD’s that also goes in this trunk so that our tunes are easily accessible when December rolls around… or November… ok October.  I’ll admit, I usually break out the Christmas music sometime in October.  I can’t help it.  Those Chipmunks call my name every year.  :)

I usually store our Christmas movies in this trunk also, but I set them aside with our other DVD’s in the garage until I can get to them.  The DVD’s are on my “to organize this year” list and I think it’s time for the cases to finally go.  There are just too many movies in this house.  I could solve that problem by not buying anymore, but where’s the fun in that?  Sounds much more appealing to just come up with a cool way to organize them all.  :)
Feels good to have all of the outside lights taken down too.  We put up A LOT of outside lights each year because I love them.  One of Kenny’s most favorite things to do.  ;) 

I wish I had something amazing to show you for how we store our outside lights, but my system (if you can call it that) is pretty basic.  I know there are so many ways to keep lights from tangling, but I’ve found that if I wrap them up carefully (loop them in a circle) as I take them off of the bushes and just place them on top of each other they’re fine.  I’ve been doing it like this for years and my lights are always tangle free!

Step two in my ever so intricate system is to then place the lights in garbage bags with labels.  Tape and a black marker work fine for this job.  I mark the bags according to where we place the lights (top of house, front bushes, bottom of Bougainvillea vine, etc. Makes it really easy for set-up when Christmas rolls around again.  Then all of the bags go in a huge box in our garage marked “outdoor lights.”  Like I said, it’s a pretty intricate system so I hope I haven’t lost you all on that one.  I also hope you know I’m being sarcastic.  
Good-bye Frosty!  Already looking forward to pulling you out again next year!!  
xoxo, Erin
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24 thoughts on “Organizing Christmas Decor

  1. I love your trunk idea! Mine are in bins in the garage and I usually need hubby to haul them in for me…hmm. I have an old antique trunk also but we use it for games. Next year I might have to do some reorganizing!

  2. I too love your trunk idea! I wish I had a trunk… might have to invest in one and begin an heirloom for my family :-)
    At the moment I have my ornaments in 4 lovely Christmas boxes but I have accumulated so many over the years that they now spread into empty nappy boxes (I have 3 more nappy boxes!) Maybe its time to take some to Goodwill (St Vinnies in Australia)… Actually I might get on that tomorrow while my 3 year olds at daycare and my 1 year old naps! Thanks for the motivation to cull and reorganise :-)

  3. I haven’t taken mine down yet. I’m doing this at the weekend.

    Just a quick tip about lights: I put mine around a rolled up magazine, either that or in the original box. (If I’ve still got it:))

    The tree is the thing I don’t enjoy doing, so last year I wrapped it up, complete with lights & tinsel on, wrapped it in 2 large black rubbish bags & put it in the shed:)

  4. Oops, didn’t mean to write wrapped it up twice:)

    I love how you organize your decs etc. I love it when you do ideas on organizing:)

  5. You sure can fit a alot of stuff into your trunks! I never thought of keeping our Christmas c.d.’s and music with all our other Christmas stuff…love that idea!

  6. Looks a lot neater than mine. I have started taking down some today but I will finish off tomorrow. We usually adorn ourselves in the tinsel and dance around the house to Jingle Bell Rock. The kids however were reluctant last year, so I am hoping to do it again for at least one more year!
    Happy New Year


  7. I sure wish I could get my hands on a couple of those trunks. We have our Christmas things in bins underneath our basement stairs. It is a pain to haul everything up those stairs. But I guess a girl needs to get a workout somehow. lol!

  8. Great idea with the trunks. I have a few great family heirloom trunks that are empty…this could be a great solution to storing “christmas” instead of it taking up a closet! Thanks!!

  9. I love the idea of having them in the room — those trunks sound so special! Also love the idea of getting rid of a few items as you get new … I needed to hear that as all was pushed into the under the stairs christmas storage area.

