10 tips for de-decorating (and de-stressing) after Christmas

The bad news is Christmas is over.

The good news is that the decorations will come down faster than they went up.

Here are some tips on how to pull it down, pack it up, and put it away.

Tip No. 1: The day after Christmas is not too soon to start de-decorating, especially if you have a real tree. Time may be of the essence if it’s drying out. Besides, Valentine’s Day is too late.

New Year’s Day is just about right for people who want to start the New Year off fresh.

Tip No. 2: Upgrade all your storage containers.

If you are using the same cardboard box year after year, it’s time to start storing in plastic bins. Consider purchasing them in red and green to easily distinguish them from your other storage bins.

You’ll know exactly which ones to pull down next year.

Tip No. 3: If possible, return your ornaments, lights, villages, and nativity sets to their original packaging.

The Styrofoam and plastic trays will protect them from damage.

Tip No. 4: If you have lost the original packaging for your lights, take the time to neatly wind them back up and secure them with a rubber band, masking tape or a twist tie.

If you have lost the original packaging for your ornaments, consider purchasing an ornament organizer. They are plastic boxes with individual slots.

It’s well worth the investment if you plan on using your ornaments year after year.

If new storage options are not in your after-Christmas budget, shoe boxes and crumpled newspapers will do just fine to cradle your shiny wares until next year.

Tip No. 5: Don’t let the little odds and ends linger loosely on the bottom of your bins. Keep all the extra ornament hooks, replacement light bulbs and adhesive-backed, wall-mounted hooks in a Baggie.

You won’t want to scrounge around for them later.

Tip No. 6: Tired of your old decorations? Ready to switch your traditional red and green ornaments for purple and silver next year?

Cull any decorations you don’t think you will use again. Consider doing an ornament swap with friends and family.

Toss what is damaged. Donate the rest.

Tip No. 7: Think about how you want to group your decorations for storage.

Is it more convenient to store them by room — entryway d&233;cor — or by like items — garland and greenery?

There is no right or wrong way. It’s whatever makes the most sense to you.

Tip No. 8: Has your Christmas tree box taken a beating? Is it getting harder and harder to re-tape the thing year after year?

Buy stretch wrap. It’s like a giant roll of plastic wrap. Stretch wrap reinforces the box and protects your tree from damage.

No more taping and re-taping because the stretch wrap adheres to itself. One roll will last years.

It can be purchased locally at Grainger for between $15–$20 per roll depending on width and thickness. Stretch wrap can also be found at other shipping supply stores.

Tip No. 9: When you are doing your after-Christmas gift returns or shopping, you will find some great deals on marked-down decorations. Be sure you have enough storage for the incoming items.

Tip No. 10: Label each box and store with the label facing out.

If you are an over-achiever, an itemized list of what is inside a bin may save you time later.


The good news is that after following these tips, your decorations are organized and safely stored until next year.

Put up your feet and enjoy some hot chocolate.

The bad news is that Christmas is still 364 days away.


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