What would the holidays be without the tinsel, the trees, and the sparking lights?
To make the magic come to life year after year, the following ideas for storing your holiday decor will work wonders.
Start from Christmas Past
Laying the foundation one year in advance ensures a smooth transition into the holidays the next year, and that means making sure everything you store away is in working order. It will also help keep you calm and in the holiday spirit. If something is broken or no longer suits you, take the time to declutter and you’ll have less to sift through, minimizing stress in Christmases of the future.
Categorize Your Decorations
If you have a flair for the spectacular and decorate virtually every room in the house, try grouping items according to the rooms where they’re displayed, then store and label them accordingly. But if you enjoy mixing things up every holiday season or you simply don’t have that much to store away, then pooling like items, such as tabletop decor, tree lights, or ornaments together will do the trick.
Find the Perfect Home for it All
Avoid storing holiday decorations in the basement or attic, as the temperature and the humidity fluctuates wildly throughout the year. A closet or under-bed storage is a much better bet, especially for delicate holiday items and textiles.
Curate Your Christmas Containers
Plastic bins trap moisture, but cardboard storage containers don’t. For delicate ornaments, look for storage containers with cardboard dividers for each ornament. The Honey-Can-Do Holiday Storage Box has a peek-a-boo window that makes it easy to see what’s inside. Plus, it comes in both 48- and 108- count varieties. When storing your ornaments, place vintage or fragile ones in the top rows, so they’re less likely to feel any significant weight.
Hang up your Wreath with Care
For wreaths with intricate beading or delicate greenery, it’s best to cover them with a bag like this wreath storage bag and hang from a hook inside a closet. Pressing them into a horizontal bag — or worse, piling several on top of each other into a box — will do much more damage, shortening the life of some of your most prized decor. Another option is to use a crush-proof container, like this wreath storage box. It takes up more space than softer storage options, but your wreath is better protected from mold, mildew, and more.
Store Lights Tangle-free
Who hasn’t lost some holiday cheer when wasting time untangling light strings? One way to avoid this fiasco next year is to think ahead. There are several storage products designed specifically to keep your Christmas lights tangle free, such as this Christmas light reels and storage bag set. It neatly stores 800 lights in removable spools that make it easy to maneuver around your tree when it’s tree trimming time next year. Until then, the reels are stored inside an insulated zipper bag.
In a pinch, simply wrapping your lights around a piece of cardboard cut to fit inside a plastic freezer bag will also do the trick, just wrap carefully to keep the lights from tangling. The clear plastic freezer bags make it easy to spot your lights next year. (This cardboard trick works for beaded garlands, too.)
Turn over a New Wrap Sheet
Holiday wrapping paper, ribbons, and all the accessories and supplies that accompany them are in a league of their own; so it’s best to store them separately – away from any other occasion wrapping. A portable wrapping station with pockets or compartments for necessities like tape and ribbons is ideal; you can easily transport it from room to room as you wrap presents, then store it away in a closet or under a bed when not in use. Another option is a hanging organizer, like this double-sided gift wrap and bag organizer. It hangs in a closet or over the back of a door, so it’s always within reach but out of the way.
Invest in Greenery Bags
Much like a wreath, artificial trees and garlands for mantels and banisters will last longer if stored in their own container. A rolling tree keeper bag is perfect if you have an artificial tree. Since it’s mobile, you can just roll it to your favorite spot every year. For garlands, look for lightweight bags with handles and a viewing window so it’s easy to know where they go next year.
Keep Holiday Fabrics Fresh, Merry and Bright
Prevent musty odors and keep your holiday stockings, pillows, blankets, tablecloths, and throws smelling fresh with clear, airtight containers. Extreme heat or cold can wreak havoc on fabrics, yet another reason why attics and basements aren’t ideal storage locations for your holiday decor.
Ana Connery is former content director of Parenting, Babytalk, Pregnancy Planner and Conceive magazines as well as parenting.com.
While editor in chief of Florida Travel & Life magazine from 2006-2009, she covered the state’s real estate and home design market as well as travel destinations.
She’s held senior editorial positions at some of the country’s most celebrated magazines, including Latina, Fitness and Cooking Light, where she oversaw the brand’s “FitHouse” show home.
Ana’s expertise is frequently sought after for appearances on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and CNN. She has interviewed the country’s top experts in a variety of fields, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and First Lady Michelle Obama.