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BestReviews cleaning expert shares how to keep your holiday cleanup organized

After the holiday season is over, you're usually left with a huge mess to tidy. Luckily, numerous products make it easier to stay clean and organized during and after the holiday season. We talked to our cleaning expert, Ketia Daniel, to get tips and tricks for holiday cleaning.

In this article: Zober Christmas Ornament Storage BoxIris USA Plastic Storage Tote Set and Zober Premium Wrapping Paper Storage Container.

Tips for taking down your tree

Ornament storage boxes are an excellent way to keep your ornaments safe while in storage. Many feature compartments that separate your ornaments, and some even have room for other decorations. Although these boxes can keep your ornaments from falling, you may still want to wrap glass ornaments before placing them in the storage box.

"What I like to do on Christmas Day is grab the big pieces of wrapping paper and tissue paper, so I can wrap the ornaments in the wrapping paper to keep them safe," says Daniel. 

If you have an artificial tree, you'll need a way to keep it safe until the following year. Tree bags offer a convenient way to keep your tree from getting damaged. When buying a tree bag, make sure you measure your tree and buy the correct size.

"When it comes to lights for those without pre-lit trees, you'll want to take them off very carefully and put them in clear Ziploc bags," says Daniel. "You may want to label each bag with a Sharpie if you have multiple trees."

Tips for taking down decorations

Wreath bags and wreath boxes are a safe way to store your wreath when the holiday season is over. These containers come in numerous sizes, so measure your wreath before buying one.

"When it comes to inflatables, a big mistake a lot of people make is putting dirty inflatables back into storage," says Daniel. "I’d recommend washing them while they’re blown up, so they're nice and clean for next year." You can use a damp cloth and dish soap to clean your inflatable decorations. To avoid mildew, ensure they're dry before putting them away.

After cleaning your inflatable decorations, it's a good idea to check them for rips and tears. In most cases, you can fix rips with Flex Tape or another high-strength tape. Check the vacuum pump to ensure it isn't jammed with debris.

Christmas light storage reels are an excellent choice for storing your outdoor lights. These handy products let you roll your lights up, so you can easily unroll them when you're ready to use them again.

Durable totes are the best choice for many decorations. Most are stackable, and you can usually buy them in a set. When purchasing a storage tote, consider its size. Large totes can fit numerous decorations but can also be challenging to carry when full. Decide whether you want a transparent tote that makes it easy to see its contents.

Tips for organizing gifts and cleaning up gift wrap

When hiding gifts from your children, it's best to put them in a room your kid doesn't usually use. Hiding gifts under your bed is a great way to keep your kids from seeing them. Alternatively, you can put them on the highest shelf in your closet and leave them in a bag to obscure them.

When it comes time for your kids and loved ones to open their gifts, it's best to clean as you go. Letting the wrapping paper and bows pile up is sure to make cleanup feel more overwhelming.

You can use a wrapping paper organizer to store your leftover paper. According to Daniel, "You'll want to put a piece of tape on the top and bottom of each roll to keep the paper from getting torn."

"When you receive gifts you aren’t ready to use yet, like a Keurig coffee maker, you can go ahead and find a clear place to put it and keep it in the box it came in," says Daniel. "When I get new things, like if my mom gifts me a robe or new towels, I go ahead and donate my old ones as soon as possible to clear out the clutter."

Holiday cleanup products our expert recommends

Simplify Five-Compartment Gift Supply Storage Box

This box makes it easy to store your ribbons, bows and gift tags. It has a transparent lid so you can see its contents without opening it. It has multiple compartments so you can keep your gift-wrapping essentials organized.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Zober Christmas Ornament Storage Box

This durable box has four individual trays to keep your ornaments separated. It fits up to 64 ornaments. It's available in six colors.

Sold by Amazon

Zober Large Christmas Ornament Storage Box

This large box fits up to 128 ornaments. It's durable and has four handles. It's available in four colors.

Sold by Amazon

Christmas Wreath Storage Bag

This wreath storage bag is made from a durable tarp material that keeps your wreath clean. It has handles, making it easy to move from room to room.

Sold by Amazon

Zober Large Christmas Tree Storage Bag

This fits trees up to 9 feet tall. It's easy to use and has handles so you can move it around with ease. It's available in six colors.

Sold by Amazon

Iris USA Plastic Storage Tote Set

This comes with six containers that are easy to stack. They're transparent, allowing you to see what's inside without opening them.

Sold by Amazon

Bayco KW-110 Cord Reel

This durable reel is suitable for extension cords or Christmas lights. It holds up to 100 feet of holiday lights.

Sold by Amazon

Holdn' Storage Wrapping Paper Storage Container

This container has enough space for 40 rolls of wrapping paper and has two pockets for gift-wrapping essentials. It's available in four designs.

Sold by Amazon

Zober Premium Wrapping Paper Storage Container

This fits around 20 rolls of wrapping paper and has numerous compartments for other gift-wrapping supplies. It's available in six colors.

Sold by Amazon

CX 27-Gallon Tough Storage Containers

This set comes with four large storage containers. The lids keep your decorations safe from moisture.

Sold by Amazon


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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.