Christmas Decoration Storage Solutions

Last week, we wrote about some things you could start on now to have a more organized and less stressful Christmas. One of those tips was to take stock of what decorations you already have and to determine what you will need to buy new or make replacements for this year. Another element of that process, which will make things easier for next year, is to revisit your storage situation.

Is your attic or basement filled with old boxes, scribbled with notes of what they contain? Or maybe no labels and each box’s contents are a surprise each year? For some people, the thought alone of getting everything out of storage can be enough to prevent them from starting decorating any time before the very last minute. But what if everything was organized and in its place? Neat and orderly and no longer intimidating or aggravating. Think about it – it sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Well did you know that there are now storage solutions for nearly every type of Christmas decoration? Whether it is wrapping paper or ornaments – there is a piece designed to keep it safe from damage and accessible when you need it. Here are some ideas to start with – click on each image to be taken to the source.

Ornament Boxes

Pick your poison but each are designed to keep fragile elements safe throughout the year.

Set of 3 stackable boxes from Amazon
Set of 3 stackable boxes from Amazon
Soft boxes fold flat when not in use from Improvements Catalog.
Soft boxes fold flat when not in use from Improvements Catalog.
Adjustable dividers and protection from light and dust from Container Store.
Adjustable dividers and protection from light and dust from Container Store.

 Giant Catch-All Boxes

For the large items once your dishwasher box has deteriorated beyond duct tape-able repair.

Large catch-all bag on wheels from Improvements Catalog.
Large catch-all bag on wheels from Improvements Catalog.
Large soft storage bag from Container Store.
Large soft storage bag from Container Store.
Extra large long storage box and lid from Amazon.
Extra large long storage box and lid from Amazon.

Wrapping Paper Storage

Festive paper doesn’t get old, it goes vintage – keep it in good shape for the future.

Vertical paper storage from Container Store.
Vertical paper storage from Container Store.
Paper storage bag with room for extras from Amazon.
Paper storage bag with room for extras from Amazon.
Hanging gift wrap organizer from Container Store.
Hanging gift wrap organizer from Container Store.

Wreath Holders

Like a hat box – but for a wreath (or two).

Corrugated cardboard box from Container Store
Corrugated cardboard box from Container Store
Sturdy plastic container with a handle from NeatlySmart.
Sturdy plastic container with a handle from NeatlySmart.
Patterned zipper bag with a handle from Staples.
Patterned zipper bag with a handle from Staples.

Christmas Light Storage

We’ve all been there.. save your sanity (and the tiny bulbs) from the dreaded light knot.

Tangle-free reels and storage bag from Plow and Hearth.
Tangle-free reels and storage bag from Plow and Hearth.
Light storage bin from Amazon.
Light storage bin from Amazon.
Light Saver bags from Improvements Catalog.
Light Saver bags from Improvements Catalog.


Beat the rush and order some of these items now, then transfer your decorations into them as you take stock for Christmas. When it comes time to decorate (and in time, undecorate), you’ll be organized and ready to go!

Using CheckedTwice to Coordinate a Big Christmas Surprise

By now, you know that using CheckedTwice makes family gift exchanges much easier. But did you know that you can also use it to coordinate an epic Christmas surprise? Here’s how to do it and make Christmas morning that much more exciting! pinterest-1

It all starts with adding a surprise gift to the recipient’s wishlist. When it is marked as a surprise, they won’t be able to see it, but the rest of the family will. Family members can claim the item and then split the costs to buy it together. Or, they can add coordinating elements to a surprise gift (or even a regular gift that they know about) to make a total package. Here’s an example…

Timmy’s mom knows he would love an Xbox for Christmas but with controllers, games, and other accessories, it is a pricey proposition, and leaves it off of his wishlist. Timmy’s favorite aunt also knows that he would love an Xbox for Christmas and adds it to his wishlist as a surprise gift, and claims it herself. Seeing that Timmy will be getting an Xbox, Timmy’s grandparents add and claim a surprise game and head set and his uncle Jim decides to buy him some extra controllers so that he will be able to play, too, next time he is in town. And just like that, an epic Christmas morning for Timmy is formed.

