Christmas is the best holiday of the year. For most people, that is.
But let’s be honest, while there is more to the festive season than the tinsel and fairy lights, Christmas would not be Christmas without the holiday décor.
The greenery, the red decorations, the sparkling lights, and decorative Christmas candles, the blend of colors and scents, all come together to add a special touch to what is an already special season.
But all good things come to an end, and the holidays are no exception. Don’t worry, there is always next year to look forward to.
However, we need to store our Christmas decorations in a neat and organized fashion if we’re to keep them from getting damaged.
Nobody wants to open their box of holiday treasures only to find intertwined strings of lights they can’t untangle without doing damage, or broken ornaments and chipped ceramics.
It’s something you’ve probably experienced yourself and know it can be a bummer.
You might be tempted to rush the packing process when you finally get down to stripping your home of the Christmas tree and other festive gear – whether that’s a day after the holidays, or if you’re one to leave it up until February.
But festive decorations are delicate and need time packing, at least if you don’t want to be greeted by a mess next year when you’ll be taking them out again.
Plus, some of our decorations are heirlooms that hold precious memories and it would be heartbreaking if we had to toss them out as broken pieces.
Here then, are some helpful tips to keep in mind when packing your holiday decorations.
1. It Starts With a Purge
Before you begin packing your Christmas décor, you should go through your inventory first and choose what to keep and what to toss out.
We get it, you have a sentimental attachment to some of these items. Which is okay – you’re allowed to keep your most precious pieces.
However, it is also important to cull your decorations and get rid of all items that no longer serve the purpose. Either they’re too old, broken or disfigured, probably lost the glamor, and so on.
It doesn’t make sense to hang on to these items, and as hard as it may be to do, weed them out with ruthlessness.
This is a form of decluttering that also creates some much-needed space in the home and rids your space of old energies.
Speaking of space…
2. Consider Renting a Storage Unit
A good alternative you can explore if you need to free up space in your home is
renting a local storage unit to store your holiday décor until such a time that you’ll need it (which is next year).
A good storage facility can safely hold the seasonal décor (and any other items) for you without burdening you with exorbitant fees.
External storage services are a good alternative when you’re short of space (New Yorkers would relate! – as would most of us with young families).
But storage facilities are specifically designed with that purpose in mind – storage – so you’ll be putting your decorations in the most optimum conditions.
That means you won’t have to worry about incidents like a basement flooding, a roof leaking all over your décor, or candles melting in the attic during summertime.
3. Untangle and Wrap Christmas Lights First
Have you ever been so buzzed about decorating your Christmas tree only to find the lights you packed last year are all tangled up? We agree that can put a damper on proceedings.
Christmas lights are a pain to untangle, so if you want to avoid the headache and time-wasting, it’s best practice to wrap them up neatly before stowing them away.
A cardboard roll or book can come in handy here. Simply take your roll or book and wrap the lights around it. Take the tail end of the lights and tuck it under the rest of the lights when you’re done wrapping. And that’s it, job done.
You can leave the roll in place when packing the Christmas lights in the box or if it’s a book you’ll be using, take it off and then tie the lights nicely into a neat bundle using a piece of string.
Before you put the lights away, we would advise placing them inside a Ziploc bag first to keep them from intertwining with other decorations.
4. Keep Decorations in Separate Boxes and Label Them Accordingly
Obviously, we’re not saying to have 15 separate boxes laden with holiday décor. But if you want to keep everything organized, having separate boxes for the various decorations will keep things neat while ensuring unpacking next year will be a cinch.
So, organize and sort the decorations first before you start placing them in boxes. Ideally, you want similar items going into the same box, so sort everything out into separate piles.
The flower arrangement, wreaths, and centerpieces, for instance, should go together. The ornaments should make up another pile. And so on, and so forth.
Before putting the boxes away, label them. You can use stickers scribbled with a list of all the contents inside as opposed to marking your boxes with large fonts if you want to maintain the aesthetics.
5. Don’t Forget the Padding
Some decorations are sensitive and highly susceptible to damage.
Items like figurines and ornaments are delicate and easily breakable and thus could do with some padding in between the spaces left by the decorations.
Use wrapping paper to wrap items like these before throwing them into the box. Consider adding another protective layer by using bubble wrap to line your boxes. Place the bubble wrap inside your boxes first before placing your décor pieces.
If you’ll be storing Christmas decorations in your home (vs. a storage facility), don’t forget to leave enough space between and around the boxes during storage to prevent damage.
While you’re at it, also avoid stacking boxes on top of each other to keep them from getting crushed. But this should not be a concern when you’re using plastic tubs – provided of course, they are solid enough.