Invest in large plastic tubs for storage, but not too large, you don’t want them to be hard to lift. Label the exterior of the tubs with the contents or in what part of the house the decorations go.

Divide your home up into rooms, if you use the same decorations in the same places each year. To make decorating easier next year, pack holiday displays per specific areas of the home, i.e.: ‘Holiday: Kitchen”.

To keep ribbons – especially the wired kind which can be expensive, save the spools so you can roll it back up. If you don’t have the spools, you could use cut up paper towel rolls. And for ribbon bows, stuff wads of tissue paper in the loops so they will keep their shape while in storage.

For fabric items, such as tree skirts, stockings, table clothes, wash them before putting them away for the season. Make sure they’re completely dry before packing them up, and store them, folded neatly, in over-sized zip-top bags or in vacuum bags.

For fragile ornaments, save the original packaging for storage. If you already threw that away, save tissue paper and bubble wrap from holiday deliveries and gifts. Wrap each ornament in tissue paper and put a layer of bubble wrap between layers of wrapped ornaments. Store the most delicate ornaments on top so that the weight of other items in the box won’t crush them.

Outdoor Christmas lights should be taken down and stored with extra care, keeping in mind next year. Start from top to bottom. Store each strand of lights in its own bag to keep them from tangling up with each other. Store all your clips in one bag.

Taking down the decorations is not a fun task. But, if you follow these tips, you’ll be thanking yourself next year at the beginning of the holiday season!