How To: Store Holiday Lights, Decorations, and Accessories

By Chris Gardner | Updated Nov 30, 2014 9:49 AM

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How to Store Holiday Decorations - Holiday Lights


I’m one of those who believes you can never have too many holiday decorations. A tree dripping with ornaments? Love it. You want a yard full of inflatables? Go for it. A house covered in lights that sync to your own radio station? I’ll definitely stop curbside to take it all in.

What about the other ten and a half months, when all that holiday-related stuff needs storage? Big box stores will be happy to sell you bins and other containers. But with a little planning and ingenuity, you can create your own DIY solutions that will work just as well.

How to Store Holiday Decorations - Carboard Boxes

String Lights
Face it, you’re never going to get those strands back in the box they came in. So save your gift and shipping boxes and make your own storage panels. Just cut a slot on either side of the cardboard, stick the plug in one, wrap the lights around the center and secure the end in the opposite slot. In a larger box, you can store all your string lights vertically. This approach also works for garlands, beads, and other long, tangle-prone decorations.

Wreaths and Garlands
Insert into a heavy-duty garbage bag, then store by hanging on a wall in a garage or basement (or even under the stairs). Your wreath or garland won’t get crushed, and you’re free from having to spend extra money on a unitasker.

How to Store Holiday Decorations - Wrapping Paper

Photo: Flickr / frankfarm

Wrapping Paper and Supplies
Store wrapping paper rolls in that unused space at the top of a closet—its ceiling. See how Frank created this smart storage solution using only anchors, screws, and some galvanized wire. You can keep ribbon smash-free in the closet, too, with a tie hanger.

Plastic Cups for Christmas Ornament Storage


Hang onto gift and shipping boxes and use them to store tree ornaments. Delicate glass and ceramic pieces can be stored in reused tissue paper or packaging materials. Egg cartons or the apple/pear bins you can get at membership discount stores make for excellent bulb storage. Alternatively, you can hot-glue clear plastic cups to cardboard sheets, placing the sheets into a larger bin for a zero-risk solution.

Everything Else
Once you’ve got everything stashed away and protected, consider building one of these sliding storage systems to take advantage of your previously unused garage ceiling space.

For more on storage, consider:

Optimize Your Attic Storage
10 “Neat” Garage Storage Solutions
Bob Vila Radio: Holiday Decoration Storage