With many people going back to work or starting school again next week, the holiday season can be declared official over. Unfortunately, this also means that it’s time to put away your holiday decorations – and with the weather so nice for the next couple of days, why not take down your outdoor decorations too?
No one likes to take decorations down, clean them and organize everything, but it is a necessary and helpful step that you will appreciate in the future. Below, we’ve outlined some organization and storage solutions to help you properly store your holiday décor:
Declutter your décor
Before you put away all your décor for the year, go through your ornaments, lights, wreaths and ceramics. Throw away or fix anything that is broken – don’t put away anything that is cracked, torn or ripped until it is repaired. If light bulbs are burned out, replace them or test the lights to see if they are still working and replace them if needed. Any loose branches, leaves or decorations from wreaths should also be cleaned up and tossed before they are placed in storage.
If you have noticed that there are some decorations you don’t seem to use or have the space for, consider giving them away to friends and family, or donate them. There is no point in storing items that won’t be used – the chances are good someone else would appreciate it!
Keep similar objects together
Avoid having to open all of your storage containers looking for garland or a stocking. Instead, make sure all of your similar décor items, like ornaments, or candles, or lights, are all stored together in one place. Not only will this make it easier for you to find the items you need, it will also make it easier to store items if they aren’t all different shapes and sizes. Wreaths can be hung or placed side-by-side in a plastic bin or cardboard box. Instead of storing ornaments in their individual boxes wherever you have room, keep them together. There are special ornament storage containers that you can buy, or you can make your own by using plastic cups and cardboard or egg cartons.
Try and keep all of your holiday décor stored together in the same space. If you have the space, try and clear out one area in a closet, garage or shed to store any containers, lights or other items that you use during the holiday season. If you don’t have room to store everything together, try keeping all outdoor décor together in a place that is easy to access like a garage or shed, and all indoor decorations together in your basement or closet. Since holiday décor is seasonal, you can easily store your décor on the top shelf of a cabinet or closet, or another storage space that is more out of the way.
Room By room Decor storage
If you have a large home, or like to decorate the same year by year, pack away and store your seasonal decorations by room. Label clearly "living room Christmas decorations". That way your living room decor will end up all together and you will have an easier time remembering where things belong one year to the next.
Label, label, label
Regardless of how you store your items, make sure whatever they are stored in is clearly labelled. This way, you can grab the items that you want when you need them. This is especially helpful for people who don’t put out all their decorations at a time, and prevents them from pulling out all of their boxes to determine what is in them.
While labelling storage containers seems obvious, there are other décor items that are also important to label. If you use an artificial tree, label each tier of the tree. Once the tree is fluffed out it is easy to determine what part goes where, but when it is packed away in a box or bag with the rest of the layers, it may not be clear. Labelling will make it easier to put the tree together next year. If you store your lights in plastic bags or boxes, make sure the label includes what colour(s) they are, and if they are smaller or larger bulbs. It may also be helpful to label what the lights are for, like the outside of the house, the tree, the back deck, or wherever else you put them up.
Untangle your lights
Lights are always tricky to take down, and even more complicated to put up because the cords so often tangle when they are put away. However, there are many different methods to neatly organizing your lights so they won’t get tangled. Consider using a piece of cardboard from a gift box or parcel to wrap the lights around. If you have any left-over ribbon, use it to bundle and tie together each strand of lights. Alternatively, you can purchase storage containers that will wind up your lights.
Make sure to cushion your lights with a softer material, like used tissue paper, newspaper or paper towel to prevent the bulbs from breaking. This is especially important if you are planning on storing your lights in a cooler place like a garage or shed where they could become cold and brittle.
Take down the tree
Many people do not have space to store their tree fully-assembled, so cut down your storage space by storing parts of your tree in separate containers. Most boxes and containers aren’t big enough for larger artificial trees, so store each layer in a storage tube. These containers will easily fit the length and width of the layers once they are folded down. For small artificial trees, the entire tree could easily fit into one container. While many may store their tree in its original box, the cardboard starts to break down and bend over the years, and it isn’t always easy to store or take out every year. By using separate containers, you can minimize storage space and keep your tree safely stored.
For people who do have the space to store their whole tree, there are many options available to easily bring it in an out of storage each year and protect it while it is not in use. For starters, consider using a tree stand that has wheels on it. When the tree is up, you can lock the wheels in place, and unlock them when it is time to put the tree in your garage or shed. When you store your tree together, you can keep any lights or garlands on your tree, and protect them by covering the tree with a large plastic or storage bag.
Cleaning up and organizing your décor after the holidays is an essential task that can save you time and space for the year ahead!