Until Next Season: Storing Holiday Decor

We’re finally taking down the holiday decorations from around the office, so what better time to share some tips on the proper storage of your holiday accoutrement.

If you use a real tree at the holidays, make sure you remove all decorations and dispose of it properly.  Most communities will pick up trees in the weeks following the holidays, just make sure you prepare the tree (cutting it into smaller pieces) before putting it on the curb.  Most communities have also begun mulching programs, turning those dried out tries into mulch for parks.  You can even go one step further and really green up your holiday by using a rooted tree which you can then plant in your yard after Christmas (probably a good idea to dig a hole for that before the ground gets too hard).

The biggest issue when storing holiday decorations is space.  Truly embracing the festive nature of the holidays means having a lot of stuff, but it’s hard to justify taking up room in your home with items you’re not using for 11 months out of each year.  That’s why renting a self-storage unit is ideal for your holiday decorations and any other seasonal items you only use during certain parts of the year.  Why take up valuable space in your home with something you’re not using?  Rotate those seasonal items in and out of your home and free up space in your home for better organization of things you do use on a daily basis.

If you have the space, you can save time, energy and perhaps aggravation next holiday season by not taking your artificial tree apart.  Wheeled storage bags can be purchased which would allow you to store your fully assembled tree, standing upright.

If you’re not able to store your tree in this manner, make sure all like branches are kept together and labeled.  When you first purchased your tree, no doubt the different sized branches were clearly marked, but those markings will start to go missing over time.  Storing your tree in a plastic crate with a tight fitting lid will ensure nothing tries to make a home in the branches over the course of the  year.

One of the biggest problems people face when decorating for the holidays is the tangling up of light strands.  You can now purchase reels (similar to what you might use for a garden hose) for storing your lights, tangle-free.

You can use tissue paper too torn or wrinkled for gift wrapping to wrap your more delicate ornaments.  Torn wrapping paper can be run through a shredder to create packing material.  Store your ornaments in clear, plastic tubs so you can tell what’s inside without opening each box.  Clearly labeling each box also works to let you know what exactly is in each box.

Heirloom or delicate ornaments should be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and stored in archival boxes.

Candles should be stored lying flat, out of direct light in an area which stays fairly cool so as to preserve their shape and color.  Wrap them in cellophane as it won’t melt or stick to the candles if it does get too warm where they’re stored.

Linens only used during the holidays should be cleaned and allowed to dry completely before going into storage.  Remember folds can damage fabrics over time, so folding items as few times as possible is ideal.  Wrap items in acid-free tissue paper and store them in airtight, plastic containers.  Once every few months, take the items out to check for any moisture or staining that may have developed as they sat in storage.

Rolls of gift wrap and gift bags can be easily stored in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.  Gift wrap organizers designed to hang up in a closet on over a closet door can also be purchased in many stores where gift wrap is sold.  Store your bows in a plastic tub, packing them loosely so as to avoid crushing or wrinkling them.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of fun and festivity, but a lot of work goes into making them that way.  Get a jump on sprucing up your home for the holidays by keeping your decorations stored and properly organized.