How To Store Holiday Decorations
How To Store Holiday Decorations So They Look Good Next Year…
Okay, the new year is about to start, so we should probably start thinking about taking down the Christmas decorations… unless you want to be that house with the Christmas lights and melted inflatable snowman on your lawn for St. Patrick’s Day… in which case, you can stop reading now. For the rest of us, it’s probably time to figure out how to store those decorations for next year. Un-decorating the house isn’t as much fun as decorating the house for the holidays, so I’m sharing some tricks and tips to help make the process go as quickly as possible.
Storing An Artificial Tree
Getting the artificial tree back into the box is quite difficult, and it usually comes out looking a little worse for wear each year you pull it out. Storing the tree properly can help you preserve it for years to come.
In order to get the tree into a box, bag, or container, you will need to “de-fluff’ the tree. After removing all the ornaments, it’s time to fold up the tree. I like to wear rubber dishwashing gloves to protect my hands and cuticles from the abrasive fibers of the tree. Starting from the top, remove the top section and gently press each branch section up towards the top of the tree, compressing the form into a smaller shape. Repeat this process for each section of the tree. until all the sections are gently compressed upward. I like to use a piece of twine, or even a bungee cord tied around the sections to hold the branches in position, which makes getting the tree into a storage container easier.
I use large, clear storage containers, so it’s immediately evident what is in each box. However, there are these great Tree Keeper storage bags that you don’t even need to “de-fluff” the tree first, just slip it around your tree – lights and all and haul it to the garage or attic.
Storing Christmas Lights
Untangling the lights is the least favorite part of the holiday decorating process, so using a little forethought can prevent hours of untangling next year. I find it’s best to keep each strand of lights separate for storage. There are all kinds of specialty light storage reels available, but you can use something as simple as a piece of cardboard and a plastic grocery bag to keep lights organized.
Plug in the light strands and make sure they are working before storage, if they’re not working, and replacing the burned out bulb doesn’t work — it’s time to throw the strand away. Wrap one working light strand around a piece of cardboard and place inside a plastic grocery bag — tie it up and repeat. Putting the lights into individual bags will prevent the strands from tangling with each other. Each tied up bag of lights can go inside your light storage box, and you will have working, tangle-free lights next year.
We all want our ornaments, especially the fragile glass or keepsake ornaments to look perfect year after year. This is another great use for clear storage containers – so you know which ornaments are in which box. There are also specialty ornament storage boxes, such as these boxes from Container Store, that will hold the ornaments neatly. One simple way is to store in layers, place crumpled newspaper, or even used wrapping paper on the bottom of the box, and place ornaments of like-kind (all the red balls, gold bells, etc.) in a layer, cover with another layer of crumpled paper, and do the next layer. Tape a piece of paper to the box – indicating which ornaments are inside, and keep going until everything is stored.
Editing Your Decorations
Over the years, it’s easy to accumulate a large amount of holiday decorations – causing us to store more items than we will likely use. This is the time of year to evaluate all the holiday decorations in your garage and determine if they are still useful and wanted.
If there are broken items that you haven’t repaired and have been taking up room for a few years, you should consider letting them go.
If there are nice decorations that you haven’t been using, a great idea is to put them together in one place so they can be easily donated to a charity at the beginning of next holiday season. Your unused decorations could brighten the holidays for a family in need next year.
After you’ve edited the unnecessary items, it’s easier to store your decorations neatly. You could even get really organized and arrange the boxes by holiday, so all the Halloween items are separated from Christmas and 4th of July.
Do you have any great holiday decoration storage ideas? Feel free to share!
Keller Williams Pacific Estates