The whole family worked together to put together a fantastic, collaborative gift. Seeing someone’s wishlist opens up a whole world of coordinating gift ideas and helps make sure the element of surprise is never lost.

Is someone getting a new iPad? How about adding an iTunes gift card?

A book about learning how to knit? How about a book of beginner patterns or some pretty yarn.

A new bike? Add in a helmet and water bottle.

Some electronic toys? Throw some batteries into those stockings!

The possibilities are endless… so when looking for gift ideas, look not only at what someone has added to their wishlist but for opportunities to coordinate or enhance gifts that have already been claimed. When you have a full picture of someone’s wants and interests, giving great gifts is a lot more fun!

Planning Now for an Organized Christmas


Who doesn’t want to have a more relaxing Christmas? One of the best (and most elusive) ways to make that happen is to plan ahead. The most obvious tip, of course, is to use CheckedTwice to manage the gifting aspect of the holidays, but here are some other ways to plan ahead for a more organized, less frenzied season.

Take Stock

Spend a little time taking stock of what you already have in terms of decorations and wrapping supplies. Is anything missing? Is there anything you’ve never used or is too out-of-date to use again? Toss those items (or find a way to donate them) to help declutter and make the decoration unpacking process easier. With the advent of sites like Pinterest, it can be the Christmas year-round. Spend some time on the web looking for inspiration – then see what items you can order now to have on-hand when you’ll need them in a few months. See what you’ve got for wrapping paper and wrapping supplies, too – there may still be some off-season deals on festive paper and you can stock up on tape, scissors, ribbons and bows to keep them off your to-do list later.

Map it Out

Start a calendar to map out this year’s festivities. Fill it in with anything you are already aware of – things like travel dates, annual parties, work events, or even just the days you’ll have off work like Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. As events start to pile up, add them to the calendar and then consult it to make sure you aren’t double booking yourself. A visual representation will give you a quick way to channel the craziness in your head into an easier to interpret snapshot.

Make Decorating Fun

Using your calendar, schedule a decorating day or weekend. Enlist the help of your family and friends and make an event out of it. Prepare some seasonal food and drinks and it can become a party and tradition of its own. With more people to divide the work, it’ll be quicker and easier than doing it all yourself. (You may need to move some things around after to match your vision but.. that is easier than tackling everything from scratch!) Plus, everything is better with snacks and booze.

Get Your Cards Together

What’s worse than last minute Christmas card sending?! Pull together your Christmas card address list and put it into Excel. Keep it organized with Name/Street Address/City/State/ZIP in their own columns so that you can print labels later. If you’re missing addresses, you can contact people via Facebook or text and fill in the holes over the next several weeks. Then when you’re ready to send the cards you can do one bulk mailing instead of waiting for straggler addresses.

Are you going to do a photo card? Start looking through the year’s pictures to find your favorite. If you need to have one taken, get in touch with a photographer right away to schedule some time for a few shots. Talented and available photographers will be hard to come by the closer we get to Thanksgiving and Christmas so knock that out now!


These are just a few ideas to start on now – do you have any other suggestions? Share them with us in the comments!

Welcome Holiday Creep vs. Non-welcome Holiday Creep

We posted recently about Christmas Creep and how it is entirely possible that someday it will be Christmas year-round. Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic- but Christmas is seriously creeping. We looked at some other US holidays and determined which ones we would be (OK) with creeping vs. those we would not (NOT OK). 

The CheckedTwice Welcome Holiday Creep vs. Non-welcome Holiday Creep Results…

January 1 – New Year’s Day

We’re already eating and drinking too much at this point in the holiday season that there really isn’t anywhere for New Year’s to go. NOT OK.

