12/31/2013 12:48 pm ET Updated Mar 02, 2014

Four Simple Ways to Use Holiday Clutter to Pack Away Décor Safely

The holiday festivities have come to a close. The pine needles are beginning to cover the floor, and I bet corners of the house are filled with boxes, wrapping paper and miles of ribbon. But before you begin the task of clearing the house of all holiday remnants and packing up the décor, you can actually put the festive trash to good use. Much of your trash is actually a treasure when it comes to stowing away your holiday décor safely! Follow these four simple steps to reuse Christmas past, clear holiday clutter and make sure your décor is in one piece next year, all at the same time!

Lights, Tangles, Action:

Never again spend hours untangling holiday lights or hunting for that one broken bulb. Use empty wrapping paper tubes to store your holiday lights, and wrap the lights around the outside of the tube. This way, you can easily check for broken bulbs without having to untangle the string of lights, and it also makes it easy for stringing along the tree or house next year! Make sure you put the plugs at either end of the tubes for easy access.

Green Wrap to Save you from Seeing Red:

Reuse old wrapping paper, bubble wrap, popped corn or packing peanuts to pack away your holiday decorations and keep them safe from damage. This also works great for treasured knickknacks and antiques that we often display during the holiday.


Get or give a lot of electronics? Use the leftover styrofoam to custom make your own ornament protector. Cut the styrofoam into the right size square with an old hot knife, and then cut it in half to fit around each ornament. You can melt the styrofoam by using the back of an old hot spoon. Careful with your fingers. This DIY idea is easy to make and a very effective way to store fragile ornaments.

Contain Yourself:

Put the stacks of empty boxes to use, or take advantage of the post Christmas sales, and stock up on clear, reusable storage containers and boxes available from any organization store. When you're clearing out the holiday clutter, pack items in the boxes room by room. Label each box by the room the décor typically goes in to avoid a holiday scavenger hunt next year. "Family Room Decorations" all stay stored together in the same box or two. "Living Room Bookshelf Christmas Decorations" are all placed together. Also label boxes for "inside" and "outside" decorations. Always make sure to mark "FRAGILE" on the outside of any boxes or packaging of delicate holiday decorations being stored away. Lastly, make a hand written list of what is in the box and place it at the top of the box so that you don't need to dig through to discover your holiday cheer!

No room in your garage to store all the holiday decorations? Or, just want to keep the holiday clutter out of the way? Ah yes, that's where the storage really comes in handy!