The holiday season should be an enjoyable time of the year, but it can also be stressful. While everyone wants their homes to be decorated to celebrate the holiday, the aggravation of untangling lights, wrestling yard ornaments and finding that some treasured ornaments have broken over the past year can make it all seem like too much effort. One of the easiest ways to reduce the strain of the holiday season happens after each holiday ends. Taking the time to properly store decorations and other holiday items at the end of the holiday season and can make next year’s holidays much more enjoyable.
So, how does one store holiday and seasonal items for easy retrieval? The first step is to invest in proper storage containers. One may never be truly organized if one packs the items away in whatever cardboard boxes and plastic bags that one can find. One should take an inventory of all holiday items and purchase storage containers for everything. The benefit of storing items in containers made for long-term storage is that they provide excellent protection for valuables.
There are various storage containers that can be purchased that are made specifically for storing holiday decorations. One excellent investment is a plastic storage box for storing ornaments. These boxes are often partitioned into small sections. This allows placement of an ornament in each section without going through the additional step of wrapping the breakable in tissue paper or newsprint. The partitions prevent the ornaments from banging against each other and the plastic box, and it protects the ornaments from being crushed while in storage.
To store Christmas tree lights, invest in a box made specifically for the job. These plastic boxes have removable inserts that one can wrap around each string of lights. The inserts are then slipped back into the box. The next year one simply removes the lights, one insert at a time, to decorate the tree. Storing a wreath from year to year can be tricky. A quality wreath is expensive, and one wants to enjoy it from year to year, but they easily become damaged after one year. A box specifically designed for wreath storage prevents the wreath from being crushed or damaged.
Other holiday items may be more difficult to organize. Candles, stockings, table linens and ceramics all make up an important part of the holiday scene, but without proper care, they may not last year after year. Although these items do not have a specifically designed storage box, one should follow similar procedures as if they have a special storage solution. Use a plastic storage box, not cardboard or a plastic bag. If there is room for the items to move around in the box, then the box is too big. Get a smaller box or fill in the empty spaces with newspaper or tissue paper. All storage containers should have a lid that seals.
Once one has a storage container for all holiday items, it is time to store them. Seasonal items should be stored in an out of the way location so that one does not have to move them when looking for an item that is used more frequently. Depending on one’s living arrangements, this could be in an attic, a basement, a garage or a storage building. No matter what the location may be, there are some important things to keep in mind.
Store everything together
Do not store some holiday items in the garage and others in the basement. If there is not room for everything in one spot, rearrange. It is better to have all of Christmas items in one area and all Halloween decorations in another if it is necessary to keep items separately. Often people try to divide decorations up by room, but often, when this happens, they forget from year to year what they have, and end up not using all of their decorations.
Store items off the ground
When storing items in a plastic container, one should raise the holiday decorations a few inches off the ground. This step is not necessary in the attic, but at ground level, and below, it is a wise precaution. Lay out some pallets, which many stores can provide free of charge, or some blocks of wood, and then set the boxes on top. The two to three inches under the bottom of the box allows air to circulate and prevents moisture from building up. This step is extremely important because moisture can easily damage decorations which are not discovered until the next holiday season. By utilizing these tips, one can safely store holiday decorations without worrying about any of them breaking during storage.
Courtesy of Rachel Jackson.