  10. Cute new header, Erin! I’ve been stacking the decor on the air hockey table in the garage, ready to put away in my “spare time”. :) Hopefully today! I need to do some purging of decor, for sure. Trying to be more intentional with where I put what this year, only keeping our favorites. Who has time to dust all of the knick-knacks when there’s so many fun memories to be made in the month of Dec.? Anyway, thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

  11. Wow you can fit a lot in those trunks. I have a bunch of red and white storage bins in the basement for christmas stuff labelled. I got rid of a bunch of stuff this year so I’m down a bin. I like you outdoor light system, its like mine. :)

  12. Oh Erin I feel your pain about the DVD’s. The other thorn in my side is all of the CD jewel cases. I just want to put them all in some sort of organized manner sans cases but my husband doesn’t want me to get rid of the cases. Please post when you’ve find the perfect organizing solution.

  13. Happy New Year Erin!!! Wishing you and yours health, happiness and peace of heart and mind this year!! May I ask – where did you get your Christmas Tree skirt? I’m looking for a simple, classic skirt like yours. All the ones I have found are all in trendy colors, or with Mickey Mouse on them – I like yours. Thanks!

  14. i love how you store your xmas decor! luckily I can still try to attempt something similar since we are BARELY taking down our tree tonight :D

    for dvd’s, we finally got rid of cases and went with Atlantic Movie Sleeves.

    You can find these sleeves at Target for $14.99 (pack of 25 sleeves). I love these sleeves because they allow you to keep the movie covers too! I bought an extra pack for my future purchases but was able to fit whatever I had (about 100 dvds) into ONE dvd box I purchased at Ikea. They now sit next to my Friends dvd box collection on the tv stand. I can’t wait to see what you do with your collection!

  15. Would have loved to have seen a picture of the house before taking all the lights down. :)

    Love those old trunks, might have to suggest those as gift ideas in the future! :)

  16. I have been looking all over for a way to organize our DVDs and Wii games and haven’t found anything yet. I am looking forward to your future post about organizing your DVDs so I can copy your ideas! Thanks for being my organization inspiration!

  17. Hey Erin! I took down all my Christmas decor yesterday, and now after reading this, I realize I should go and re do…oh well:) not happening!! Coming out of the cave…Happy 2012! xoxo

  18. I had no idea your trunks were passed down from family! I’ve always thought they were so cute and just thought you got them at Pottery Barn or something! That’s so cool.

    You are killing me with all these posts! Let’s see I finally got my Christmas post done last night at 12:30, and you’ve already done how many organizing posts?! And had Kenny take pics of you running around the park, are you kidding me?!

    Oh I’ve been meaning to tell you…I got rid of all my CD cases a couple months ago, we had two drawers we kept them in and they were both completely full! I bought the cases that are specifically for DVDs so you can keep the cover picture or insert and fit it into the sleeve. This is great because the kids can still see the front picture. They also have room for 2 dics so you can fit all your 2 disc editions. I love them!

  19. I 2nd the DVD sleeves! I just bought those and I got a shelf and a half worth of DVD’s done with one pack. I still need to get a couple more and find a cute storage box, but I’m ready to say goodbye that the DVD shelf! Plus they will be easier to move in the future!

  20. I just bought two ornament boxes from Target and I have to say it’s the best thing ever! I was so glad that I did not have to wrap all those ornaments again. You fit so much into those trunks!

    (I had to laugh too, my sibs are so not into organizing. they often laugh at me!)

  21. Thanks everyone!! So many fun comments!

    MML – I got my tree skirt and stockings at Pottery Barn. Love their Christmas stuff! You might be able to get that tree skirt now at a discounted price.

    Thanks for the great tips for DVD storage everyone! I’ll definitely post my system when I figure it out myself! :)

  22. I just found your blog, and I’m SO glad I did! I am the MOST unorganized person you will EVER meet in your life. I’m going to try following some of your tips to see if they will help me. They can’t hurt, right?! :)
    I wanted to share about our movies. We have A LOT of movies. Like WAY too many movies. We finally ditched all of the boxes for our DVD’s AND our CD’s. They are in CD cases. All of our CD’s are in one case, and they are alphabetical. (My husband did that. I’m NOT organized, remember)?! Then our DVD’s are in separate cases. We have one for the kids cartoon movies. One for kids regular movies. The others are separated into different categories: Thrillers, Scary Movies, Love Stories, Comedies, and Dramas. We also separate our Wii and Playstation Games the same way.
    It works for us, and it’s probably the most organized I’ll ever be, so I’ll take it! :)
    Thanks for the tips. I can’t wait to check out some more.

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