Decking the halls with boughs of holly is exciting. Taking it all down and putting it away? Maybe not so much, especially if you don’t have a strong organizational system. There’s a reason some people leave their holiday decorations up through January (and beyond).

Christmas decoration storage doesn’t have to be so difficult. Use these space-saving storage tips and tricks to make taking down the holiday decor a simple, painless experience.

Keep Your Lights Tangle Free

One part of Christmas decorating has an alarming lack of holiday cheer—untangling the lights from the previous year. No one likes to deal with a giant tangled mess year after year, and the holiday months are already stressful enough. This Christmas light storage hack will make the season happy and bright for years to come.

Simply trim a piece of cardboard down to a reasonable size to fit in your totes, drawers, cabinets, or bins, then wrap your string of lights around the board. Use one board for each strand of lights, and easily stack them within your container of choice.

Hang Your Wrapping Paper

Do you always forget where you put last year’s wrapping paper or find it covered in dust and wrinkled from having boxes stacked on top of your supply? There’s a simple solution.

Buy a clear garment bag (or find a spare one hiding in the back of your closet), and keep your rolls of wrapping paper inside. You can easily store the bag on a hook or in a cabinet as a space saving storage idea.

Take Advantage of Overhead Storage

No matter how full your garage is, you likely have room on the ceiling. Overhead shelving is a perfect solution for Christmas tree storage as well as other bulky items like yard decorations (just remember to keep the appropriate extension cords with yard decor to avoid stress next year) After all, you only need to access these items once a year. As a bonus, you can store decorations for multiple holidays using overhead shelving units.

Protect Your Ornaments

Many Christmas ornaments are fragile and round, which makes them a particularly difficult item to store. If you have the original packaging, simply put the ornaments back into the box. If not, small ornaments can often fit into clean, dry egg cartons. Larger ornaments can often fit into plastic apple containers as well.

DIY-inclined homeowners can also easily design cardboard dividers that fit into totes and bins. You can even use coffee filters to add extra padding and protection for, particularly fragile ornaments.

Oddly shaped, less breakable ornaments can be stored in plastic bags and then placed in bins, shelves, totes, etc.

Regardless of your ornament storage method of choice, you may want to store all of your similar ornaments together sorted by color. You’ll thank yourself next year.

Bottle Up Your Bead Garlands

Bead garlands tend to wrap around every other decoration and end up in tangles that rival strands of Christmas lights. This Christmas decoration storage idea can save you time and stress.

Simply slide your bead garland strands into plastic water or soda bottles. The strands stay put and easily slide out when you want to use them again next year. You can easily store the bottles in hanging bins and forget about them until the holiday season comes around again.

Hang Bins

You probably have many boxes and bins of Christmas decorations that spend the year in a stack somewhere. Bin holder brackets can save a lot of space so you don’t have to maneuver around a tower of bins all year. By hanging your bins you can free up floor or shelf space and you will no longer have to worry about tipping over the box tower or awkwardly trying to access a box in the middle.

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year and should be enjoyed. Do yourself a favor and try out some of these storage ideas to make decorating next year smooth and stress-free.

Storage