A Tale of Two Towels-or How to Store Holiday Decorations Properly

When friends arrive at holiday time, I invite them into “the house that exploded Christmas.”  I have A LOT of Christmas decorations.  It comes from a mom who adds to my Santa collection every year and from living in the same house for 15 years.  Stuff just accumulates. And, really, for most of us, our holiday decorations often are very sentimental. But not always. Like with any category of items in our home, sometimes we are hanging on to things that we shouldn’t. So, without further ado, I present to you: A Tale of Two Towels-Or How to Store Holiday Decorations Properly.”

Store Holiday Decorations Properly


Christmas Organization


Always Start with Decluttering

So…all this holiday stuff I’ve accumulated.  As an organizer I decided it was time to take some of my own advice.  Organizing ALWAYS starts with a purge.  So I took a close look around my house this season and asked myself a few hard questions.

Do I have any items that are no longer of use to me?

A resounding YES! And here’s the story: I have put out two waffle weave dishtowels every year for probably a decade. Every year we hang them on the stove, which is not near the sink, so I don’t use them. To top it off-I don’t find waffle weave towels that absorbent! So, even if I moved them near the sink, I probably wouldn’t use them. Now, my mother did give me these towels. She likes to give me cute waffle weave towels for some reason. But what use are they to me if I never use them. Who knows? Maybe someone out there LOVES waffle weave dishtowels. So into the donation station box they went.

Do I have any decorations that are past their prime? Outdated?

Guilty again. I have this adorable smoker Santa. Put an incense cone in his base and he “smokes” from his pipe for an hour, making the house smell like Christmas. Problem is, I have glued him back together for four seasons now. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye.

Do I have any decorations I just no longer like?

Of course! We all make bad buys now and again. Why was I keeping that olive green and burgundy mantle scarf? It’s gorgeous, but it doesn’t even fit my mantle! Donation Station box again.

Storing Holiday Decorations Properly

It’s all about the boxes.

Once you have thoughtfully pruned your holiday decorations to those you use and love-it’s time to get out the boxes.

Once you have thoughtfully pruned your holiday decorations to those you use and love-it's time to get out the boxes. Click To Tweet

I highly recommend purchasing color coded tubs for your decorations. You will instantly know where your Christmas decorations are. I even tell my teenage son “Please go get the red and green tubs from the attic and bring them downstairs.” Huge time (and back) saver! I use the Centrex red and green totes.

Give Some Label Love

Now, I’ve actually seen organizers who type up a list of every item in every tub of decorations. Since I usually add at least an item or two to my stash each year-as well as get rid of a few items-I don’t want to constantly be updating a list. I do, however, label my containers with general categories:

  • Kitchen Items
  • Tablecloths, napkins and pillows
  • Window wreaths and electric candles
  • Nativity items
  • Santa Collection (I actually have several of these tubs!)
  • Kid Decorations (for their rooms and the playroom)
  • Outside lights
  • Tree lights
  • Front and screened-in porch decorations

LOVE my Dymo labeler! I use it constantly in pretty much every room in the house. So much so that I was teased once and received a picture of my niece’s dog-with a label on it’s forehead! Lol! Seriously, this little tool comes in so handy it’s worth the small investment.


Since my tubs are labeled, I don’t have my elves (read: teenage son and hubby) bring all the tubs down at once.  I start with my Nativity and Santa collection, then move to kitchen items etc.  This way I can take my time decorating, and don’t feel as if I have to do it ALL in one crazy, stressful day.

All About The Tree

Next, invest in some quality ornament boxes.  You’ll never have to worry about your heirloom ornaments getting crushed or broken.

Having boxes dedicated to lights makes life so much easier when you can leave those in the attic until the weekend when the hubby has time to hang lights in the yard and on the tree.  At least, that’s how it works at my house. I recommend the Holiday Light Storage box from Target. Wind your lights around the cord organizers inside so your lights never get tangled again!

The Wreath

Wreaths can be very expensive. I’ve had clients who hang them in their attic or garage and I advise them to purchase a wreath box.  This way the wreath won’t get dusty or brittle like it will when exposed to the elements. I like the wreath box from Homz because it does not have an inner plastic ring. Not all wreaths are formed the same way so this box is more flexible.


The Tree

Finally, if you have an artificial tree, store it in a large bag like the ElfStor. It keeps your tree dust free andmakes it easier to transport up and down stairs as well.  We usually purchase a live tree but I have an artificial tree for my screened in porch as well as a thin one for the front hall.


Having the right products makes decorating, and dismantling the decorations, at the end of the season so much easier. Your precious decorations (both in terms of sentimental value and monetary value) will be safe throughout the year. THAT will make for a very happy holiday!

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Other Awesome Holiday Posts

The Ultimate List for a Successful Christmas

Have Yourself a Merry Clutter-Free Christmas

Perfect Gifts for the Car Enthusiast in Your Life

How to Host an Awesome “A Christmas Story” Party



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Professional Home Organizer

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10 Responses

  1. jiselle

    totally useful! I think this system could be used for other groups of items to so I’ll be totally doing that!

    • Daria Harvey

      So glad it is helpful Jiselle. And I agree-you could use the same approach for other categories of items!

  2. Gina

    I finally disposed of a few decorations I no longer use. I would love to find a container made for keeping the lights untangled. I have a great container for my ornaments that is really helpful.

    • Daria Harvey

      I love the light organizer from the post. We have never had tangled lights since we’ve used that. Plus, our lights don’t break that way. Thanks for commenting on the blog!

  3. These are great tips! I bought some storage containers a couple of years ago and it has made such a difference. Some of the tree ornaments are still in generic boxes, but overall I have a much better storage system. Makes it so much easier to find everything each December.

    • Daria Harvey

      I totally agree Karyl! The Holidays can be stressful enough without the stress of finding your decorations!

  4. Zozie

    We also boxed ours up better a while back and it really helps!

    • Daria Harvey

      Thanks Zozie! Yes, I wish I had bought stock in Sterilite I have so many of their tubs!

  5. Kimberly at Berly's Kitchen

    These are some great organizational tips that I need to start implementing. Especially the color coded tub and getting rid of things. Thanks for sharing!

    • Daria Harvey

      My pleasure Kimberly! Have fun organizing your holiday decorations 🙂

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