I know what you’re thinking – – – I’m just pulling my decorations OUT – – – I’m definitely not ready to think about storing them again. But that’s exactly the time you should think about your storage needs. After all, when are you most familiar with what was mushed, mashed, or broken than when you first begin unpacking it from last year? Now is definitely the time to think about storage ideas for your Christmas decorations so that you’ll be ready when the holidays are over and it’s time to to pack it up again.
Christmas is a time of wonderful celebrations. But once it’s over, you’re left to deal with the chore of taking down the tree, packing away the ornaments and storing the decorations. Honestly, this is the part I dread most – I absolutely HATE taking it all down!
You want your decorations to be in tiptop shape for the next Christmas, so how you store your cherished items is important. There is a right and a wrong way to put away the stuff, but by adhering to the following rules, you can make sure your Christmas goodies will last a lifetime.
Be careful how you store linens
Rule #1: If you’re putting away cloth – such as tablecloths and napkins, towels, Christmas afghans, rugs, pillow covers, sheets, etc. don’t place them in a cardboard box. If you usually store your seasonal decorations in your attic and there’s a leak, these items will get damaged by the wetness.
You’ll end up with a box full of mildewed linens that have to be tossed into the garbage. And if any of those items are heirlooms, you’ll end up feeling disappointed and upset. No one wants an image of Grandma looking down with a frowny face because her items were ruined. Instead of cardboard boxes, store these materials in a suitcase or an airtight plastic container. Get one with a snap on lid, not one that pulls out like a drawer (drawer units will not keep out pests or the elements).
This box is almost 20 inches wide, 14 1/2 inches deep, and a little over 4 inches tall. It’s perfect for storing tablecloths.
Pay attention to how you store your tree
Rule #2: When you’re taking down the Christmas tree, assuming it’s an artificial one, as you take down each row of branches, put a rubber band around the stems to hold them together.
Write on the rubber band what number the row is or attach a tag. Put these branches in bags specifically made for storing artificial Christmas trees. Again, cardboard eventually gets worn and torn up and there are bags that are specifically made for holding your artificial tree. The one on the left is one you can carry using the handles while the one on the right has wheels to make it really easy to haul to wherever you need it.
The time you take to properly label and store your tree will pay off next year when your tree is in good shape.
Keep wreaths in pristine shape from year to year
Rule #3: If you’re saving your Christmas wreaths, buy the round containers that are specifically made for wreaths. Another option – provided you have the room – is to cover them with a heavy-duty trash bag that you’ve knotted at the bottom. You can then hang them on a hail in the garage or other large area. If you’ve got a collection of wreaths be sure to add a tag or label to clearly identify what’s in the bag. That way you won’t have to open the bag to find what you’re looking for.
The choices below give you the option of soft sided or hard sided wreath storage. Both images are clickable.
Don’t ruin the wrapping paper
Rule #4: For Christmas wrapping paper that’s left over, put these in the tube containers that were invented for this purpose. It’ll keep the paper from unraveling and the ends from splitting and tearing.
The choices below give you the option of storing the paper in a storage box, one that hangs in a closet, or in a stand alone wrapping station. Click on the images to get more information.
Keep lights from getting tangled
Rule #5: Before packing away the Christmas lights, always check each strand to make sure all the bulbs light up. Then, forget the boxes they came in. Don’t try to save them in the same boxes.
It’s like trying to stuff an elephant into a thimble. Instead, wrap the lights in strands, secure them in place with twist ties and store the lights in small plastic containers that you can place down inside larger containers.
Use original boxes when possible
Rule #6: Wrap each Christmas village piece in bubble wrap and store back in it’s original box then place that box in the large plastic container. You should have room in the same container the lights are stored in.
Protect the breakables
Rule # 7: Wrap all Christmas ornaments in bubble wrap even if they’re not breakable. This keeps them from getting nicked. Also wrap all Christmas candles in bubble wrap before packing them away in storage containers specifically designed for this purpose.
Don’t forget those pretty candles whether pillar, tapers, or in jars. The bubble wrap prevents the candles from having chunks gouged out of them and protect any jar candles from breaking. If you can resist the urge to pop the bubble wrap (this is SO hard for me!) then you can reuse the bubble wrap year after year.
Whatever our Christmas decorating style is, we want to make sure that those decorations are kept in good shape for enjoyment year after year. Whether they will be or not depends on how we store them when they’re not in use. The right storage methods and containers will help guarantee that our treasures elicit the same “oohs” and “aahs” year after year.