Tips on storing your holiday decorations!

Published on 12/28/2020
A few tips for storing those holiday decorations!

Take Pictures
Did you ever begin your Christmas decorating, suddenly realizing that you can’t remember which decorations you used on the mantel or which centerpiece you used on the dining room table? Before you take down those decorations, take pictures for future reference. It’s so convenient to take pictures with your mobile phone.  You can store them digitally on your computer, mobile phone or the cloud. You might want to delete the one of Uncle Louis throwing a match into your Christmas tree.

Christmas Ornaments
In many families, Christmas ornaments are irreplaceable treasures.  Some represent life events, travel, and tradition.  Some were created with little hands out of construction paper, glue and glitter. Some are given as special gifts.  Fortunately, you can find endless options in boxes and containers made specifically to protect fragile ornaments. They’re available in Home Depot, Walmart, Target, and through various online catalogs.  If you don’t want to purchase storage boxes, use the original ornament boxes and store them in plastic crates.  Another alternative is storing your breakable ornaments in egg cartons. Be sure to wrap and/or place them in small plastic sandwich bags. Remember to leave the hangers in the ornaments and to store extras in the crates along with gold or silver cord for ornaments that don’t accommodate hangers.

Christmas Trees
Even though artificial trees are quite durable, storing your artificial tree in its original box is not the best idea.  The cardboard box will begin to deteriorate, making it prone to insect (and deranged squirrel) infestation, and the tree will not survive as long because it must be jammed into the box and reshaped every year.  The best option is a commercially available Christmas tree bag.  Set the entire tree on the bag prior to storage and move the bag upward to cover the tree completely. Your tree should be stored in an area that is between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is especially important if you have a frosted, flocked or white tree; they don’t do well in extreme temperatures.

Christmas Wreaths
As with all your other Christmas paraphernalia, there are numerous options for wreath storage.  Look for sturdy containers that will preserve the shape of your wreath and protect any decorative bows and ornaments.  Wreaths can also be hung from hooks on a pegboard in a basement, garage, or storage unit.  For extra protection, you can cover them with a lightweight dry cleaning bag.

Christmas Lights
Clark Griswold should not be your “go to” example for Christmas light storage or design. Think “organization.”  The first thing you need to do is to dispose of any lights that are damaged or not working properly.  Then, you need to avoid the tangled mess of previous years by wrapping your lights around storage reels.  To save money you can wrap your lights around coffee cans, cardboard pieces, and even Pringles cans.  When you’re finished organizing the lights, place them in a large plastic storage bin along with the necessary extension cords.

Christmas Linens
Be sure that your Christmas table linens, bed linens, and towels are clean prior to storage.  Stains can oxidize over time and be impossible to remove.  Don’t wrap linens in tissue, newsprint, or cardboard as these materials can release gases that will turn your fabric yellow.  Plastic and hangars can also damage the fabric.  If you have the space, you can store these items on an extra shelf in your linen closet. A better option is a suitcase that you no longer use. Keep in mind that these items should be stored in a climate-controlled environment to maintain their beauty and prevent further damage.

Christmas Candles
Wrap candles in old socks or cellophane to prevent scratching and color transfer.  Do not use plastic wrap or wax paper as they can stick to your candles.  After you finish wrapping, store them in a box or crate, and be completely sure that they are in a climate-controlled area in your home or storage unit.  Unless, of course, you want melted, misshapen globs of wax.

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