O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Do I Store Your Sparklies?
January 23, 2017 9:20 AM   Subscribe

We can't take down our christmas tree until we figure out a new scheme for ornament storage. Halp!

Our original "fabric box with cardboard dividers" storage has given up the ghost this year, and I'm trying to figure out what the best way to store the ornaments for next year is (besides keeping them on the tree until next December).

We store the ornaments in the attic, so I'd like the storage to be plastic or wood or other mice-resistant material. Whether that's one or multiple containers is fine, I'd just like them all to be the same.

We have a 4-5 boxes worth (so 48-60) of Shiny Brite ball ornaments - I have the original cardboard boxes so I can use those for storage if need be, but I'd prefer to have one "home" for ornaments all together.

The rest of our ornaments are various odd-shaped kinds. I've looked on Amazon at a ton of options but haven't been able to decide.

I realize, typing out this question, that I'm overthinking this (as is my wont as a maximizer). What's worked best for you?
posted by bookdragoness to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I wrap bubble wrap around the fragile ones and throw them all in a box. If they don't make it, well, God will know His own.
posted by thelonius at 9:23 AM on January 23, 2017 [15 favorites]

Before the holidays, Shopko, had giant plastic containers with lids, for $5.50 each. Unless you are doing Rockefeller Center, I imagine two of those would do it.
posted by Oyéah at 9:29 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hi! I have a huge collection of ornaments of all shapes and sizes, including vintage Shiny Brite, Polonaise, Hallmark, and more -- about two trees worth, honestly. I just store them in their original boxes in big rubbermaid totes that I bought at the hardware store for about $8 each.

For fragile ornaments that don't have boxes I use (I kid you not) Wilton Cake Boxes that I bought at Michael's crafts, with the ornaments stashed inside wrapped in tissue or bubble wrap, depending on how fragile they are. The cake boxes are very cheap, sturdy, and a great shape to store.

Don't overthink it, and don't be seduced by all the ornament storage 'tools' out there. Simple generic containers are, I find, both less expensive and more flexible than the special "ornament storage" things out there.
posted by anastasiav at 9:30 AM on January 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

We have a lot of ornaments that need to be stored away from the mice. We've had good luck with storing the tree ornaments wrapped in tissue in empty popcorn tins (the tins you get caramel corn/cheese corn mix in, usually at the holidays). We also store other non-tree Christmas decorations in rubbermaid totes.
posted by sarajane at 9:35 AM on January 23, 2017

My husband bought us some big plastic trunks (quite lightweight) in red and green -- essentially just another iteration on Rubbermaid --some years back. I wrap the ornaments in tissue paper, of which we always seem to have tons, and then put them wrapped willy nilly into those plastic grocery bags that also seem to replicate by themselves, and then the bags of ornaments got into the trunks and the trunks into our storage area. For ornaments in sets, I return them to their original boxes and put those in the trunks.

We also keep everything else linked to Xmas in the trunks. One of them is dedicated to my husband's stuff -- the tree lights and tree base and so forth, and one to mine -- the Xmas candles and holders, the music boxes and snow globes, and the ornaments.

I do suggest you keep ornament hangers in some separate spot. They are little, even if kept in a little sack as mine are, and tend to go missing in the trunks. I keep them in a corner of an upstairs drawer.
posted by bearwife at 9:40 AM on January 23, 2017

Apologies if this is two obvious, but we (after using a cardboard-box-and-indifferent-tissue-paper-wrapping system for decades) bought a purpose-made ornament storage tupperware-tub-style thingy. There are lots of different sizes and styles of these. Works great. We still keep the delicate ones wrapped in tissue paper within their individual compartments.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:42 AM on January 23, 2017

We have a lot of fragile and odd-shaped ornaments. We wrap them individually in paper towel and/or newspaper and store them in cardboard boxes in the attic. (Two smallish boxes for one tree's worth of ornaments.) We're constantly battling mice here, but they've never chewed on the boxes. We've been reusing the same boxes for years and years. I don't think you necessarily need your storage to be highly mouse-proof because mice don't have a lot of incentive to gnaw their way into a box that doesn't have any food in it.
posted by Redstart at 9:54 AM on January 23, 2017

I keep my breakable ornaments in repurposed packaging: Costco plastic apple clamshells, plastic egg cartons, and the divided trays from LEGO advent calendars. Then everything goes in a Rubbermaid-style bin and into the basement.
posted by rebeccabeagle at 9:57 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Definitely Rubbermaid totes for storage. We go the "wrap 'em in newspaper" route for the ornaments.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:32 AM on January 23, 2017

Martha Stewart has a really cool guide we used to make ornament storage. Works really well: http://www.marthastewart.com/272877/safe-ornament-storage
posted by Miss T.Horn at 11:06 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

We keep our glass ornaments in boxes filled with styrofoam peanuts -- just fill the box with peanuts, and tuck in as many ornaments as seems reasonable. My parents did the same thing. It is a very easy and lazy way of storing them. Seems to be successful for us, as it is very rare for any of them to get broken in storage. The advantage of this is you can stuff in ornaments of any size and shape into the same box.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:13 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Container Store has polypropylene ornament bins on sale for less then $9.
posted by 26.2 at 11:16 AM on January 23, 2017

If you have the original cardboard boxes, use that instead of tissue paper - super quick to put them away and easy to find at a glance what you want to put on the tree next year. Get some plastic bins like rubbermaid that are the right size to hold the boxes and you are done.

For the ones that don't have boxes, we use shoe boxes and tissue paper (more paper for more fragile items), grouping together similar styles. Again, the smaller boxes go into the larger bins.
posted by metahawk at 12:14 PM on January 23, 2017

I use many of these suggestions. I bought small school supply boxes at the Dollar Store for things that do not still have their original package, were gifts or homemade items. The biggest help for me when packing up ornaments is having written in permanent marker on each box what belongs in there. It helps speed everything up immensely because I just put the ornaments listed on each box. And I know that at one point, everything actually did fit in the storage tub so no need to stress about how will I fit it all back in there. I also leave the tissue paper wrapping in the boxes so that's easily accessed when the sad day arrives to pack up Christmas.

I also have a list of what belongs in each box of non-ornament holiday decorations (Halloween, Christmas, Mardi Gras, Easter...) because I always doubt that I will get everything back in the storage tub. With the labeling and listing, I have no reason to be vexed about how do I do this before?!?!?!?
posted by narancia at 2:16 PM on January 23, 2017

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