So Clever! 10 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

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Perhaps it's a bit early to start thinking about putting away all those beautiful decorations that you've probably just put into place. But with a little preparation and the gathering of a few key items over the course of the next few weeks, you can save yourself a lot of extra work next year. Here are some easy ways to detangle, declutter, condense, and protect all your holiday decor.

Top Row:
1. Old Belts: Blogger Grunge Zombie recommends cinching up your tree with thrift store belts to make it a more manageable, storable size.
2. Egg Cartons and Apple Containers: Anna Moseley of Ask Anna uses egg cartons to keep her ornaments safe before they go into larger storage containers. For larger ornaments, she suggests using apple containers.
3. Coffee Cans: Good Housekeeping recommends using coffee cans and other old containers to keep your Christmas lights untangled.
4. Hanging Storage: Large Rubbermaid tubs are an old storage standby, but Katie from Craptastic updated this class by adding dowels for hanging storage.
5. An "Unpack First" Box: Real Simple suggests labeling your most common ornaments or decorative items according to the order you use them instead of by type. By having an "unpack first" box, you'll save yourself the hassle of digging through many boxes for your favorite items.

Bottom Row:
1. Concrete Form Tubes: The Family Handyman suggests using concrete form tubes to neatly pack an artificial tree. Bind each layer of the tree in twine and label each tube according to the layers inside.
2. Duct Tape: Artificial trees are often color coded, but after several years, the colors wear off. The Family Handyman recommends labeling each layer with duct tape and layer numbers as soon as you deconstruct the tree, for easier assembly the following year.
3. Plastic Cups: This lifehack suggests gluing plastic cups to cardboard so that ornaments can stay separated, organized, and safe from breakage.
4. Gift Wrap Caddy: Keep ribbon, wrap, tags, tape, and all your other trimmings corralled with this slim, efficient, and affordable caddy from Casa.
5. Wreath Storage: Good Housekeeping shares how to keep your wreaths looking fresh year-to-year by using a hanger and a plastic dry cleaning bag.

(Image credits: Shutterstock/Shutterstock; Grunge Zombie; Ask Anna; Good Housekeeping; Craptastic; Real Simple; The Family Handyman; The Family Handyman; My BS; Casa; Good Housekeeping)

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