December 28, 2011

Packing Up Christmas

I know that many of you won't even be thinking about packing up the Christmas decorations until after New Years, and that's fine. I love how fresh and simple my home looks after the decorations come down, so I eagerly ditched the tree yesterday.  Let me share some tips to make packing things away (and pulling them out again next year!) a little bit simpler.

  • Sort items into totes labelled for different types of Christmas Items.  I have a tote for the tree decorations, one for miscellaneous indoor decor, one for holiday linens and dishes, one for wreaths and one for garland and extra lights.  I also have a large tote for all of the exterior decorations, but I will leave them up at least until the new year. Totes labelled for each area of the house would make sense too.

  • Now is a good time to consider purging anything you didn't use this year.  Some things, like favorite ornaments that didn't fit on a smaller than usual tree, are no-brainer keepers.  But Maybe you have some lights that are are missing so many bulbs that there is no sense packing them away again?  Or ornaments that never seem to actually make it to the tree because, lets face it, you don't like them them very much?
  • Shop your recycling bins for storage containers. Egg cartons are the perfect size to safely store mini glass balls.  Re-purposed cookie tins work well for larger ornaments.  
  • Place sparkly things in zip top bags to keep them from shedding sparkles on everything else.
  • Place things in the totes in the order you expect to need them. For example, my tree tote has lights at the top, followed by bead garland, then ornaments and then a star at the bottom.
  • If you have young children, consider packing all of the non-breakable tree ornaments together in one little container. Next year when you are unpacking everything with excited little hands around you can pass them the whole box of felt and plastic ornaments and let them have a blast  decorating the bottom branches of the tree while you place the more breakable ones higher up.

Thank you so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.


  1. We always take ours down by New Years Day. My birthday is Jan4 and my parents always tried to keep it separate from Christmas. My husband now continues the tradition in order to keep my birthday special :)

  2. Very cool ideas! My fav is how you did the tote for the tree with the lights on top! I'll be using that in the next few days! Thanks!

  3. Love the egg carton idea! Thanks.

  4. I purged several things yesterday that don't fit into my decor or that I haven't used in years. Great tip!

  5. Such smart ideas! Especially storing things in the bin in the order in which you will use them! Love that!

  6. Packing up already? :) I'm going to enjoy my Christmas decorations a while longer.
    I was wondering, what did you use to fasten the Christmas cards to the door frame?

  7. Thanks soooo much for posting this. I am dreading putting things away but now it doesn't look like it's too bad :) Happy New Year!

    If Work Permits

  8. I am the same way, as soon as boxing day comes I like to take the tree down. I put it up really early, in November, or at least by December 1st, so once Christmas is done I'm ready to move on to a little more order in my home! I couldn't take it down this year on boxing day due to festivities at our house on that day, but it came down yesterday, which was actually a longer wait for me than usual!

  9. Our tree and decorations will be staying up a while we have time to sort and purge!

    I want to go through a bunch of boxes and pack things away well.

    I want to pack the "early Christmas, kinda more Thanksgiving/Fall-ish" stuff together. I don't want it to end up packed in the "decidedly Christmas" stuff.

    If you know what I mean. :)

  10. Great tips! We discovered the need for a box of unbreakable ornaments for the girls to open IMMEDIATELY when we started decorating our tree this year. Hopefully, that will make next year's process a lot less stressful!

  11. I also love the egg carton idea...and how providential that I happen to have a couple egg cartons lying around!! Now, if only I could stop feeling ill enough to get the tree down. ugggh. (I am still working on putting away presents from traveling!)

  12. This post was great timing in my life! I packed them all away on New Years Day - that way everything is gone before school begins (on the 4th), and like you said, I'm so ready for the decorations to be down!
    I didn't ever think to de-clutter the decorations, and it's normally a "shove them in whatever leftovers packaging we didn't burn" kind of pack away. I now have three very ordered boxes, and I totally used the egg cartoon idea!
    Thanks xx

  13. Great ideas. I just posted about how I pack away my Christmas things and linked to your post too.


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