A living space decorated for the holidays with stockings on the fireplace mantle, a lit up tree, and wrapped presents underneath.
Organization Tips

10 Tips for Packing Your Holiday Decorations

The holiday season is over, as much as we might not want it to be. And we’ve got some tips to help you pack everything up for next year!

Originally posted January 2022. Updated December 2022.

A living space decorated for the holidays with stockings on the fireplace mantle, a lit up tree, and wrapped presents underneath.

Holiday decorations often hold sentimental value, whether it’s a tree topper that’s been passed down through your family for generations, a handmade ornament from your child, or nostalgic bubble lights that trim your tree year after year. So as the holiday season comes to a close, Prime Storage is here with tips to help you pack everything up the right way so you can keep your treasured décor in pristine condition for years to come.

Gather the Right Supplies

Your packing supplies are determined by what items you’re planning to store. While using the original packaging and boxes that a decoration came in is always preferable, those aren’t always available. Some great supplements to have on hand include:

  • Ornament storage boxes
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Garbage bags
  • Box partitions
  • Wrapping paper storage container
  • Wreath storage bags
  • Bubble wrap
  • Foam packing sheets
  • Foam packing pouches
  • Tissue paper
  • Packing tape
  • Label maker/labels
  • Permanent marker (for labeling boxes)
  • Storage reels (for lights)
  • Fragile stickers

Opt for Ornament-Specific Storage

Whether you’re storing your ornament collection in your home or transporting them to your storage unit, take care wrapping each ornament individually. Small foam packing pouches make for excellent wrapping, as do bubble bags and bubble wrap. Ornament-specific storage containers are the way to go and are worth the extra investment. Some options consist of drawers with dividers for each ornament, while others are made up of stackable layers with dividers. Cardboard ornament boxes are lightweight and are best when storing ornaments at home. Plastic ornament containers are more durable, are better in transport, and are a great choice for your storage unit. Non-breakable plastic ornaments should be packed together at the bottom of the box, with more fragile glass ornaments kept separate. Remember to label your boxes and add a fragile sticker when necessary!

Double Down When Packing the Christmas Tree

The cardboard box your Christmas tree came in can be a suitable option when storing it at home. But, if your tree finds itself being stashed in the basement, shed, or storage unit, you should consider doubling down on the packing. For example, if your tree comes apart in sections, put each section in a plastic Christmas tree bag or leaf bag. Then pack the bagged sections in a plastic storage tote. And we’re talking about artificial Christmas trees here—real trees should be disposed of each year as they can become a fire hazard.

Storage Reels Make for a Tangle-Free Light Experience

Holiday light storage reels are inexpensive and the way to go to ensure that your lights stay untangled. First, wrap both indoor and outdoor lights around the reel and secure the end with a piece of tape. Then wrap the lights in packing paper or bubble wrap and put them into a storage bin. It may be tempting to try and jam the lights back into that little box they came in, but that can lead to unmanageable tangles you’ll have to conquer next year.

If you can’t secure a storage reel, there are many other ways to store your Christmas lights using items you already have around your home. For additional information, check out this video that identifies a handful of quick ways you can store your Christmas lights.

Pack and Label Items by Room

For easy unpacking next holiday season, pack your items based on the room you display them in. For example, you may have an extensive collection of snowman figurines or bottle brush trees, but if you put some in your living room and some in your kitchen, divide them into different boxes.

It will make sense to group some items by type—such as wreaths and ornaments—especially if they require special containers (like a wreath bag). Once your boxes are packed, make sure to label each box with the corresponding holiday and designated room. Like with the ornaments, add a fragile sticker to anything that needs special care and should be packed on top.

Some Other Tips & Tricks for Packing Up Your Holiday Décor:

  • Use tall plastic bins or storage containers specific for wrapping paper. It will help keep the paper dry and fresh, so you don’t have to buy new wrapping paper each year. Cardboard tubes make a great alternative.
  • Garland can be a tricky piece of décor to preserve. First, wrap pieces of plastic around the garland so it resembles a snake. Once the garland is protected in plastic, neatly roll it and pack it into a large heavy-duty plastic container or leaf bag.
  • Store holiday pillows, blankets, and bedding in an airtight plastic container to help prevent a musty smell. Layer in dryer sheets to help keep them smelling extra fresh!
  • Remove all batteries! Batteries are susceptible to damage from fluctuations in temperature and can also break down and leave a hazardous mess. That cute snowman who sings Let it Snow may lose his voice forever if the batteries are left in and leak.
  • Ceramic villages should be packed away in their original boxes for ultimate preservation. These boxes have been custom-designed to fit all of the angles & delicate details of each building. Individual boxes can then be carefully stacked into a larger box or plastic tote and marked with a fragile sticker.

Put Your Decorations in Storage

The holiday season is exhausting enough without being left with a mess of décor. By putting a packing plan in place, you’ll be ready to take everything down…and quickly set it back up eleven months later. If there is nowhere left in your home to store your seasonal items, as these collections tend to grow every year, it may be time to consider a storage unit. At Prime Storage, we have standard indoor and climate controlled units to address all your storage needs. Find a Prime Storage location near you at primestorage.com! And for even more storage tips, check out our blog post on How to Properly Store Your Halloween Decorations.

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