Having holiday decorations is one of the best ways to bring warmth and festive joy into your home during the holiday season, but decorations that are only meant for such a short period of time can create extra stress to unpack and pack in such a short period of time. The good news is, there are plenty of storage tricks you can utilize that will making storage quicker and easier as you put away your holiday decorations this year and when you unpack them next year. Here are some holiday storage tips and tricks that will help you pack away your decorations in time for the New Year.
Store Items That Will Be Displayed Together
Consider organizing your boxes or bins of holiday items based on where they will be displayed. Instead of storing holiday lights all together, create a box for your outdoor lights and decorations, a box for tree lights, skirt, and ornaments, and a box for lights around the mantel and other mantel decorations.
Address Problems As You Put Them Away
Replace burnt-out bulbs before you store your lights away for the year. Pack away new candles (store this box in a cool box so they don’t melt) to fit with candles holders for next year to replace the dripping ones from this year. Update items that have gotten too much wear and tear before you have to worry about it next season. Bonus: most holiday items are extremely discounted after the holiday season, so the perfect time to replace any aspect of your holiday décor is as you are packing it away for next year.
Recycle Leftover Wrapping Paper and Tissue
Instead of throwing out wrapping paper and tissue paper, use it to wrap your delicate ornaments before storing them away once the season has passes. Even if you store your box in a careful place, it’s always a good idea to pay special attention to storing ornaments safely so they don’t break. Tissue paper is excellent for wrapping and wrapping paper can be run through a paper shredder to act as fluffy insulation in boxes. Consider storing them with a box of new hanging hooks to make displaying them on the tree easier for next year.
You may think you’ll remember what items when in which boxes for next year, but just in case, label everything in excess. You may want to find a certain item right away next year, or you may decide to downsize in your decorating, so finding specific items instead of opening every box and then having to repack them right away will save you a lot of time and headache.
Wrap Your Lights
You may be tempted to shove your holiday lights in a box and let your future self deal with untangling them next year. Instead of starting next holiday season on a Grinchy note as you untangle the mess you left for yourself the previous year, simply take a few extra minutes to carefully disassemble your lights. Use a piece of cardboard to wrap each cord of lights around as it comes off the tree, the house, or anywhere else you have placed them. Keep the strands separate and label each cardboard piece with where they were positioned last year so you don’t have to guess which strands of lights are the correct lengths for which area.
Save the Original Packaging
Nothing is better for keeping intricate holiday décor stored safely and neatly than the original packaging for which it was designed. Hold onto boxes and Styrofoam packaging as you unwrap your new holiday décor for the year and place the décor safely back in the box as the holiday season closes. Not only will this ensure that your items are stored properly, but the packaging is often design to protect the items in the most compact way possible, which means they will take up less room in your closet than if you were to try and fit them someplace else.
Create a List (and Check it Twice)
Make a list on the outside of each box and update it each year based on how many feet of garland, strands of lights, and number of candles you currently have. This will save you time from the inevitable second-guessing and over-buying next year, which creates more clutter in your allotted holiday storage space.
Evaluate Your Holiday Inventory
It’s hard to part with decorations, which have absorbed memories of all the years passed, but when they begin to take up precious holiday storage space, it’s time to create a yearly inventory of what stays for next year and what goes. Keep any items that received attention and compliments this year, but anything that felt like an obligation to put up might be in the running to give away. Don’t feel obligated to keep ornaments you don’t necessarily like (remember, you’ll probably be getting more next year) or decorations that were fun when the kids were young, but now clash with the sophistication of your new home décor.
Create an “Open First” Box
Thanksgiving often blends into Christmas, and you may be itching to begin the holiday decorating before all the Thanksgiving leftovers are finished without going overboard. Create an “Open First” box containing all the items you will want to display first to ease the transition time. This way, you can satisfy you holiday decorating cravings without dumping out the contents of each box, and take some time to evaluate and organize you holiday planning before turning your home into a full-blown winter wonderland.
How do you cut down on the holiday storage headache? Have you made any changes in your storage techniques that made this year easier? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments section below.
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