I love putting up my Christmas decorations. I, like most of our retailers, have basically skipped over Thanksgiving to decorate for the best time of the year (in my opinion). So, by December 26, I’m itching to take everything down and store it away for another year. So, if you’d like to avoid being met next year with a giant ball of twisted lights, broken decorations, or mayhem in the basement – which inevitably leads to a spousal fight, follow these simple tips for storing your precious decorations in an organized fashion.
I store my decorations by like and by size in a storage bin with a lid. That means, for example, all the snowmen together. They’re all relatively the same size, and when I open the box, they’re all there for me to decide where they will live around my home for the month of December. When packing them away, I reuse the wrapping paper from Christmas day. I roll the paper up into tube shapes to be used as buffers between items, and to add padding to the storage bin.
I also use bubble wrap to layer my decorations on top of each other. I’m not spending tons of time wrapping each piece with wrap and tape, instead, I’m laying the items and since they’re all relatively the same size, it stops the shifting around when moving.
Always remember to label, label, label! Label the boxes as a quick identifier as to what is in them. That way, you’re not rummaging through a bunch of boxes to find one favored item. My family and I went to Disney a few weeks before Christmas this year. I knew I wanted to put up some decorations, but I didn’t want to go full-blown like most years because we weren’t going to be home that much to enjoy them. Having labeled boxes was a life saver. We only needed to grab those boxes with the decorations that would be dsiplayed. The rest of the boxes stayed neatly stored in the basement.
I have an issue putting nail holes in the walls, especially if they’re to hang temporary decorations. I swear by command products. They have a solution for every one of your decorating needs – and most importantly, they won’t leave holes, gouges and peeled paint on our walls.
I have tons of them! My mom started a collection of Hallmark ornaments for my sister and I back in the ‘70s. I like to purchase ornaments on vacations as memories; and I’ve been collecting one a year for my son (he’s 6). To create some efficiencies in the storing and decorating process, I store my ornaments in these boxes. I love these boxes! They’re great for storing different sized ornaments and can accommodate up to 75 per box. I like being able to see all of the ornaments so that I can select which ones I’ll be using on the tree in a given year. It also cuts way down on the time spent undecorating the tree because we’re not looking for individual boxes for each and every ornament.
I have several unbreakable ornaments as well. I store these by color in gallon size (+) Ziploc bags in a see-thru storage bin. That way I can decide my color scheme before dragging everything up from the basement. Ahem, so my husband drags everything up … in any event, it saves time!
Any Christmas card that we receive with photos on it I keep. I have been doing this for many, many years so I have many, many cards. I make a hole punch in each of the cards, string them onto ribbon and display them all together on a door knob. When people come to visit, they love looking at the collection of cards and how people have changed, kiddos have grown, and families have expanded.
‘Riggin’ up the lights!’
Ah yes, hanging Christmas lights can be a trying experience. When taking them down to store, wrap the strands around heavy plastic hangers and hang the hangers on hooks in the basement or attic. This should avoid the dreaded tangled ball of doom. Another idea is to recycle shipping boxes or gift boxes by cutting them into 12” X 6” rectangles. Wrap the lights around the cardboard and store them upright in a box.
I store all of our artificial window wreaths on top of each other on a shelf in the basement. I figure that they take a beating being outside for a month so they can handle being stacked on top of each other in the dry basement. I place the timers (with batteries removed) and extension cords in the center of the wreaths so that everything is together when it’s time to deck the halls!
These are a just a few tips to make holiday storage easier. What are your favorite tips? Care to share?