Organizing and Putting Away Holiday Decorations
Putting Away the Holidays – Organizing Decorations
Cleaning up after the holidays might not be one of your favorite resolutions, but it can’t be put off for long. Having a clean and organized home feels great and it’s definitely a good way to start the New Year fresh.
I know there are many families that like to leave decorations up well into the new year and that is fine; but, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that all the decorations start to make me feel like the house is cluttered and dirty and that the decorations need to come down.
When I have put all the decorations away, I feel relieved. I feel uplifted, there’s that sense of normality again, I can relax and enjoy my clean home.
Even though you might not be ready to put your holiday decorations away, they do need to come down, and there’s no better time than now to get started.
Packing and Organizing Decorations
When you’re packing up the holiday decorations, it’s important to put like items together. This will reduce the amount of damage to the contents, especially if some of them are delicate.
Having them organized and packed right will make it easier to take them out and use them next holiday season. No more tangled lights and broken ornaments.
Using Storage Containers for Your Holiday Decorations
If you normally have your decorations piled together or put away in a haphazard way, you probably need to get some storage containers so you can organize the decorations as you pack them. There are plenty of sales going on after the holidays and you can almost always find these containers for a good price.
We use clear plastic containers that are sturdy and durable that help to protect against moisture and pests. There are also containers specifically for ornaments to keep them safe from getting damaged. Whatever you use, label the container when you’ve finished so it’s easier to locate the right boxes next season.
It’s also a good idea to pad the bottom of the container, at least we do, and sometimes the sides depending on what we’re packing. This just adds a little extra padding to safeguard decorations. We use a couple of layers of batting or a piece of foam. But you can use whatever you have available like old linens.
Egg cartons can be used for storing small ornaments, beads and figurines.
Packing peanuts, bubble wrap, shredded paper, newspapers, tissue paper from gifts, old clothes, any of these can be used to wrap items for packing and in between items to keep them safe.
Effectively storing holiday decorations makes decorating and undecorating more efficient.
Tips for Storing Christmas Lights
I used to tell my husband we should forget about putting Christmas lights up to save on the power bill. Really though, I just didn’t want to mess with the mess of tangled lights. It took more time to untangle them then it did to put them up.
But you can get creative with your storage options for Christmas lights, and they all work quite nicely. Let’s face it, it isn’t easy trying to put the lights back in the container they came in.
Many long strands of lights come on a spool, be sure you save these to rewrap the lights after the holidays.
If you don’t have spools, here are a few other options and tips for storing holiday lights.
- A piece of cardboard to wrap the lights around, you can use one of the flaps off a cardboard box. Cut out a slot in each end to make a spool then wrap the lights around the cardboard.
- Empty electrical wire spools are so nice. We got ours from a neighbor who owns his own business.
- You can purchase kits for Christmas lights that consist of a bag for storage and empty reels.
- For smaller strands of lights, use velcro or zip ties to keep them neatly together.
- Wrap lights with bubble wrap or tissue paper for added protection.
- Try to avoid tangling when winding lights up. If you do see a knot, carefully untangle before moving on.
- If you use a variety of colored lights, store red lights together, white lights together, green lights together and so on. Label the container with the color of the lights.
When you’re lights are put away and stored, label the container with the location of the lights. For instance, maybe you have lights in a container that are for the inside of the house and in another container are the outside lights.
Keeping Your Ornaments Protected
We have ornaments that have been lovingly passed around the family for many years. There are no original boxes left to store them in. If you have very special ornaments, wrap them in tissue, bubble wrap, old newspaper or a soft cloth to protect them.
Storing delicate ornaments can be done in a variety of ways. Obviously, it’s best to save the original box but, if you don’t have the box they came in, you can purchase containers meant just for your ornaments.
There are also regular old storage containers to use. See our suggestions above for packing suggestions. Remember to dust off the decorations before storing.
Bundling Extension Cords
The holidays usually require the use of extension cords. Before storing them, bundle them and secure them with twisty ties. You can also keep the cord neat by slipping it inside an empty paper towel or toilet paper roll.
You can also use cardboard rolls from Christmas wrapping paper cut into appropriate widths.
Storing Holiday Garland and Wreaths
Garland of any kind does not take kindly to being tightly packed. Loosely pack the garland in the same way as you prepared your lights by wrapping it around a piece of cardboard. If you have a lot of garland, get a plastic container and carefully coil it inside.
Store large holiday wreaths in a container with the garland (if there is room). If you like this idea, make sure the heavier wreath is on the bottom of the storage container and pack the lighter and more delicate garland on the top.
Smaller wreaths can be packed in hat boxes or loosely in a storage container to avoid smashing them. It will keep them dust free and you’ll only need to shake them lightly before reusing them next year.
Storing the Christmas Tree Until Next Year
There are a few different things you can do here. It really depends on the size of the tree and the storage space you have.
- Take the tree down starting from the top. Take the first section down and turn it upside down.
- Carefully press the branches towards the pole.
- Do this for the remaining sections.
- Gently tie each section with twine or strips of cloth. (Use an old bed sheet to make cloth strips.)
- Use another old bed sheet and wrap the pieces.
- Store in box.
If you don’t have the original box and based on the size of the tree, either purchase a storage container or a storage bag.
If you have a large enough garage or shed space, you can store your artificial Christmas tree in one piece by placing it upright in a storage bag meant just for your tree.
Storing Wrapping Paper
Excess Christmas wrap can be kept for next year. Instead of putting these under the bed or in a corner of a closet where you forget you have them, buy a container that is meant specifically for these large rolls of paper.
These containers hold more than just the wrapping paper. You can also put your ribbons, gift tags, tape and scissors in them. It’s convenient when you need to wrap presents for any occasion.
I hope we have given you some helpful tips for organizing and putting away your holiday decorations? Now you can enjoy your clutter free house again – Until next year.