By Bob Walsmith Jr.
2022 President
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

If you are like me, you have your Holiday decorations, lights, etc. in various places in your house and garage. You sometimes have trouble finding them all when you first need them and then struggle with where exactly to put them when they are out and when you put them away.

Decking the halls is good fun and all, but shuffling through piles of wreaths, lights, ornaments, dreidels, wrapping paper, and stockings is nothing to fa la la about.

Well here are seven storage tips that will make packing up jollier.

Make a Holiday Closet

Instead of doing a holiday-themed scavenger hunt each November, put all your holiday gear in a single closet. You’ll keep it dust-free, together, and at your fingertips. Since this closet will be all holidays, all the time, leave some of your decorations out and use them to adorn the space. Easy to find and festive; it’s a twofer.

If your closet is unfinished, use the space between the wall studs to store hanging items. They work like little cubby holes to maximize storage space.

Use Clear Bins

Everything’s packed in tidy boxes. Good. But how will you find the stockings if you use a bunch of identical, opaque tubs? Even if you label each bin (which takes more energy than most of us have post-holiday), you can’t possibly list everything inside. A better idea: clear bins. Hey look, the stockings.

Square bins make better use of the space than tall or odd-shaped ones. Measure your storage area so you buy exactly the right size and number of bins to maximize the space.

Organize with a Storage App

If clear bins aren’t your thing and you are more of a techie, pick whatever container suits your fancy and keep track of your stuff with an inventory app like Sortly or Home Inventory.

Just photograph and tag your things as you put them in a bin. The app will assign a QR code that you print and attach to the bin. When you go looking for your vintage 1940s ornaments, scan the label, and the app will show you a list of every item in the box.

Just be sure to back up your data on another device so you don’t lose the menorah if you lose your phone.

Hang Your Wreaths

Nothing takes the holly jolly out of the holiday like crushed wreaths. If you put them in a bin or on lay them on a shelf, they may not survive till next season. Instead, hang them from a clothing rod in a closet. You can use pot hanger hooks to suspend them or make your own.

You don’t need to dedicate an entire closet to wreaths. Just add a second bar to a coat closet.

Use a Dedicated Baking Cart

Holidays mean baking, and baking means lugging the stand mixer, the cookie cutters, and the jars of glittery sprinkles out of the cabinets for every sweet batch.

Instead, put your supplies in one place, on a rolling baking cart. Store it in your pantry or in a corner, and roll it out when you’re ready to bake. Best of all, you can use it year round, not just at the holidays.

And if you have a significant other that likes to bake, helping them with this might just mean more cookies for you this Holiday season.

Wrap It Up With a Wrapping Station

Rolls of wrapping paper are awkward to store and constantly in the way. And if the rolls get dinged, the darn paper tears. You can store your paper and use up dead space, too, with a wall-mount storage system. Hang it in a closet on a blank wall, put your paper in it, and you have a wrapper’s delight.

This one is definitely a biggie in my house.

Corral the Coats

When winter hits, your house turns into a debris field of coats, boots, and gloves. Keep that blizzard of outerwear from ruining your festive and organized house with an entryway cabinet. It’s a clutter catcher that will make your holidays (and the rest of the year) a little easier.

Doing some or all of these helpful tips might just allow you to spend more time with your family, enjoy more Holiday songs and “adult libations” and truly celebrate the season as you should!

Bob Walsmith Jr. is a native to Southern California and a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Santa Barbara. During his work with the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Bob has served on the CORE Committee, Education Committee, been Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee, and the Multiple Listing Service Committee. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara. Bob lives in Goleta with his beautiful wife Julie. When not working, Bob enjoys playing golf, fine wine, fine dining, and walking our beautiful coastline. Bob can be reached at 805.720.5362 and/or


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