Are you ready to put away your Christmas decorations? We have plenty of tips for you, along with a few other after-Christmas tasks to take care of in January. We’ve created a simple, printable checklist for you to follow.
Scheduling a Date
First things first. Set a deadline of when you would like all of your Christmas decorations put away. In most homes, it took days or even weeks to decorate. So, you’ll want to take your time, and pack everything away safely and neatly organized. We like to have our decorations put away by January 15th.
Next, schedule a date to take down your Christmas tree. We try to keep our tree up until Three Kings Day, also called the Epiphany. It is the day that the Three Kings visited baby Jesus to give him gifts. Therefore, we think it’s important to leave our Christmas tree decorated until the Epiphany. However, some towns have a tree collection schedule. It is often the week after New Year’s Day, so be sure to check your town’s recycling schedule. If our tree is collected early, at the very least, our Christmas Manger set will remain on display through the Epiphany.
Putting Away the Decorations
Put something away everyday. It makes it easier to pick from the list, and put it away in the correct storage container, properly labeled. Here are a few things we work on:
- Ceramic tree
- Christmas Card tree
- Mantel Decorations
- Outdoor lights and decorations
- Outdoor window wreaths
- Small Christmas tree in dining room
- Christmas village
- Window clings
We will also replace some of the Santa and nutcracker decorations with snowmen. You can also start to decorate with Valentine’s Day items.
Group like items together, and store them in a large box or bin. We use the large red and green plastic storage bins, and they are stored all together under the basement stairs.
It’s important to label each bin. You can do this with a fancy label maker. We opted to take a simple piece of square white note paper. Each bin has a title, along with 3-4 main items listed in the bin. Here are a few examples:
- Tree Ornaments: Angel, balls, lights
- Mantel: Bears, Stockings, Stocking holders, green garland
- Victorian Tree Ornaments: Gold beads, pink ornaments, maroon balls
- Living room: Manger, Music Christmas Tree, Nutcrackers
Our Christmas tree ornaments are wrapped in white tissue paper, and placed in deep gift boxes. We also have one large plastic ornament holder which stores 12-15 fragile round balls.
We wrap each strand of lights around the cardboard leftover from a roll paper towel. Then, we put each strand of lights in a plastic bag from Walmart or Target. It’s not a pretty system, but it is so easy and inexpensive. More importantly, everything is organized, and easy to unpack each season.
We keep our outdoor decorations up until at least January 1st. Of course, this depends on the weather. If there is too much snow, the lights may need to stay out longer. If there is a snow storm on the way, we will put away the outdoor decorations sooner.
We store all of our outdoor Christmas decorations on a shelf in the garage. It frees up space inside, and it’s easier to access when we need to take them out. Plus, we don’t need to carry items up and down the basement stairs.
We have a bin for our outdoor lights. Each strand is rolled up and placed in a plastic bag. The small fake tree goes back into the box we bought it in.
There is also a bin for our large inflatables. (Yes, we have a few of these in our yard.) Our large inflatables are placed in a new large white kitchen trash bag, and then in the bin.
Once everything is packed up, it’s just a matter of putting it on the shelf in front of the car.
Additional After-Christmas Tasks
There are a few additional tasks you’ll want to handle in January:
- Update Address Tracker with cards received and new addresses
- Upload holiday pictures and movies to computer
- Return or exchange holiday gifts
- Print mailing labels for on-line gift returns
- Attend or host parties canceled due to snow
Here are a few more articles you may want to read: