When the holidays are over and it is time to put all the decorations away, how you go about it will make a big difference in how they look next year and whether they last for years to come. Many people put a lot of time and money into their holiday decorating, so taking the time to put everything away properly can save you headaches in the future. [photo via flickr]
One of the hardest holiday decorations to store is a wreath. Because of their shape and size, it can be difficult finding the right storage container. If the wreath is small enough, a hatbox makes the perfect storage container. Depending on the size of the hatbox, you may be able to store more than one wreath, separated by a layer of cardboard. If your wreath is too big to store inside a hatbox, you can cover it with a dry cleaning or garbage bag and hang it with a wire hanger in the back of a closet, in the basement or wherever you have room that it will not be ruined.
Artificial Christmas trees come in large cardboard boxes. You might think the box it came in is the perfect storage container, but it is not. Cardboard deteriorates quickly, leaving the contents inside vulnerable to insects and other invaders that cause damage. The best way to store a Christmas tree is in a store-bought box specially made for the purpose, or in a plastic Christmas tree bag.
Most people cherish their Christmas tree ornaments. Many are very fragile and need extra care when placing in storage. Plastic containers with large separated compartments work well for glass bulbs and other delicate ornaments. If such a container is not available, wrap the ornaments in newspaper or tissue paper and gently place them in layers inside a plastic tote. Be sure to mark the tote with a “Fragile” message on the outside so you – or anyone else that may handle the box – know the contents may break.
Because of its length, garland can be tricky to store. To keep it from becoming tangled on itself, use a tote big enough to accommodate its size and coil it inside. If there are any adornments with the garland, place them in the middle of the coil, taking care to pack anything that may break.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to untangle a strand–or three–of Christmas lights. No matter how hard you try to put them away neatly, the following year they are a mess. To keep lights tangle-free and easy to use next year, cut a piece of cardboard big enough to accommodate the strand and wrap the lights around it. Tuck in the plug when you get to the end, and marvel at how they’ll be ready for use next year with no hassle.