When the holidays start winding down and it’s time to say goodbye to decorations, it’s not uncommon to want to put it all away as fast as possible. The urge to de-clutter your living space can often lead to hasty packing. The damage done by swiftly storing your holiday decorations may not be an issue for almost a year, but eventually you may open your boxes of bobbles and find a mess.
Make sure you take the time to tuck your decorations away safely.
Make Packaging a Priority
If you have had decorations for a decade or more you are likely working with some pretty flimsy packing materials. Crumbling Styrofoam, airless bubble wrap and degraded paper can compromise the long-term storage safety of your delicate holiday items.
If you have been wrapping trinkets in the same packaging for years, you’re taking a gamble every time that this will be the last year you see them intact.
With the increase of online shopping, odds are you will be getting fresh new boxes, peanuts, paper and wrap sent right to your door. Instead of recycling these items, save them for when you’re ready to put the decorations away and toss old containers and their contents away.
Storage Feng Shui
Tossing whatever fits into any box labeled “Holidays” is tempting. And it may get the job done, but next year will just bring more clutter, confusion and costs. Make this the year that you put the effort into coordinating and organizing your stored decorations.
Cheryl Najafi, New York Times bestselling author and lifestyle expert, suggests dedicating boxes to very particular items.
“From ribbons and holiday cards to tape, gift boxes and wrapping paper, it’s best to store all of your gift-wrapping needs together. This way, you’re not scrambling for that double-sided tape and can pull out all of your holiday supplies when the season arrives,” says Najafi.
Imagine having a dedicated wrapping station ready to go each year without having to search every closet and drawer in your house and without having to rebuy the items you’ve given up searching for
She also suggests packing items to ensure your kids can have fun without putting any family heirlooms at risk.
“Use a clear plastic tub to store plastic and kid-friendly decorations. That way, even your youngest kiddo can join in the fun of decorating the tree, without having to worry about dropping a delicate glass ornament,” adds Najafi.
The extra work you put into this year’s packing can pay you back in folds next holiday season. While it may not seem worth it at the moment, 2015-you with be grateful.
Storing Seasonal Leftovers
No we are not suggesting that you put Aunt Milly’s fruit cake under the stairs. That would be horrifying. But food is not the only leftovers that hang around once the holiday is over.
Some items can linger for months or even the whole year if you don’t make a plan to put them away with all of your other decorations.
“Think beyond just the usual holiday decorations when packing up. Any books read during the season, holiday movies, recipes, baking items and more can be stored,” says Monica Friel of Chaos to Order.
It’s easy for a copy of Rudolph to get stuck in between your daily movie collection or for a tree stand to find a permanent home amongst everyday gardening tools. Make note of these often forgotten items and set a reminder on your phone to pack them away with your other decorations.
If you do forget, reserve a box just for those random items that you can fill for the month or two after the holidays pass and discrete decorations emerge.
Packing your items away should not be a hurried task. As anxious as you may be to get it over with, taking the time to pack your decorations away properly will be something you’re grateful for in the year to come.