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Taking Down and Storing Holiday Decorations Come New Year
Dec 24, 2021
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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with beautiful decorations and lightning placed virtually everywhere. Christmas decorations, including artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, artificial garlands, tinsel, and more, essentially spread the holiday cheer and keep everyone in a festive mood. But let's face it, taking down and storing these decorations come New Year is the most boring part of the holidays. Taking down decorations and seeing them go back into storage can be emotionally triggering, not to mention, a lot of work.

With all the challenges of taking down and storing Christmas decorations, you may be tempted to throw all the lights, ornaments, and décor haphazardly into storage boxes and keep them in the basement, storage room, or garage. However, it's best to take time to carefully take down the decorations, organize and place them in the right packing materials or storage containers and label accordingly. This will save you from the chaos and major headache when it's time to decorate the next Christmas holiday.

Unfortunately, many people find themselves overwhelmed by the task of taking down their beautiful holiday decorations as soon as the new year rolls around. Most people don't realize that it's actually quite easy to both takedown and store holiday decorations properly–all it takes is some preparation and patience. Here we've highlighted some tips and ideas for removing and storing Christmas decorations come January next year.

Taking Down And Organizing Christmas Decorations

Taking Down And Organizing Christmas Decorations

When storing holiday decorations, you first have to take them down and organize them accordingly. Organizing Christmas decorations does not only keep them in mint condition throughout the year but also allows for easy set-up come the next festive season. With proper organization, you'll have a mental roadmap of where everything should be and in the right state.

It’s common knowledge that the more organized you are during packing, the more seamless your unpacking should be and the less cluttered your space should be.

Steps to Organize Christmas Decorations

Steps to Organize Christmas Decorations

It’s better to remove and organize your Christmas decorations before you start to pack them into boxes. Handling these tasks simultaneously is a lot of work. Therefore, by doing this, you’ll be better placed to execute both tasks to perfection . If possible, dedicate a single day to remove and organize the decorations and the next day to pack them so that you are not overexerting yourself. Below are recommended steps to organize Christmas decorations.

Remove the Decorations and Dispose of those that Cannot Be Reused.

Start by removing the decorations and arranging them in a single area. Then, separate the decorations you opt to keep, and sideline those that are damaged, broken, or those decorations that cannot be reused. For instance, you could dispose of broken decorations, non-functional lights, and anything that doesn't look right.

Instead of disposing of decorations as garbage, you could also donate those that still work but don't fit your taste any longer. You could, for instance, donate them to charitable organizations. Nonetheless, Christmas decorations carry many good memories, and you should try to store them rather than get rid of them.

Sort Out the Decorations Based on Item Use and Types

After removing and getting rid of decorations you don't need any longer, the next step is to organize them based on the function. Sort the decorations in groups of their exact use and types, i.e., groups of wreaths, garlands, indoor and outdoor fairy/string lights, Christmas trees, ornaments, ornament holders, and general Christmas décor, among others. In simple terms, put all ornaments together, all Christmas trees together, etc.

Untangle Strings and Strands

Next, don't leave the string and strands in a pile; rather, untangle them. Untangling them will make unpacking much easier, plus keep the lights in pristine condition. The best way to do this is to wrap the lights around solid items such as used-up aluminum foil or cling film rolls, empty cosmetic bottles, metal or plastic rods, etc. This will ensure that they stay untangled during storage.

Sort Out Fragile Items

Fragile Christmas decorations such as ceramic items, beaded items, glass items, ornaments, and string lights with glass bulbs need to be sorted out to ensure they are packed appropriately and handled with care. Many Christmas decorations are fragile even if they don't appear to be. Some feature minute pieces that need extra care when handling like tiny light bulbs or glass parts. Still, when sorting out fragile items, ensure you group them, i.e., all breakable general Christmas décor together, all fragile ornaments together, etc.