February 2 – Groundhog Day

Um, we’re OK with this only happening once a year. For our sake – and little Phil’s. NOT OK.



Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day

V-Day is already pretty creepy –pun intended– and an here’s an example, below. Let’s allow the current level of creep but not let it go further. NOT OK.

V-Day Creep from The Consumerist
V-Day Creep from The Consumerist


March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day

If we allow this holiday to creep, will we get a holiday day off from work to recover? If so, OK!

April 20 – Easter

Easter Creep is real. Further creep? NOT OK.

Easter Creep from The Consumerist
Easter Creep from The Consumerist

May 11 – Mother’s Day

You know what? Mom’s deserve it. OK!

May 26 – Memorial Day

Honoring our country’s servicemen and women of past and present? OK!

June 15 – Father’s Day

Well we gave it to the mom’s – dad’s, you’ve got our vote too. And a new tie. OK!

July 4 – Independence Day

The Fourth of July already rules and we get a day off. Not much more you can ask for here. Plus would you be able to handle all the Mattress Deals? NOT OK.

September 1 – Labor Day

The unofficial end of summer. If this creeped forward – would summer be even shorter? NOT OK.

October 31 – Halloween

You know what, Halloween? We’ve almost had enough of you. NOT OK.

November 11 – Veterans Day

We’d be all for this. OK!

November 27 – Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is pretty great as far as holidays go. Lots of food, family, and football. Let’s let it be its awesome self. NOT OK.

According to our friends at there are approximately 5,000 other holidays each year but we didn’t want to bore you. Are there any other holidays you’d support some creeping from?


Image Sources:


Christmas Creep: Will Christmas In July Eventually Become The Actual Start To The Holiday Season?

It’s the beginning of September and we’re starting to see them.. the first hints of the holiday season. And every year, with the holidays peeking out into still 90 degree days, people start to ask: “Why is this happening?” “What is Christmas doing in my Labor Day?” “What about Halloween and Thanksgiving?” and wonder “Is this happening earlier every year?”  It’s called “Christmas Creep” and we did a little digging to determine if in fact it is happening earlier each year and if so, how far are we from having Christmas in July being the actual kickoff to Christmas?

Some early examples of Christmas Creep come from a Wikipedia entry of the same title. Since it is from Wikipedia, we know it is accurate and is therefore suitable evidence for this quest. According to the entry,

“Christmas creep is a merchandising phenomenon in which merchants and retailers exploit the commercialized status of Christmas by moving up the start of the holiday shopping season. The term was first used in the mid-1980s. The Christmas season begins with Advent between November 27 and December 3 and lasts through Christmastide, which officially starts December 25 and lasts 12 days.”

They cite the first major examples of Christmas Creep starting around the year 2000, with home improvement store Lowe’s initiating a policy requiring their stores to put out Christmas trees and decorations by October 1. In the following years, Wal-Mart, JC Penney, and Target all began starting their Christmas sales in October.

In 2008, mid-November was too early for John Kelly of The Washington Post with his article “Its Not the Eggnog Talking: Christmas is Starting Earlier” and he embarked on our same quest, to find out how much the season has moved forward by looking at the Washington Post’s archives. He found early evidence of Christmas Creep beginning in 1910, with other moves in 1926, 1939, and 1942. But in all of his examples, we were never further out than 2 months before Christmas. Fast forward to 2013.

The popular blog, Consumerist, has a tag devoted to examples of Christmas Creep and let’s just say it – August is fair game now. Check out this picture submitted by a reader, saying, “Went to Costco Monday looking for some beach supplies. I might be too late.”

See more excellent examples of Christmas Creep submitted to the Consumerist by clicking here.

