Christmas has come and passed another year. Time to take down all those decorations you spent so many hours untangling, fixing, and putting up around your house. If you don’t want to go through all that again, here are some tips on getting organized for next year.
Don’t wrap your lights around your arm hoping that you can tie them in a knot that won’t tangle. Use cardboard sheets to help your lights stay organized and tangle free. Start by cutting pieces of cardboard that fit in your holiday storage container. Take these panels, and cut a two to three inch slit in the center of the top and bottom of the panel. This is where you will slip in the tails of your lights, starting with the female end and winding them on to the cardboard until you hit the male end. This way, you can plug in the strand next year and un-wrap them right on to the tree.
Ornaments can be oddly shaped, and are best stored in the original packaging. But, of course, you threw out that packaging a few weeks ago. Try egg crates. Simply put the ornaments in the crate and push down the dividers that may be in the way. This will give you a safe, padded box to keep some of your more invaluable holiday decorations.
Try the light method on a piece of cardboard. One piece of cardboard should be enough for your entire garland, unless your tree looks like the tin man.
Popcorn String/Candy Canes:
Really? You want to store this for a year and put it on the tree again? Do you know what ants are?
This is the centerpiece of your holiday decorating, and should be handled with the utmost care. Place the piece in bubble wrap so that it is secure and safe, and then place it in its own container or box.
Most sanitation departments have a tree pick up day. Contact your service provider to find out when tree pickup is, or if you’ll have to schedule on of your few large item pickups to come after the holiday. If you do have to use a large item pickup, try to clear out some extra space in your attic for all these holiday decorations. Toss anything you haven’t used in two years. The foot tall kiddy pool you’re saving for your grandchildren is not worth holding on to. If your sanitation department wants trees bagged, don’t drag it through your house and bag it outside. Bag your tree where it stands. Trust me; dry trees shed more than a Labrador in spring.
Fake trees are convenient for storage and clean up. If you have a fold up tree, just box it up and away it goes. Trees with removable branches should be disassembled in order, and then put in to a box. That way there’s no guesswork as to what goes where next year.
Once you put all your hard work into organizing your decorations for storage, don’t ruin it by storing your items improperly. We recommend plastic containers over cardboard boxes, as they are water resistant, crush resistant, and reusable for a longer amount of time. Be festive; get a red or blue box to signify your holiday items. Finally, store your items in a dry place with proper ventilation. Extreme heat in the summer can damage some items, and water (a flooded basement) will kill nearly all of your holiday decorations. If you find you need extra space for the new Santa and his reindeer display you got this year, take a look at our recent article on storage units.
Take the time to take care of your holiday decorations and they will play nice with you when it comes time to put them up again.