Organize Your Christmas Decorations
Decorating for Christmas is one of the most exciting parts of the holiday season, but putting those decorations away when you are finished with them can require a little extra thought. You need to find a way to keep your ornaments from breaking and your lights from tangling up. If you are like most people, you also have limited storage space. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks that will keep your most cherished decorations organized for next year.
Ornaments and Small Decorations
Storing your ornaments in a container divided into separate sections is ideal because it prevents the glass and other breakable ones from knocking into each other. You can buy boxes with dividers made specifically for ornament storage, or you can save money and use found items from around the house. Egg cartons are perfect for smaller items, and they add an extra layer of protection. Or you can take all of those uses toilet paper rolls, cut them in half and place them vertically in a bin. Another option is to take plastic or styrofoam cups and attach them to a piece of cardboard or the bottom of a plastic bin. Layers of tissue paper, bubble wrap, newspaper or cardboard add even more protection.
The best way to store your lights is to wrap them around something sturdy. Again, you can use found items from around your home, such as coffee cans or pieces of cardboard. Store them in a large freezer bag in case they come untied to prevent tangling. Keep all extra lights, replacements and fuses in a separate bag in case you need a spare next year.
Artificial Christmas Trees
If you prefer the cost-effectiveness and convenience of an artificial Christmas tree, you know you have to have plenty of space for storage. If you have extra space in a garage, basement or attic, try storing it without taking it apart to save your family time for next year. You can use ribbon or old belts to pull the branches together at the center so that it fits comfortably in corners and other small spaces.
Wreaths and Garlands
Wreaths and garlands tend to lose their fullness when you store them in boxes and bins, so avoid that by finding some empty closet space or setting up a rack in your basement or attic. Use a garment bag or a trash bag and coat hanger to hang your wreath or garland as is. If your wreaths have bows on them, leave them in place. Keep the loops from folding in by stuffing them with balled up newspaper or tissue paper.
Candles are often a big part of Christmas decor, but storing them can be tricky. Be sure to keep them in a cool dark place, like a basement, to prevent them from melting or sweating. However, you should avoid extra cold places where they might freeze because this can lead to cracking. If your candles are not in a container, wrap them in some type of cloth to prevent them from becoming scratched or nicked. For aromatic candles with holiday scents like cinnamon, fir trees and apple cider, keep them in a ziploc bag to save the scent for next year.
Other tips for organizing and storing Christmas decorations:
Dust all decor before putting away in storage. Try to keep all Christmas decorations in one central location to save yourself time next year. Take pictures of tabletops, mantels and even your Christmas tree so you can remember where to places items next year. Label every bin, box and basket — another time-saver you will appreciate next November.