With the holidays peeking around the corner, now is a great time to think about how you pack and store your decorations away each year. When you take all of your decorations down, are you in a rush to get your house back in order? Do you just start throwing things in boxes and hope for the best as you unpack them next year? Here are a few tips to help you make the best of your holiday storage and help keep your decorations neat, organized, unbroken, and ready to display next time.
Containers for Your Decorations
The first step to packing up decorations is to decide what kind of containers you will use. If you are storing them in a basement or a storage unit, one of the best options is to keep your holiday décor in plastic totes and bins. This will keep them free of moisture as well dust, dirt, and pests. They are also easy to stack, giving you more room in your storage area. Cardboard boxes work in a pinch, but do not offer much protection from moisture and pests.
Using a storage unit to house your holiday decorations may be a less stressful option for you, as it will free up space in your home to store other things or use that space for other purposes. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that all of your items are safe, secure, and easily accessible when you need them.
All Those Strings of Lights
Whether they’re for Halloween, Christmas, or another holiday, strings of lights are a pain to store. For many people, it’s a given that every year when you go to brighten your home, you will come across that dreaded knot of lights. Some will not work, others will be broken, and you will end up with a mess.
To save the time and stress, as you take down all the lights and get ready to store them, grab a few paper towel tubes or even empty (clean) tin cans. Simply wrap your lights around the tube or can and plug the ends into each other to hold them on there. This way, the lights can be stored standing up or stacked on top of each other, and you will simply have to unwind and hang them up next year. This also creates less of a chance that bulbs will get broken or that the wires will get stretched out or bent.
Wrap Those Ornaments
As you unwrap your delicate ornaments, there always seem to be a few that are chipped, broken, or dusty. If possible, you should try to keep the packaging that the ornaments came in, since these tend to be form-fitting and protective. That is not always possible, so there are some other things you can try:
Paper towels or holiday linens that also need to be stored work great for wrapping fragile ornaments before you store them away. This not only keep your ornaments safe, it also helps you store away your holiday hand towels.
You can also use empty egg cartons to store the smaller delicate ornaments. These keep the ornaments protected and can easily stack on top of each other.
Taking Down the Tree
Oh Christmas Tree! Artificial trees sure are pretty, but they are also a pain to take down, dismantle, and store. Here is a simple solution – don’t take it down. Really! After you take off the loose decorations, you can simply fold the branches in and zip-tie them to the stem of the tree. Once it is all tied up, simply place some plastic bags or a large garment or tree bag around it and tie it off. Storing your tree this way will take up less space in your storage area, as you can easily store your tree standing upright, and it will be much easier to cut some zip ties next year and just fluff out those branches instead of putting it back together completely.
Wrap Everything Up
You have already wrapped and unwrapped all of those presents, and we already discussed the fragile ornaments, so what is possibly left? Your extra wrapping paper, of course! What are you going to do with all of that used paper? If you know you will not use it next year, it will just sit and get damp in a garage or basement, or you are about to throw it away, why not instead put it through the paper shredder? Shredding your extra wrapping paper makes great packing filler for all of your breakable holiday decorations. It will act like Styrofoam filler and you won’t be wasting the paper, all while keeping your holiday decorations safe from breakage. You can also use it instead of tissue paper for packing bagged gifts!
Packing It Up Like a Pro
There are a few general tips you can follow as you pack up your holiday decorations that really go a long way towards making the decorating and packing much less stressful.
First, you need to do a basic purge of your decorations each year. It’s especially easy to want to hang on to any and all holiday décor, since the season is so meaningful. You need to allow yourself the freedom to toss any decorations that are broken beyond repair or simply get placed back into the box every year without being set out. This will make decorating more fun and easier next year, as you won’t have to deal with decorations that you don’t love while unpacking. Let the guilt go and get rid of what you do not use.
Next, you should set up a first out, last in type of storage structure. Pack and label the boxes in such a way that you can tell which ones hold decorations that need to come out first to start your decorating. After everything is packed, place those first-out boxes in the stack last. That way when you go to decorate the next year, you are not digging for what you need.
Another great organizing tip is to color code the plastic storage bins you use. Maybe get orange ones for your Fall and Halloween decorations and grab some green and red ones for the Winter and Christmas décor!
With these tips and tricks, you can get in good habits for going through and organizing all of those holiday decorations. As easy as it would be to just toss it all in boxes after the season is over, take a minute and think about the holiday season next year. Take the extra bit of time to set yourself up for success. Your future self will thank you!
If you want more storage tips, check out other Porta-Stor’s blogs, such as this one that goes over how to store lawn and other outdoor equipment!