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I am very excited to share a guest post by our SBO Partner Mary Davis from In Good Order serving Richmond, VA and surrounding areas.

Are you a holiday decorating minimalist, or a full-on Clark Griswold? No matter your holiday decorating style, you need to store your decorations most of the year. By taking a little time to declutter and organize your holiday decor, you can save time each year, meaning more time for baking and watching Elf. Here are our best tips for organizing your holiday decorations.

1. Declutter your decor. This year, plan on getting your decorations out a little early for each holiday to give yourself time to go through them. Get rid of anything that doesn’t give you all of the holiday-joy feels, or is broken. Donate or recycle anything in good condition.

2. Fine-tune your holiday storage. Depending on how you decorate, store your items in a way that makes it easy to put decorations up and take them down. First, store by holiday or season. Then, break those down into themes or rooms. If you don’t consistently use themes or decorate by room, store by type.

3. Organize your ornaments. I love ornament storage bins with individual compartments and trays (like these Snapware bins). They allow me to see all of my ornaments as I’m decorating. Store ornaments by type – for example, glass balls, kids’ ornaments, collections, etc. Keep boxed collections in a large bin. For fragile and irreplaceable ornaments keep them in the box they came in or wrap in tissue paper. Remove hooks from any ornaments that may get scratched before storing the ornament. Keep extra hooks in a small box. (These can also be used for other small holiday decorations.)

4. Show your lights some love. Instead of throwing them in a tub to become tangled, wrap your lights around a piece of cardboard, or invest in special string light storage. Store spare bulbs and remotes in the same box.

5. Take advantage of vertical storage space. Hang wreaths and other wall decor in your storage area. You can hang wreaths directly on hooks or get wreath bins to protect from dust and bugs.

6. Label, label, label. This way, there’s no digging through boxes to find Piper, the Elf on the Shelf.

7. Avoid the attic and garage if possible. Moisture and heat can ruin fragile and painted ornaments. If you don’t have the option to store somewhere else, use a plastic airtight container. If possible store bins on shelves, not the floor, to deter pests.

Holiday decorating should add to the joy of the holiday season, not add stress. Taking a little extra time to get your holiday decor in good order will make decorating easier, leaving more time for what the holidays are really about – family, friends, and fun.

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