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Budget Friendly Storage Tips for Your Christmas Ornaments and Decorations

Updated on March 2, 2013
Christmas Storage Ideas
Christmas Storage Ideas | Source

As the New Year rolls in and the time to take down holiday ornaments and other Christmas trimmings arrives, many shoppers forget to set aside a portion of their funds for their Christmas ornaments and decoration storage needs. With budgets already tightly stretched, many shoppers will have a difficult time taking advantage of the great after-Christmas sales that are usually available for storage items.

But not to worry, the following list will provide a few ideas and tips on how to use relatively inexpensive materials or supplies to store your ornaments and decorations so you can stretch your dollar to spend on storage bins that you only absolutely need. And of course, you can assure that you will preserve your holiday memories and treasures for next year.

Twist Tie on Spool
Twist Tie on Spool
Ziploc Clear Containers
Ziploc Clear Containers
Ziploc Reclosable Bags
Ziploc Reclosable Bags

The Best Free & Low Cost Storage Supplies


Cost: About $4.75 for 100 feet. - Usually available in garden centers, green twist tie is great for tying strands of artificial christmas garland or using it to secure a Christmas wreath in its container. Since it is sold in a large, continuous spool you can cut it to the size that you will need for your storing project.

Ziploc Bags and Clear Containers

These zip-top bags are popular for food storage but they are great as storage bags for a variety of Christmas ornaments. Make sure you trap air inside the bag in order to create a protective cushion for fragile items.

Cost: About $2.50 - $3.00 for a set of 3 or 4. - With a self-closing lid, Ziploc clear containers are available in a variety of sizes and they are great for storing Christmas ornaments and décor. There are a lot of benefits in using Ziploc’s (or similar brands) containers as they come in either square or rectangular sizes, they are transparent so you can see the contents, they are sturdy and they are relatively inexpensive.

You can use the taller circular Ziploc containers to store individual strands of beaded garland or the shorter circular containers for individual spools of pricey wide ribbon. I would pop in a silica gel packet to protect against moisture building up in the container or another tip is to punch a few holes on the sides of the box to let the boxes “breathe” and moisture evaporate. Usually Ziploc features holiday themed containers during the holidays, but make sure you stock up as they are only available during a limited time. Of course, you can always use dollar store brands which are even more inexpensive.

Ziploc has also come out with a new re-closeable large size bag (about 2-4 gallons) that can be used to store your Christmas linens, napkins,tablecloths, Christmas stockings and other cloth items.You can reuse or repurpose plastic linen bags that come with new bedding, pillowcase or pillows you may have bought during the holiday season. Save those because they are a free source of storage.

Clear Cellophane Bags
Clear Cellophane Bags
White Tissue Paper
White Tissue Paper

Cellophane bags

Cost: These bags are slightly more expensive, at $7.00 for 100 ct., but you can always use your leftover treat bags.  You can also purchase food storage bags for bread which are similar and very inexpensive. - Usually sold as treat bags at Dollar or craft stores, you can use clear cellophane bags to store paper or cloth type of ornaments or smaller flat type of ornaments that have heavy amounts of glitter before either placing them in Ziploc containers or paperboard boxes. The cellophane bags protect either the scattering of glitter throughout your storage container or protect paper ornaments from moisture and snagging as you move around items in the box or container. Purchasing these bags is only necessary if you have a variety of ornaments made from different materials.

White Tissue paper

You can purchase tissue paper packs at Kmart, Target or Walmart in the gift wrapping supply section or you can also find bulk tissue paper at Office supply stores. Avoid color tissue as it can transfer the dyes used to color the tissue onto your ornaments or decorations.

Use the tissue to wrap delicate ornaments or crumple it up and place it in the corners of your small storage containers or segmented corrugated boxes. The crumpled tissue serves as an insulator for your ornaments and prevents the rolling or movement of your ornaments as you handle or stack the larger storage boxes you have placed them in.

Old Hosiery

Use old hosiery (knee highs) or clean, new hosiery bought at a Dollar store, to protect specialty candles from grit and grime. Slip the stocking (not the ones that hang from the mantel) over your specialty pillar candle. You can get colorful red ones at the Dollar store or just plain flesh tone color hosiery will work well. Make sure you nestle the candles in tissue so that they do not crush each other. The candles can then be stored in larger shoe boxes or Christmas cookie tins. Make sure you store candles away from heat as it will melt or distort the shape of your candles.

Cotton Batting

Use cotton batting for extremely delicate or fading vintage ornaments, as the greatest enemies of vintage ornaments are moisture and light. Moisture will corrode the metal caps and light will fade the already delicate and aged paint or patina on your ornaments.

Bubble Wrap Pouches
Bubble Wrap Pouches
Packing Paper
Packing Paper

Bubble wrap pouches or bags

These are bubble wrap type of pouches available in a variety of sizes and from different sellers  on Ebay.  I would use these pouches to store extra delicate or expensive ornaments that had already been wrapped in either tissue paper or cotton batting as the little air pockets in the  bubble wrap will give the ornaments extra protection and insulation.

Newsprint  or Packing paper

You can find unprinted, packaging type paper at Staples under the brand Duck packing paper and it is even available on Amazon.  It is a plain tan colored paper that wraps and handles just like newsprint with sturdier protection.  You should probably stay away from newspapers as a packing paper as the problem with using plain newsprint is that the dyes in the paper can transfer to your ornaments or decorations.

