Decoration Storage Tips

By Amy Winter

September 3, 2010 5 min read

After enjoying the "most wonderful time of the year" with your home's Christmas decorations, you want to make sure those items look just as great next year. To keep decorations organized, simply place Christmas d?cor in safe and easy-to-find places. Olescia Hanson, a spokeswoman for The Container Store, advises consumers to "be mindful" of where they put their decorations. When starting to pack the decorations, the first step is deciding which items need to be thrown away. Judy Hardaway, creator of Amazing Christmas Ideas, says that we need to know the difference between trash and keepsakes. After selecting the items, the next step is to find the right storage boxes. Plastic containers allow the items to be visible and easier to identify when stacked. Hanson suggests purchasing clear or traditional holiday-colored plastic bins. Make sure the bins are stackable to maximize your storage space. Remember to place the heavy decorations at the bottom of each bin. Take the time to wrap the fragile items carefully and put them at the top of each box. Karen Edenfield, a specialist at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, recommends using tissue paper to wrap fragile pieces, such as holiday tableware and ornaments. For extra protection, you can get Bubble Wrap or try to save the decoration's original box. Avoid using newspaper; the ink could rub off on your special items. Pack similar items together based on the area of the home. For example, Hanson says, kitchen decorations should be in one box, and dining room items should be stored in another container. That way, it will be easier to pack and unpack decorations, especially if you want to decorate the house in stages. Be sure to label boxes. Edenfield suggests labeling on the tops and sides of boxes with a marker so you can see the names when the boxes are stacked. Holiday-colored bins or colored ribbons help identify the proper boxes when stored. "Labeling your holiday containers is an excellent way to stay organized," says Paris Love, a productivity and organizational consultant. "If you don't have a label-maker, you can print labels from your computer and tape them across the container." When looking for a storage area, remember that garages and attics are not climate-controlled. Moisture and heat will damage fragile Christmas items, such as candles, pictures and wax decorations; keep these items indoors in a closet or under a bed, according to Hanson. When plastic bins are sealed correctly, dust, bugs and moisture will not harm the decorations. On the other hand, cardboard will absorb water and may develop mildew. Love suggests placing silica gel packages in boxes to help shield against temperature changes. It is important to give extra protection to fragile and sentimental ornaments. Wrapping ornaments in tissue paper will most likely offer safety, but what about a box dedicated specifically to ornaments? Nancy Murray, creator of the Ornament Box, says this box provides an individual slot for each ornament. Each box contains drawers with dividers, and different-sized slots offer spots for all ornaments. Plus, the removable drawers allow you to hold the ornament drawer when decorating the tree. When it comes to larger Christmas decorations, such as wreaths and trees, some stores sell large storage boxes. If you want to leave your artificial tree assembled, wrap the tree in a storage bag. The Container Store's bags contain hooks so you can hang the tree in the garage, according to Hanson. To keep their shape, Edenfield recommends hanging wreaths and covering them with sheets. Or you can disassemble the bigger pieces and place them in their original boxes. Untangling lights can be a frustrating and time-consuming task. To keep them organized and reduce the risk of broken bulbs, place individual strands in grocery or freezer bags, according to Hardaway. Or wrap the lights around a paper towel roll. Love suggests putting the lights around a flattened shoe box lid. Be creative with storage if you don't want to spend a lot of money on specific boxes. Love recommends storing small ornaments in empty egg cartons or tin containers. Save money by storing your leftover gift wrap. Customize a storage box for holiday wrap, bows, ribbons, etc. That way, you can see what wrapping items you actually need for next year, according to Hanson. "Keeping things visible and in their place will save you money and time," Hanson says.COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM

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