Assemble all Packing Supplies, Storage Containers, and Boxes at One Point

After removing and arranging the Christmas decorations in separate groups based on their type and/or use and fragility, they should now be organized ready for packing. At this point, by seeing the separate piles, you should have a rough idea of how many and the type of storage containers and boxes you’ll need. It’s recommended that you use a single storage container/box for each of the organized groups.

You'll want to use plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes as they best safeguard your decorations from moisture and dust, plus they can be reused every year. However, if you don't have a budget for plastic bins (they may be expensive), you could still use heavy-duty cardboard boxes.

Before packing the decorations as per their groups, you'll also want to ensure you have all the necessary packing materials, including packing tape, permanent marker/label maker/scotch tape, tissue paper, air-filled plastic wrap and envelopes, small plastic baggies, in-box dividers, and cardboard tubes.

Assembling the necessary packaging supplies, storage containers, boxes, and others will make the entire packaging process a lot smoother and quicker.

Packing Christmas Decorations

Packing Christmas Decorations

Now that the decorations are organized into their respective groups, you can go ahead and get to the business of packing. Packing the decorations correctly is necessary to protect the integrity of each item and ensure that nothing is damaged while under storage. Spot-on packing starts with having the right packaging supplies and a good packing arrangement. Ready to pack, here’s how to go about it.

Options for Packing Christmas Decorations

There are tons of options to pack your Christmas decorations, from cardboard boxes to specialty plastic containers. The packing option depends on what kinds of decorations you have, how much space you have to store them, and personal preference. Nonetheless, it's best to combine the packing options, choosing what makes sense depending on the type of decoration, fragility, and your situation. All in all, choose what works for you and implement a few personal packing tips and tricks. Below are some holiday decorations packing options.

Plastic Boxes and Containers

Plastic boxes and containers offer several benefits over cardboard boxes regarding packing and storing holiday decorations. To begin with, they are sturdier and less likely to get damaged from physical conditions such as moisture or extreme cold. Besides being robust, they are easily stackable and can be reused year in year out.

Most importantly, plastic boxes and containers offer heavier seals than taped-up cardboard boxes, which translates to better protection against pests, dust, and moisture in the air.

Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes have traditionally been used to store items and can also be used to store Christmas decorations. While they don't provide the strongest protection against humidity, climate fluctuations, pests, and more, cardboard boxes are cost-effective. They can be recycled several times before getting worn down or damaged.

Cardboard boxes are best used to store decorations that are less susceptible to damage or can easily be replaced when damaged. For instance, you can use them to store general Christmas décor such as napkins and dish towels, string lights, artificial Christmas trees, and wreaths, among others. If you're going to choose cardboard boxes as your storage option, be careful where you'll store them and what they might get exposed to.

Specialty Plastic Containers

Plastic boxes and containers manufacturers have gotten a little creative and created specialty plastic holiday storage containers.

Speciality plastic containers take several forms, including:

Plastic ornament bins: They feature multiple built-in dividers stacked to store multiple levels of ornaments separately. These bins are an efficient solution to ornament storage, but you may need to wrap ornaments in air-filled plastic envelopes or tissue paper as they are fragile.
Plastic gift wrap containers- Plastic gift wrap containers have been purposely designed to store multiple rolls of gift wrapping paper in a single, compacted space. They prevent your holiday gift wrap from ripping or wrinkling the next festive season.
Plastic wreath storage bins- Packing and storing wreaths in no walk in the park. They are one of the most challenging holiday decorations to pack. If you disposed of the packaging the wreath came in, you could use a plastic wreath storage bin to safely and efficiently stow away your wreath until the next festive season. Apart from solid plastic wreath bins, you could also go for plastic and nylon wreath bags as they serve the same purpose. Wreath storage bins and bags can also be used to store garland.

Garbage Bags

Garbage bags are also useful for storing non-fragile Christmas decorations. They can be used to warp your artificial Christmas tree to keep them free of dust. You could disassemble the artificial Christmas tree and then store each separate part in heavy-duty garbage bags and wrap it tightly. Then store the wrapped pieces together in a cardboard box.