Soap Gift set boxes
Soap Gift set boxes
Clear Acetate Boxes
Clear Acetate Boxes

Egg cartons

An eco-friendly item to use to store your ornaments are egg cartons, either the plain paper type or the sturdier Styrofoam type of egg carton can be used to store small Christmas ornaments. However, make sure that the egg cartons are clean without any visible signs of eggs stains (from a cracked egg) as these have been know to transfer salmonella. Just be cautious and use common sense in reusing egg cartons.

Wrapping Paper Tubes or Paper Towel Tubes

These are readily available and can be used for rolling individual strands of beaded garland or large sturdier tubes can be used to wrap strands of Christmas lights. Toilet tissue rolls (the paper tube) can be used to hold extension cords. If the plain brown paper is too boring, decorate them with Sharpie pens or stickers.

Soap gift sets or perfume gift set boxes

Don’t throw out the boxes used for soap gift sets or perfume gift sets, they usually have attractive designs and are made of thick paperboard or chipboard. If you don't like the designs, you can always recover them with scrapbooking paper and Mod Podge.

These work great as square (or rectangular) and shallow holders for flat ornaments, small supplies or gift tags. You can also buy plain, white paperboard boxes at Michael’s or other craft stores—these boxes were traditionally used as pencil boxes. These boxes are made of the same sturdy chipboard or paperboard that soap gift boxes are made of, have a hinged lid and can be decorated as you like or left plain.

Acetate boxes

Usually a 9 pack set of votive candles are packed in acetate boxes that are 6” x 6” x 1 7/8” square. These are great for storing spools of Christmas ribbon, gift tags and other tiny Christmas ornaments. You get the added advantage of being able to see through the box in order to view the contents. Make sure you seal any loose edges with clear packing tape.

Photo Boxes
Photo Boxes | Source
Christmas Tins
Christmas Tins | Source

Photo boxes or shoe boxes

Cost: Shoe boxes are free and photoboxes cost about $2.50 each on sale at stores like Michael's Craft Stores. - These are available at Michael’s and other craft stores in a variety of colors and the standard size boxes are made to store 4 by 6 photos. The standard box dimensions are approximately 7” W x 4 ¼” D and 11 7/8” L and come with a lid. Remember you can repurpose these boxes either to place clear acetate boxes in them or to store decorations that have been placed in bubble wrap . However, be sure that you label them appropriately. You don't want to have to shuffle through several just to find your Christmas Tree Topper next year!

Tip: Give shoe boxes a new look with wrapping paper, contact paper, or fabric and they'll look like pricey photo or storage boxes.

Silica gel packets

You can usually save these silica packets from vitamin bottles. But if you need several, they can be purchased in bulk in different sizes and at reasonable prices at Pop a packet or two in individual boxes (especially plastic boxes) as an added protection against moisture.

Christmas tins

Already beautifully decorated for the holidays, these are absolutely great containers for storing a variety of Christmas ornaments and decorations. They come in all sizes and usually you can expect to pay a $1.00 or two at thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Walmart, Target and other similar discount stores usually have them available at slightly higher prices but still reasonable priced to keep within a limited budget. In addition, if your budget allows, you can find new Christmas tins at the Container Store. Keep your eye out for any type of sale on these items so you can grab several and get them early in the season. Also, many Christmas cookies come in large size tins. Remember to keep these for your collection. Pinterest has great ideas on how to repaint these tins with Krylon paints and repurpose for storage.

Tip: You can make mismatched tins look like a set by giving them a fresh coat of paint with spray paint designed for metal.

Cell Pack Inserts
Cell Pack Inserts
Office File Cardboard Boxes With Lid
Office File Cardboard Boxes With Lid
Holiday Decorative Cardboard Storage Boxes
Holiday Decorative Cardboard Storage Boxes
Iris Flip Wing Plastic Storage Bins
Iris Flip Wing Plastic Storage Bins

Corrugated (cardboard) boxes

If you don’t mind the printed graphics, your nearest liquor store often has sturdy segmented corrugated (cardboard) boxes available for free; however , for a low cost you can find similar segmented boxes or cell kits as they are called at your local U-haul or moving store.

Some of the best and basic corrugated (cardboard) boxes available can be purchased at Big Box office supply stores like Staples, Office Max or Office Depot. These are usually boxes used to store files and paperwork, but they are great as basic cardboard boxes to store Christmas ornaments. They usually have a removable lid, can be readily stacked and cost around $8.00-$10.00 for six. The drawback is that you have to label the boxes carefully so you know what is contained in them.

In addition, you can purchase seasonally decorated corrugated boxes that have specialty compartments for ornaments, or are shaped for Christmas wreaths or are specifically designed for storing Christmas lights. These are available at Get Organized for a nominal cost. However, the previous examples are less expensive.

Iris Flip Wing Boxes

Another very suitable plastic storage bin or bins are the Iris Company’s flip-wing storage boxes. These can be purchased at Target or even on Amazon. These are great for being the overall larger container in which you store the smaller boxes, or tins mentioned above. They are strong and sturdy, they open easily with their flip wings, are transparent and have the added advantage of being able to withstand being stacked without buckling or collapsing. However, as a good rule of thumb, you should always stack the heavier boxes at the bottom and put the lighter boxes at the top and do not stack the boxes too high in order to avoid their toppling over.

Hopefully, this list has been comprehensive enough to provide you with great ideas to store your holiday decorations or at least give you the incentive to start looking out for those inexpensive items early in the season! Happy Holidays!

Tips on Packing Christmas Supplies

Labeling and Packing Christmas Supplies


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