If we were looking at an October start in 2000.. and we’re now in August in 2013.. how far away are we from July? If it took us thirteen years to move forward eight weeks – to advance another 4 weeks, we’ll need 2.4 years. So, we’re looking at a July start to the 2015 holiday season and we can start singing our favorite carols like  “182 Days of Christmas” or “It’s the Most Wonderful Half of the Year” or “Frosty the.. Ice Cold Beverage That I Need Right Now Because It is July” And to be fair.. according to what has been submitted to the Consumerist – we may already be in some sort of year-round holiday season.. too bad it doesn’t come with all the extra vacation days.

Well here’s one way to keep your holidays contained to their traditional, relatively short and sweet timeline, AND be able to enjoy them. Use CheckedTwice to manage your gift giving!


A DIY Box for Crafters

Here’s a great gift for a crafty friend or family member – WhimseyBox! Each month, for $15, a box arrives at your doorstep with everything you need to complete a fun project including materials and instructions. Gift subscriptions can be purchased for 3 mos. for $45, for 6 mos. for $90, or for a full year for $165. Each Whimseybox includes:

  • DIY Project Materials
  • Project Instructions
  • Reusable Organization Box
  • 5×7 Collectible Art Print
  • Free Shipping

To get started, click here to go to their Gift Subscription page. Here are some of their recent projects:



Concert Tickets

Concert tickets are a way cool experiential gift – especially if the recipient is someone who is really into music. Buying 2 or 4 tickets to see one of their favorite bands can easily create an experience that stays with them for years to come and they’ll have you to think of and thank each time they remember the experience. If you’re unsure of what type of music they like, you could instead get a gift certificate or gift card that covers the face value cost of the tickets + any purchase fees. Here are some sites that will help you see upcoming shows in different cities nationally with links to purchase tickets:

If you’re looking for tickets to a show that has sold out or you are looking for seats that aren’t available from the main ticket seller, these sites may be helpful:

This type of gift experience can also easily include tickets to a play or a sporting event. Giving someone the opportunity to experience something that they’ll enjoy and help them create happy memories is a gift that can’t go wrong!

Pic from Flickr User Beograd


World Wildlife Fund

Is your intended gift recipient an animal lover? The World Wildlife Fund offers a Gift Adoption Card that is a cute and charitable way to give. These cards, which can be purchased in increments of $50, are a symbolic “adoption” of an animal.  The recipient can choose which type of animal to adopt (from over 100 different species!) and will receive a thank you gifts that include:


  • A soft plush version of their adoption animal
  • A Species Spotlight card full of fascinating information about the animal
  • A handsome 5″x7″ adoption certificate, suitable for framing
  • A beautiful 5″x7″ full-color photo of their adoption animal
  • A drawstring gift bag

They’ll receive something tangible as a thank you and the best part is that the donation goes toward supporting WWF’s conservation efforts worldwide. This is a great gift for kids as they’ll learn about the WWF, feel the good that comes from giving to charity, but will still get something cuddly to love.


To learn more about this program, click here. To learn more about the World Wildlife Fund and their conservation efforts, visit their main website at


DIY Monogrammed Art

This is a super easy, and super customize able gift idea – and a great addition to any room! What is it? Washi Tape Monogram Art!

If you’re not familiar with Washi Tape – you will be soon as it has been sweeping the craft world in the US recently. According to, the washi tape phenomenon began in 2006 as a group of Japanese artists approached a tape manufacturer asking for colorful, decorative tapes. With the initial success, more colors and patterns were introduced and now there are TONS of options and it is readily available in craft stores and also for purchase online. Here’s a great application for it that can be modified depending on the occasion: washi tape monograms!

All you will need is some washi tape in the colors and patterns of your choice, a way to print block letters, scissors to cut them out, and a nice frame for a finishing touch. Visit Lia Griffith’s website for the full set of instructions! The pictures below are from her site – don’t they look great?! Once you’re there, browse, because her site is filled with awesome ideas!

WashiMonogramArt              WashiTapeMonogram

These could easily be done for a baby shower, a wedding shower, or a housewarming gift. Everyone loves a personalized gift and the gorgeous colors and patterns available in washi tape make it easy to make something beautiful!