Holiday Storage Done Right: How to Make Things Easier for Yourself Next Christmas
Even if you love to decorate for the holidays (any holidays!), putting everything away for next year can be a huge pain. But throwing everything into a bin because you’re in a hurry means that the next time you pull it out, it will be a big mess. You’ll spend half your decorating time just sorting decorations, replacing broken ones, and untangling lights. It’s enough to put you off holiday decorating altogether!
Fortunately, a few quick tricks will prevent you from dreading decorating your home. Follow these, and you’ll start creating your own holidays just to have something else to decorate for.
Christmas or Twinkle Lights
No matter how carefully you lay the light strands into their boxes, they always seem to be tangled when you want to string them the next time. Lights really need to be spooled in order to prevent tangling. You can use any sturdy item as a spool, from cardboard wrapping paper rolls to professionally made light spools. Before you spool them, however, use masking tape to label each strand with its length and where you hang it up. You’ll thank yourself next year.
Hanging Ornaments of All Types
The liquor store is your first stop when it comes to storing hanging ornaments, and not just to spike any leftover eggnog. Liquor boxes come with thick cardboard dividers to keep bottles from clinking together and breaking, and these are perfect for stashing ornaments of various sizes. If the ornament is especially fragile, wrap it in bubble wrap before placing it snugly in its partition. Egg cartons are perfect for small ornaments.
Banners and Flags
Cloth and plastic banners and flags can be folded and stored flat. You can separate such items according to holiday or store them all together in chronological order. Thick accordion folders make selection easy.
3-D Wreaths, Lawn Ornaments, and Knick-Knacks
There are several ways you can go about packing away bulky three-dimensional items: wrap them in bubble wrap and place them in bins; store them individually on storage area shelving if you have the room; or use plastic garment bags to keep them dust-free and hung tidily in a closet.
Throw Away Dated or Broken Decorations
Unless it has serious sentimental value or is an antique, you don’t need to hang onto decorations that are broken or dated and never used. Throw them away, donate them if they are only gently used, or sell them if they have value. After you have cleaned out your stash, you’ll have more room for the things you want to keep and use. You can also make a list of items you’ll need to replace the next time there is a big sale.
Store Items in a Climate Controlled Area
Most decorations will be affected by temperature and humidity levels over time. You should always store valuable or expensive decorations in a climate-controlled area, whether that is in a spare bedroom, a heated basement, or climate-controlled self-storage unit. Not only will you protect your investment in your decorations but you will find yourself replacing fewer pieces year after year. Extreme shifts in temperature can cause damage to most items made of wood, paper, plastic, photographs, and cloth.