Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

November 30, 2010

Holiday Storage

Q FROM FRANZISKA : You often write about storing your holiday-stuff all together. That means not only decoration but also albums, books and much more. I’m a little curious how your store all these things. In boxes labeled and with a list maybe? And another question came to my mind: do you toss away and sort out things when unpacking the holiday boxes? Or how do you manage keeping the amount of holiday stuff manageable? I like the idea of keeping all the holiday stuff together. I didn’t do that with for example CDs. Maybe the holiday baker’s books can be put there, too.

AE : I’m a big fan of tubs. These holiday tubs (and everything you see in the photo above) is stored in our garage. The only thing missing from this photo is another large tub that holds our exterior lights and the three or so boxes for my fake trees (I just put them back in their original packaging boxes). Everything holiday goes into these tubs at the end of December: movies, ornaments, December Daily albums, Christmas books and other decorations – it all comes back out again the following December.

I don’t have any lists to go along with these tubs – just a label on the outside that says “xmas.”

In addition to putting it all away, I’m also a big fan of only having things that we really love. Over the years we’ve collected things that are just extra – extra decorations, etc that I’m not choosing to pull out of the tubs for one reason or another. This year one of my goals as I pull stuff out of the tubs is to have a box on hand for donations. I’ve attempted to do that at the end of the season before but usually by then I’m so over the stuff that I just end up putting it all away in the tubs (even the things that we might not really love and enjoy).

Last year I ordered the Ornament Storage Boxes from Amazon (one stacked on top of the other on the right side of the photo). They were pricey but they are really nice and secure and sturdy. My plan is that one will be for Anna and one for Simon. Right now neither of them have enough ornaments to fit in one box, but as they gather them over the years this will be their home. I’m currently storing generic ornaments in addition to the what the kids have in these boxes. My personal ornaments are stored in an awesome fabric box my Grandma Cathy made when I was a child.

I really don’t want any more than this amount of tubs (4 tubs + the 2 ornament boxes).

This is really a transition year for us in terms of decorations. I’m taking it slowly as I pull out each thing and thinking more about where (and if) I want to have it here in our new place.

I love it when it comes inside from the garage in late November/early December and I love it when it goes back out!

Do you have a holiday storage system? Any favorite tips to share?


  • 51.
    Leslie said…

    One thing I started the year my oldest child was born..and we started buying (and receiving) ornaments for him was to get a small spiral notebook. In it, for each year, I write the ornament, what its significance was (assuming it had! LOL!) and where it came from… The kids (now 10 and 12) love looking back at the notebook to remember who gave the ornaments or where we bought them (i.e. on a family vacation) or what the significance was (sports hobby that year, etc)… The spiral book stays in the child’s ornament box..

  • 52.
    Catnap said…

    I keep all my Xmas stuff together, and label every box with the contents. Each box is either a similar type of decoration (eg, lights, ornaments, tabletop decorations) or it’s a theme (eg, Swedish decorations). I switch themes from year to year, so this makes it easy only to pull out boxes I really need, and not unpack everything. I also keep things in plastic bags to protect them from mildew, and I label all the bags, or little boxes, I store them in so I know where to put it back when I’m putting it all away.

  • 53.
    Andrea Q said…

    I can’t wait to see how everything that is stored in those containers look in your new place!

  • 54.
    Katherine M said…

    I’ve got an entire Liberty Falls Christmas village set that I used to put out every year (and added to every year) until I got married. I don’t think it has seen the light of day since (11 years) and there are so many pieces/parts it didn’t make the donation box last year. I just couldn’t do it. So it sat on the floor in the garage for this ENTIRE year between the fridge and the trashcans. I guess that means it should be the first thing I
    put in the car to donate… I think the kids would love it but it is such a hassle with all of the individual boxes and trees and mini figures and accessories that I don’t even look forward to opening the box much less setting it up.

    Okay- I just put the entire uber-heavy box in the back of my car and it will be dropped off today. Just typing this comment helped to make up my mind. Thanks!

    Oh-do you wrap all of your ornaments (especially the ones in the kid’s boxes) with tissue paper or just set them in the divided sections? Just wondering. Those padded boxes look really nice.

  • 55.
    M. MADISON said…

    I use this exact same system and love it. The only thing that I can add is that I have a separate small tote for all of the non-breakable decorations. Each year when the tubs come out my kids are so excited to start rummaging through their ornaments…so…I’ve found that having all of them in their own container allows me to open that one right up without the fear of anything being broken. By the time they have emptied that I have everything else organized.

  • 56.
    Erin K. said…

    Last year I took the time when putting out all the Christmas stuff to donate, trash and recycle lots of stuff. I now have 2 boys so as I put things away they each got their own box for ornaments. As I packed things up I donated or tossed anything else I didn’t love. I made of a list of things that I really wished I had (kept an eye out all year at the resale shops and garage sales). I started a new box for misc items I had somehow forgotten to pack and anything new I added. As I unpack this year I will re evaluate again!

  • 57.
    MaryM said…

    Let me start by saying that’s I have been blessed, because I currently have about 20 large bins of Christmas Decorations and that does not include the boxes that house our trees (1 12′, 2 7′and 4 4′). I love a fully decorated home and after 21 years of marriage I have assemble so many decorations that I can open my own store :) Happy Holidays Everyone!

  • 58.
    Lani said…

    I have one small tub that holds the things I need right away: Advent calendars, story books, holiday card address book, cookie recipies. That’s stored right at the front of our Christmas area, so I can grab it right after Thanksgiving and get the holiday started. Then at some point in the month the other two tubs of Christmas items (and the tree) come out as we have time. Works for us, but took me several years to come up with a system that does.

  • 59.
    Renee Richins said…

    I’m pulling out all my decorations today and boy do I have way too much. I have most of it in bins and I bought a couple of those plastic ornament boxes last year. This past year I inherited a ton of decorations that my Great Grandparents had. I’m so overwhelmed because it’s a lot, and I’m having a hard time parting with any of my grandparents decorations. There are a lot of vintage looking ornaments, but they just aren’t “me”. I found that my tastes have changed in the last 8 years I’ve been married, so I have a huge box set out to put any of my own decorations in that I don’t want anymore. I’m ready to enjoy the things I love instead of shuffling around things that I don’t.

  • 60.
    Jill in Frisco said…

    I have used this same “system” for almost 30 years – yep, it works as well today as it did 30 years ago.
    5 years ago, I was able to give my daughter her “box”…. last weekend, I gave my son his “box”. Life goes on, a little lighter the tree is a little bare, but I feel good knowing that I did a great job being the keeper of their memories…

Post a comment