Packing up Holiday decor can turn into an entire day or weekend event. Christmas 2018, I packed everything in bins haphazardly, thinking the boxes wouldn’t move once they were put away in our storage room. Boy was I wrong. We moved in 2019 and I didn’t even think to check how well the Christmas decorations were packed. They were in a bin, so in my mind they were packed and ready to go. Little did I know that they were so poorly packed that many glass ornaments broke, garland was bent so tightly that it wasn’t fixable, and there was glitter on everything.

And I didn’t realize any of this until Christmas 2019. We had been in our new home for a few months when I started unpacking the Holiday decor for the season. I found many small pieces of glass, kinked garland, and so much glitter. And when we moved I had sworn that we wouldn’t have glitter in our new house… now it was everywhere. We had a three foot Christmas tree that had been taped up in a box each year for an entire decade as it moved from apartment to apartment.

We collect Christmas ornaments when we travel so that we can reminisce about our trips each year when we put the tree up. A few of those ornaments were broken, and so was my heart. Our trip to Boston would now be remembered with glued together remnants of a replica of Paul Revere’s home. And our trip to Banff was remembered by a moose ornament with all four hooves broken off. There were others that I patched together with a glue gun, but I was so disappointed in my lazy packing. I created more work for myself and damaged some of our most precious memories.

This was definitely an expense I didn’t plan for. So, off to the store I went to purchase a new (larger) tree, new ornaments, and some garland with lights. Figured I would upgrade a little bit since I had to replace them anyway.

Anyway… the moral of this story is to pack up your Holiday decorations extremely well if there is an even an inkling of an idea that you might move before the next Christmas. Save yourself the time, money, and energy of having to replace everything by packing it all away properly the first time.

If you’re planning to move before the next holiday season, pack up your holiday decor well so it will be ready for your upcoming move. Take care of this now, so you don’t have to worry about packing it later, and your decor can stay safe. Here are five tips to help you pack your holiday care safely and easily.

person holding a box of holiday decor: ornaments labeled donate, standing next to a christmas tree

Get rid of holiday decor you won’t use in the future

Take inventory of what you have. Are there any decor or holiday-themed items you don’t want to use in the future? Get rid of those now. Don’t let them take up precious space now when you will probably get rid of them later. Before our last move, I got rid of all the glitter table decor I had somehow accumulated over the years. I hate glitter. And I knew I wouldn’t use them again, so I could donate them to a local school. This saved me from packing an entire bin of decor I would not use.

And if you know me, you know I am a huge fan of my local buy-nothing group– my favorite go-to. It’s a great way to keep items from landfills and be sure they are used by others. And it’s free for all.

5 blue and Clear bins piled together on a gray hardwood floor with white brick background

Use heavy-duty boxes or bins for storage

Avoid using flimsy boxes or lightweight totes that can bend– this puts your decor at risk of getting damaged. When moving, you don’t know if those boxes will make it to the top of a stack, or the bottom, so keep things protected by using durable containers.

collage of holiday decor: ornaments, wrapping paper, Christmas lights, and a decorated mantle

Try to keep likes with likes

Categorize your items as you put them away. I use the categories: ornaments, mantle decor, dishes, linens, garland, indoor lights, homemade decor, outdoor lights, and miscellaneous holiday decor for the stuff that doesn’t fit into a category. 

I put all non-fragile ornaments into Ziploc bags together. For fragile ornaments, I put them in ornament boxes or wrap them with packing paper. Then I put them together in a large Ziploc bag if they fit. Then they all go in a bin together. 

Our mantle decor, like stockings, banners, and garlands with lights, all go into a bin together. When I unload these items to decorate for next year, I take that one bin to the fireplace and get busy decorating. This keeps it easy because I’m not searching for items in multiple bins or boxes for that particular area to decorate.

box with christmas decor and packing peanuts, next to packaging tape

Use the right size boxes or bins and fill them completely

Fragile, breakable, or crushable items must be placed in smaller boxes to avoid pressure from other things that could cause damage. Once packed, then those small boxes can be placed inside bigger boxes or bins.

No matter the box size or bin, fill it up completely. Put heavier items on the bottom and lighter items towards the top. It is helpful to layer some light items like garland or linen at the top of each container to fill up. You can also use leftover wrapping paper and tissue paper to help pad the inside of each box.

person writing on a box that is taped up

Label every box with what holiday decor is inside

Have you ever had to open up several boxes to find that one item you needed because the box it was in wasn’t labeled correctly? Save yourself time by labeling each box with what is inside. Get specific. Here’s a good example: homemade Christmas ornaments, garlands w/ lights, and white pumpkins. Here’s a poor example: holiday decor. 

For holiday decor, I also recommend labeling with a box number and the total number of holiday boxes included. For example, box 1 of 5, box 2 of 5, and box 3 of 5. This way, you know how many holiday boxes you have when you get them out the last year. I made the mistake of forgetting two boxes one year because they were tucked away in storage, and I forgot we had them.

As your moving day gets closer, you’ll be so thankful to not have to worry about packing up holiday decor. Do it now, and don’t think about holiday decor until it’s time to decorate your new home. If you’re looking for help staying organized during your upcoming move, check out the Move Mama Move Relocation Planners with all the checklists, tips, trackers, and logs to keep you on top of it all during this major transition.

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