Friday, December 26, 2008

Need help taking Christmas decorations down?

It will be time to start taking the Christmas decorations down soon and I thought I would share how I take mine down and store it for the following year.

If you only have one tree and/or a few boxes, you might not need to do this…but it you put up more than one tree, or have many boxes this might be helpful. Since I decorate almost every room in the house, I’ll use the dining room as an example.

When I decorate, I write down in a notebook/on a piece of paper what goes on the trees, garland, etc for a particular room. When I get a chance, I enter the information into an excel spreadsheet. Here is a sample:


When I am finished I have an inventory of all the ornaments and decorations. I usually take pictures of everything also. This is helpful for planning for next year, as well as insurance purposes. If I am not making any additions or changes from the previous year, I don’t have to write anything down because I already have everything itemized.

When I take ornaments off the tree, I use boxes or baggies to group similar ornaments. I put all ornaments for each tree in their own box.

When I take the decorations down, I write down what goes in each box. I use Rubbermaid (or off-brand) storage containers. Each box has a label (example DR1= dining room box 1, DR 2= dining room box 2, etc).  Here is an example of the boxes (numbered 1-4) for the dining room:


I don’t itemize the ornaments because I have them on the ornaments spreadsheet.  It might sound like extra work, but it really helps to keep it organized and easy to find. A copy of the sheet could be placed in the box, and/or in a Christmas notebook, or left on the computer (whatever works best for you).

Every year I end up moving and changing things around and having my lists help me know what I have (in case I need to add more of a theme/ornament) and which box it is in.

If you store your decorations in more than one place (all mine go in the attic except for linens and dishes) it would be helpful to add a column for the location of the box (garage, attic, basement, closet,etc). Also, when putting the boxes in storage, put the room boxes you want to be able to get to first (next year) in last. We usually decorate the upstairs first (bedrooms), so we put those in the attic last. The boxes for the kitchen, dining room,living room, etc go in the attic first.

Another couple helpful tips if you are writing things down while un-decorating:

  1. Make a note of how long it took you to decorate the tree/room/area. This will help you plan your decorating next year because you will have an idea of how long it takes.
  2. Make a note of any changes/additions to tree/room/area that you would like to try next year. You can add items to your shopping list or work on those projects later when you have some free time.

I have been using this “method”  for twenty years…and it works for me. I realize it may be overwhelming to some….but I thought I would share it anyway!

Technorati Tags:


  1. ~Great ideas! :)
    I'm really into organazation as well.

  2. This is a wonderful idea.. I started breaking mine down yesterday..I have all things grouped from the room for the box. The outside of the box is labeled with the room. Hadn't thought about a spread sheet..hugs ~lynne~

  3. Aha, so this is where I went wrong all of these wonder "it" never fits back the way "it" came out...Thanks for the ideas!
    ;-) Bo

  4. I just finished a few minutes ago taking everything down and packing it away! It took all day! I'm very good about packing according to function and room, but have never done a spread sheet. I don't think I want to know how many ornaments there are!! LOL Sally

  5. I read this in time--before I made a mess of packing. Every year it's the same--dig, dig, dig. What a great method you have! Thanks so much!

  6. This is fantastic! I've been so disgruntled this year trying to find the holiday decorations. (A few years ago my husband HAD TO HAVE a garage addition.) The remodel threw the entire house into chaos & nothing was ever the same. DH finally had the fluorescent lights in the attic finished this year so that I could actually see where he had haphazardly piled anything he picked up. Thank you for the wonderful ideas! ☺ Diane

  7. Susan - you are a girl after my own heart! I love to make lists - I couldn't manage my life without one. I am very impressed! I am not NEAR as organized as you are though - this is a great idea - thanks for sharing it with us. I can see how helpful it must be. I was wondering how you managed it all!

  8. I should wish to be so organized. I have 2 boxes. One for the living room and one for the sunroom and it all goes "kerplop" in a box. I just cant handle any more but I am super impressed! Just call me pathetic when it comes to organizing! Maybe some day! I must add, I HATE to take it all down. I get really depressed. My husband just shakes his head!

  9. This is exactly what I need. Only I am going one step further and I am going to note on my iCal on Thanksgiving to e-mail myself with the place that I stashed my items like the front door snowman and my cookie press and Jacob's Christmas sock (when I find it and re-stash it). I have started that with a few items now such as Jacob's Easter basket and a few gardening ideas. It does help.

  10. HI!!! Iam new to your blog but THIS will make me come back! I am an organizer too, but don't have a spread sheet!!!! This is SUCH a good idea!!!! Now, all I have to do is figure out how to do a spread sheet:):) Thanks so much for suggesting this...and I will come back to your blog now. I am following several and will add you to my list. Happy New Year!!! Pinky


Thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment! I enjoy reading all your thoughts and will try to answer any questions you might have for me. Have a wonderful day....hope to "see"you again soon!