How to take down and store Christmas decorations without losing your mind

We pour some eggnog, crank up the Christmas tunes and turn holiday decorating into a fun and festive event each year. But after all the the presents are unwrapped, the eggnog is consumed and out-of-town guests go back to their respective homes, we’re left with the overwhelming and dreadful task of taking down all those decorations alone... and without the spirit of the season in our hearts. Womp womp.

Sadly, there’s no magic button to make cleanup after Christmas nonexistent but there are ways to make it go more quickly and smoothly. Below, see our checklist for easy cleanup and decoration storage for after the holidays:

1. Put delicate ornaments away carefully. Some hacks for storage include egg crates, paper cups, plastic apple containers, or you can wrap them carefully with tissue paper or bubble wrap before placing in a bin or box. A little attention now will ensure they're kept safe and sound until next season!

David Prince/ Martha Stewart Living / David Prince
Wrap ornaments in tissue paper, and place in cups to keep them safe and protected.
11 Magnolia Lane
Use plastic apple containers to store delicate ornaments and baubles.

2. Putting an artificial tree back in its box is sometimes an all-day affair. If you have an artificial tree, consider trading the cardboard box it came in for a storage bag like this one. The soft-sided carrier has handles which makes it easier to schlep to the garage or wherever you plan on storing it.

Ditch the box and store your artificial tree in this bag instead. So easy!

3. Here's an oldie but goody: Wrap your string lights around a piece of cardboard to keep them from getting tangled while they’re in storage.

Karl Juengel/ Martha Stewart Living
Wrap string lights around cardboard to keep them from getting tangled

4. Wreaths can be difficult to contain but it's not impossible. Store wreaths on coat hangers (attach a zip tie to it if you’re having trouble hooking it) and cover with a plastic garment bag for safe keeping. Click here to see the tutorial.

RELATED: Tricks for storing ornaments, garland and other holiday decorations

5. Got extra rolls of wrapping paper? Save them for next year by putting them in a long storage bin, umbrella stand, or garment bag. This will keep them tidy and in one place until you're ready to use them again.

Making Lemonade
Use an umbrella stand to store wrapping paper

6. Lastly, as you're taking down decorations, create a pile of any and all decorations that just aren't doing it for you anymore. When you're done, take that pile and either toss or donate them — this will cut back on clutter and streamline things for the next holiday season.