Garbage bags can also be used to store artificial wreaths( if you lack designated cardboard boxes or plastic containers) and Christmas linens, blankets, and towels. You should never store breakable items such as garland, ceramics, glasses, and lights in garbage bags. Garland and lights can also be easily tangled when stored in garbage bags.

Wreath Bags

Wreath bags are plastic and nylon storage containers that are perfectly sized to fit Christmas wreaths. Aside from wreaths, these bags can also be used to store holiday garlands.

The best thing about wreath bags is that they are the right shape to precisely fit your wreath or garland, depending on its size. Besides, they are inexpensive, durable, and easy to carry.

Packing Fragile Holiday Decorations

Fragile holiday decorations such as ornaments, ceramic villages, string lights with bulbs, and more should be packed carefully to ensure they don't break while in storage. These decorations should be wrapped in tissue paper(for ornaments), packing paper, air-filled plastic wraps or envelopes, and standard plastic wraps to protect them from forces that can damage them during their time in storage.

Storing Holiday Decorations

Storing Holiday Decorations

Now that you're removed holiday decorations, wrapped the fragile ones, and packed them accordingly, you'll need to store them. Before storing the boxes, you'll want to seal and label the boxes.

Where to Store Christmas Decorations

You should be careful when choosing an ideal place to store your Christmas decorations. Where you store the decorations determines the state you'll find them in the next festive season, whether dusty, broken, damaged, etc. Take a look at recommended places to store the different kinds of Christmas decorations:

Fragile Holiday Decorations

Fragile holiday decorations in cardboard boxes or plastic containers/boxes should be stored in a cool and dry place away from intense climate fluctuations. They are best stored indoors in someplace like a closet, under your bed, or in a basement with a controlled climate. Never store fragile Christmas decorations in non-climate controlled areas such as the garage or backyard shed, as temperature fluctuations and exposure to moisture put them at risk of breakage or damage. Also, keep in mind that fragile items stored in cardboard boxes will be more susceptible to damage than items stored in plastic containers.

Christmas Trees & Holiday Wreaths

If it's right with you, Christmas trees & wreaths can be reused for many Christmas seasons, depending on how you store them. An ideal place to store artificial Christmas trees and wreaths is somewhere indoors away from temperature fluctuations, moisture, and direct sunlight. They also should be packed properly to ensure they are not damaged during storage.

General Holiday Décor

Store the rest of the remaining holiday décor in boxes somewhere indoors in a climate-controlled area. This also applies to holiday gift wraps, indoor and outdoor string lights, and anything else not mentioned.

Tips for Storing Holiday Decorations

Label all your boxes accordingly
Don’t stack heavy boxes on top of lighter ones
When storing the boxes, make the boxes you'll need first the most accessible.
Protect the decorations from pests such as spiders and other bugs by putting dryer sheets in the boxes
Use clear storage containers.
Snap pictures of your decorations before putting them away
Number the storage boxes
Use silica gel packets to keep moisture out of your stored boxes.
Store all indoor holiday decorations in their original boxes so that you'll know where everything goes when it's time for next year's decorating sessions.
Place all exterior holiday lawn ornaments such as reindeer, Santa Claus figurines, snowmen, etc., in the garage or a large plastic container with a lid for safekeeping throughout the off-season.
Use packing peanuts to keep delicate holiday objects from breaking during storage.
If you want to make it easier on yourself, consider hiring a professional company to clear out your home after the holidays. While this can be a pricey undertaking, it will save you a considerable amount of time and energy – not to mention that it's usually done properly.

Conclusion

There isn't a hard-and-fast rule for when you should start taking your decorations down after the holidays. In general, it's a good idea to start taking them down before they begin to look worn or when you realize that specific items have been misplaced or broken. Indoor and outdoor decorations can be taken down and stored at any time throughout the year, but in most areas of the country, January 1st is a good day to start.

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