Decorating is one of the most enjoyable things about the holidays. Having your decorations organized at the beginning of the season and at the end when putting everything away makes you more likely to remain in good cheer. Here are some great tips and advice on how to properly store your holiday items each year so they are easy to access and in good condition for seasons to come.
Take Stock of All Holiday Decorations
Gather all your holiday decorations and inventory them. Donate or sell any items you no longer want, and throw out any that are damaged. Organize items by type to give yourself a better idea of what kind of storage solutions you’ll need to put them away securely and safely. Choose your storage space wisely. Attics, garages and basements often aren’t climate controlled, so moisture and pests can be an issue. Plastic and rubber containers are ideal because they are airtight and resist moisture.
Create a holiday tool kit. Put small necessary tools and items you use regularly for gift wrapping and decorating in a shoebox, a large freezer bag, or ideally, an appropriately sized plastic bin. Items such as ornament hooks, ribbons, tape, gift tags, permanent markers, scissors, extra holiday light bulbs and twist ties can go here. Having these organized and ready can make your gift wrapping and decorating that much easier. Don’t forget to label the box with a permanent marker and a sticker label so you can locate it quickly when needed. Every container used to store items should be labeled prominently to make decorating and storage easy.
Create extra storage space off of the ground by installing storage shelves to hold holiday items and decor.
Organize and Store Holiday Ornaments
Store holiday decorations with care. Ornaments can be fragile and need a protective container in which to safely store them. One easy way is to buy clear plastic bins and repurpose them specifically to cradle fragile ornaments and keep them free from damage. You can do this by first cutting a piece of cardboard to place on the bottom of the bin. Then use a glue gun to attach paper cups to the cardboard. You can then wrap an ornament in tissue paper and then place one in each of the cups. Once the cups have been filled, close the lid on the bin and label it with sticker labels and a permanent marker so it’s easy to find later. Keep ornament styles grouped together for better organization. You can also purchase commercially available ornament storage boxes that are specifically designed to contain fragile ornaments.
Don’t discard original ornament boxes if possible. They make great storage containers.
Egg cartons can be repurposed to store smaller breakable ornaments.
Organize and Store Christmas Lights
Keep holiday light strands untangled by wrapping them around pieces of cardboard cut to fit inside plastic storage bins. Use scissors or a utility knife to make a small notch on opposite corners of the piece of cardboard. You can use these notches for the plugs on each end of the cord. Label the bin with the type of light inside. You can also purchase cord reels designed for long strands of outdoor lighting to keep them untangled and easy to deploy. If your lights came on a reel, don’t discard the reel, use it to wind up the lights and store them away.
Replace burned out or broken bulbs, and discard strands that are frayed or otherwise damaged.
Store holiday candles in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Wrap them in plastic before storing for even better protection.
Store Wrapping Paper
Store your unused wrapping paper properly. Wrapping paper that is not put away carefully can become torn and wrinkled and thus unusable. The cardboard tubes left over at the end of a gift-wrap roll can be used to store leftover scraps of wrapping paper. Save as many of these cardboard tubes as you need so that you have ready-made storage for your paper to use next year. Organize further by placing your rolls of gift wrap in a hanging garment bag. This adds more floor storage space and keeps the paper off the floor, protecting it further.
Store Artificial Christmas Trees and Wreaths
Store your artificial trees and wreaths in heavy-duty storage bags and containers designed to protect them. Or store them in their original packaging if you still have it. Purchase a tree storage bag with carrying straps and wheels to make it easier to move around, especially for larger artificial trees. Unused hat boxes can often make good wreath storage solutions as well.
Happy holidays! Your festive decorations and other items are now organized and manageable for this season and the next.
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