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5 Pro Tips to Organize Christmas Ornaments So They Won’t Break in Storage

Avoid decorating frustrations next year with these clever hacks using around-the-house objects


We know, we know: Taking ornaments off your tree at the end of the season isn’t nearly as much fun as putting them up, but with a few simple strategies, you can make the process painless. And if you do it properly, next year’s tree-decorating session will be stress-free when your ornaments are nearly organized. Sure, you could buy pricey ornament organizers and other storage solutions, but it turns out it’s pretty easy to make your own using around-the-house items. Keep reading for professional organizers’ best tricks for how to store ornaments. Bonus: We’ve also got fun tips for repurposing ornaments for your New Year’s Eve celebrations!

How to store ornaments

At the end of the holiday season, you may be tempted to toss your ornaments in a giant box and cross your fingers that they’re still in one piece next Christmas. While this certainly saves time, there’s always the risk that something could get broken or mangled in storage. To avoid any decorating woes next season, try one of these clever tricks:

1. Store ornaments in egg cartons

Showing how to store ornaments in an egg carton

If you’ve been baking up a storm for the holidays, you probably have a ton of empty cartons just lying around. Instead of tossing them in your recycling bin, set them aside!

“Just fill the egg cartons with the ornaments and stack them in a large box,” advises organizing pro Carrie Ypma of Clutter Keeper. The cartons will protect delicate ornaments and the layered storage strategy will make them easy to pull out when you’re ready next year. 

The uniform shape of the cartons will make it easy to stack them in a box, shove them in the attic and forget about them until next year. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your precious ornaments taking a tumble and breaking. The cardboard or Styrofoam packaging will nestle those baubles until you’re ready to hang them in another 12 months. 

Related: The Egg Carton Secret to Fitting More in a Bookshelf + More Genius Organizing Tips

2. Store ornaments in chip canisters

Egg cartons aren’t the only leftover food container that can come in handy for tucking your ornaments away for the season. “Store pretty baubles safely by stacking 4 to 6 baubles in Pringles tubes,” shares Casey Major-Bunce of Major Mum Hacks on Instagram. This tip works best for smaller ornaments, and if you need extra protection, consider slipping a folded paper towel between each ornament.

Then pop the lid back on the canister and store it in in a box or where you put your holiday decorations. If you’re worried about your ornaments rolling around inside the canister, stick with nonbreakables.

Related: Holiday Quiz: What Does Your Favorite Christmas Ornament Reveal About You?

3. Store ornaments in wine boxes

ornaments tucked away in a wine carton with dividers: How to store ornaments

Don’t have the boxes your ornaments came in? No problem! Just get some empty cardboard wine boxes from your local wine or liquor store. They have dividers, which make them perfect for protecting delicate ornaments. Simply fold or cut the cardboard dividers as needed, and place two or three tissue-wrapped ornaments in each slot, keeping the heavier ones on the bottom and the lighter ones on top.

4. Store ornaments in cupcake holders

Though both of the above methods are great ways to keep smaller ornaments safe, they may not be the best option for bigger ornaments.

“A plastic cupcake holder works great for larger baubles,” says Major-Bunce. Whether you repurpose the disposable plastic container from grocery-store cupcakes or use a reusable cupcake carrier, it will hold your ornaments in place the same way they do for cupcakes. You can even opt for individual plastic cupcake holders if you only have a few larger ornaments to store.

She showcases both of these tricks in her reel below:

5. Store ornaments in plastic cups

ornaments in plastic cups glued to a piece of cardboard and stacked in a box

It’s easy to make your own compartmentalized box for larger ornaments, says home-organizing pro Jill Nystul, who shares lifestyle tips at Simply hot-glue rows of plastic cups onto pieces of cardboard and place an ornament inside each cup. Stack the cardboard layers inside a large bin. The cups will keep your decorations organized and protected. For extra security,  organizing pro Leanne Stapf, president of The Cleaning Authority, suggests placing a few cotton balls inside each cup to protect delicate ornaments.

What to do with extra ornaments

If your ornament collection keeps growing, leaving you with an abundance of baubles and wondering what to do with them, we have the solution! Instead of tossing them out, try these clever ideas, perfect for your New Year’s Eve celebration:

Turn ornaments into cocktail glasses

glass ornaments with top removed, filled with cocktails and resting in a mini muffin tin

Simply unscrew the tops and rinse out the inside of the ornaments, then set them inside mini tart pans or muffin tins (to keep them upright). Next, pour drinks inside the ornaments and pop in some straws. They’re easy for guests to hold and add an extra holiday touch!

Turn ornaments into noisemakers

clear ornament filled with beads, glitter and confetti

No need to buy pricey noisemakers for your New Year’s bash. Instead, make your own (that can be reused every year) using leftover ornaments. To do: Open up plain plastic ornaments and add garland beads, glitter and confetti. Close the ornaments and seal with hot glue and/or clear w, then decorate the balls with festive ribbon. When midnight hits, simply shake the balls for some festive noise!

For more post-holiday cleanup advice, keep reading!

5 Genius Ways to Store Christmas Lights So They Stay Neat and Tangle-Free

Make Christmas Cleanup a Breeze: Cleaning & Organizing Pros Share Their Top Tricks

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