Enjoying the twinkling lights on the tree and the decked halls is one of the most wonderful parts of the Christmas season; dragging all of those decorations out, untangling lights, and packing them back up, not so much. The best way to make your set up and break down of Christmas decorations as painless as possible is to make sure that you follow simple tips to store them properly, so even if they’re shifted around the attic, garage, or basement throughout the other seasons, they stay in one piece.
1. Save Original Boxes
Whenever possible, save the original packaging that your decoration came in. That packaging was designed specifically to fit the item you are trying to store and to protect it from breaking. If it managed to protect the item while it went from the manufacturer to the store you bought it in and then to your house, it should keep be able to keep it in one piece when you move it from storage to living quarters and back to storage.
2. Store Like Items Together
While it may seem best to cram as much as you can into each storage bin so your Christmas decorations don’t take up so much space, it doesn’t make sense to store the ornaments with your crèche. Dedicate separate storage bins for each type of decoration. If you have a Christmas village or a special display you put out at this time of year, make sure all the pieces land in one place and that they are easy to distinguish from the other items.
3. Coil Lights and Garland
If you’ve ever decorated a Christmas tree, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time untangling Christmas lights. Avoid the hassle by coiling the lights in a circle when you’re packing them away. You can wrap them around your arm and then secure them with a twist tie or ribbon, or you can buy specialty reels; a piece of stiff piece of cardboard or a coffee can will work, too. The same goes for garland, although you will likely need a larger reel to wrap it onto. If you are coiling by hand, tie it off and then place it in a bin with a circular item in the middle, or hang it from a large hook.
4. Use Divided Boxes to Keep Ornaments Organized
Ornaments come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter what their design, the easiest way to keep them well-organized and safe is to wrap them in bubble wrap or tissue paper and place them in divided boxes. These boxes can be purchased specifically for ornaments, or you can store them in wine boxes that have the dividers. Just be careful not to place any delicate ornaments on the bottom of the box, and to stack them accordingly.
5. Place Wreaths in a Proper Container
If you use a faux wreath or have one that is made from dried flowers or other non-living material, it’s great to be able to hold onto it for reuse the next year – as long as it doesn’t get crushed in storage. You can buy rigid plastic wreath storage containers, or you can use a large hat box. If you prefer to hang your wreath on a basement or garage wall, slip a dry cleaning bag over it to prevent it from getting dusty.
More Great Links
- “12 Smart Ways to Store Christmas Decorations.” This Old House. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20332929,00.html
- “How To: Store Christmas Decorations and Lights.” Real Simple. http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/more-holidays/storing-holiday-ornaments-lights-00000000023794/index.html “Our Best Holiday Storage Solutions.” Better Homes & Gardens.
- “Our Best Holiday Storage Solutions.” Better Homes & Gardens. http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/organization-basics/holiday-storage-solutions/