DIY Ornament Storage and Organization – Inexpensive Ideas for Organizing the Christmas Chaos

Avoid the chaos of packing away Christmas ornaments and decor at the end of the season with these DIY ornament storage and organization ideas.

The most wonderful time of the year has come to an end and it’s time to pack away all of the holiday decorations. I don’t know about you, but I always dread the chaos that comes with putting away my Christmas decor. Over the years, I’ve developed a few easy ways to make packing away my holiday decor a little easier. And none of it involves purchasing expensive organizers.

DIY Ornament Storage and Holiday Decor Organization Ideas

Use Plastic Wine Cups for Ornaments

I always start with the tree when taking down decorations. I save all of the boxes for ornaments to keep most of them organized. But, I also have a lot of ornaments that didn’t come in boxes. My solution in the past was to wrap them in tissue paper and store them in a box. But it was a mess! And the next year I could never find specific ornaments. So I came up with a new DIY ornament storage method.

I purchased plastic, stemless, wine cups at the grocery store. Then, I lined the bottom of a plastic storage bin with the cups. Be sure to arrange the cups as close as possible. But don’t squeeze them in or they may crack or tip! These cups are the perfect size for glass ball ornaments! They also work great for many of the other ornaments I own. I typically have a little extra space around the cups to wrap a few ornaments in tissue paper and fill in the gaps. This helps keep the ornaments from moving around too much. Once the cups are full, layer a piece of cardboard over the cups. Then repeat the process until all of the rogue ornaments are stacked away.

diy ornament storage

Save the Original Ornament Packaging

Many glass ball ornaments come in boxes with plastic trays that hold each ball perfectly. I’m always extra cautious when opening these boxes. I try to keep them in perfect condition so they can be used year after year. The boxes stack nicely within plastic storage tubs. Additionally, shatterproof ornaments come in plastic boxes or cylinders. It’s harder to keep these containers in good condition. But try to save them! They are very convenient because you can see all of the ornaments without fully unpacking them. I have entire containers dedicated to my themed Marvel and Star Wars trees.

ornament storage

Create a DIY Ornament Storage Box from Recycled Cardboard

Chances are, after the holidays, there are a lot of empty cardboard boxes lying around. Put them to good use for DIY ornament storage! I love to create ornaments using clear ball ornaments. Some of them are shatterproof, but a good amount of them are glass. The packaging for these crafting ornaments doesn’t hold up well over the years. So I’ve created a few boxes using recycled shoe boxes or cardboard.

If you’re using an existing box, simply place a plastic ornament tray inside the box. Then layer the top with tissue paper or bubble wrap for extra protection.

inexpensive ornament storage

Another idea is to cut strips of cardboard and create small boxes within the box. Start with a few strips of cardboard cut to the length of the box. Then, cut a few to the width of the box. Cut notches every few inches for the width pieces. The notches should be about 3/4s of the width of the cardboard. Slide the long pieces of cardboard into the notches to create a grid. The ornaments should fit perfectly inside the grid! And it’s completely free!

Recycle Cardboard for Other Decor

The cardboard grid hack is perfect for storing other types of decorations that don’t have boxes as well! The grids can be created to fit any size decoration. They easily fit in the bottom of large 18 – 30 gallon plastic tote bins. Plus, sheets of cardboard can be placed over the grids to create multiple layers of storage within one large bin. Organize each layer by room or decor type to make packing and unpacking decorations each year a breeze.

organizing Christmas decorations

My Hack for Storing Christmas Lights

After all the ornaments and decorations are packed, I pack the lights and garland. The garland all goes in one giant plastic bin, but I do organize the lights. My hack for organizing Christmas lights involves recycling some more cardboard! Cut up a cardboard box into roughly 10″ squares with slits on two sides. The slits should be no larger than 4-5.” Then, slide the plug end of a light stand all the way into a slit. Wrap the lights around the cardboard using that slit. Then, halfway through the strand, switch direction and tuck the lights into the other slit. Tuck the other plug into under a wrapped light strand to secure it.

organize Christmas lights

I sort my lights into piles as I wrap them up. So there is a pile for the main tree, one for the banisters, the mantle, outside, etc. To help keep the lights organized, I use a marker to label the sheets of cardboard. This helps me keep track of the number of light strands I need in various parts of the house. It also helps me when hanging lights, because I never have more or less than what I need laying around.

The sheets of cardboard help me store the lights in an organized way. The lights don’t get tangled at all. Each year I open the box of lights and pull out what I need space by space. It makes decorating less messy and stressful.

What are some of your storage tricks for packing away the Christmas mess?


  1. I hate taking down Christmas decor. We got rid of our real tree before the New Year, and I packed all the ornaments on our faux tree shortly after. We finally put the faux tree back in the box and took the lights down from the windows this weekend. I am keeping up some items out (like the red hydrangeas and the little village I painted) but that’s only because they’re still Wintery… or at least that’s what I’m claiming 😉

    PS – Love the lights around the cardboard. We did that last year and it made the lights so much easier to handle this year!

  2. emily @ go haus go

    Love your ideas! Right now all of my shatterproof ornaments get thrown in a shopping bag. They are so dusty by the time the next Christmas rolls around. I wish I would have done the tote thing… the only thing I did different this year is wrap the shopping bag with a garbage bag to keep the dust away. Lol.

  3. look at you, you are so good! I just throw all my crap into big tubs and deal with it next year! haha

  4. So jealous of your de-Christmas-ifying! We need to do this in our house SO badly!

  5. Kelly @ Corner of Main

    I totally do the whole “wrap them in tissue and shove them in a random box” thing. This is a great idea! Next year, next year!

  6. Jennifer Prince

    Oh my! These are such great ideas, and perfect timing since I just went through the frustration of untangling Christmas lights. Ha!

  7. Neely Moldovan

    We store ours in tissue paper and it seems to work well so far! But we have so many weird shapes!

  8. The wine cup storage idea is so neat! I hadn’t thought about that before! Definitely something I’ll keep in mind once I start building my Christmas decor collection after college!

  9. These are amazing ideas! I usually keep the original ornament packaging, but there are quite a few rogue ornaments. I am going to be using these ideas when it comes to packing up all the Christmas ornaments and decor!

  10. I’m totally bookmarking this to look at after the holidays! Such great ideas! I do try to keep as much of the original packaging of my ornaments as I can and you’re right that it really is a cheap but effective storage solution!

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