Dec
26

Store the Holiday Season the Right Way

December 26, 2010

You trimmed the tree, hung the stockings with care and had a wonderful winter holiday.

Now it’s time to clean up your Chicago home and put it all away.

Properly storing your Christmas decorations will provide a joyous, and easier, holiday-season setup next year.

Can you think of a better gift to yourself than that?

Here are the some tips for putting away this year’s memories:

*Tree: Your artificial tree can be stored in the box it came in, but if that box is cardboard, watch for deterioration or you could find insects as ornaments next year. It’s better to invest in a Christmas tree bag or box made especially for this purpose.

ornaments in an egg carton*Ornaments: These also can be stored in the boxes in which they came. Smaller ornaments can be placed in an egg carton. Larger ones fit nicely into cardboard fruit trays you can find for free at the grocery store. Long ones can be stored in boxes with dividers, like the ones made for wine. Go through and clean all your ornaments before storing; toss the broken ones and donate the outdated ones to a local charity.

*Outside scene: If it took you forever to remember where each piece of this puzzle was to be placed in your front yard, take a picture of your exterior decorations so you can reference it next year. Then take everything down and store in the reverse order of the way it was put up.

*Linens: Wash these special linens you take out but once a year and store them in a closet. Put a couple dryer sheets in between the tablecloths, stockings, napkins and tree skirt to keep them smelling fresh. If you don’t have room in a closet, consider packing them in a suitcase to prevent moisture damage.

tangled christmas lights

This could have been avoided.

*Wreaths: If they are made out of anything real, they are really a one-season decoration and aren’t meant to be stored. Storing fresh materials could attract insects. A dried wreath should be stored in its original box or one that can preserve its shape throughout the storage season.

*Lights: Be careful when you take down lighting. Check your bulbs and replace any burnt-out ones with LED lights. Wrap the strands around a cardboard tube, like a paper towel roll, to prevent tangling. Pack inside and outside lighting in separate boxes and label them that way.

*Candles: Wrap these in tissue paper or knee-high socks and then store them in a box — a shoebox works well — in a cool place where there is no threat of heat to melt them.

*Label, number, store: Using plastic boxes over cardboard ones will protect your decorations from any elements they might face. If you’ve ever stored anything cardboard in a basement that flooded, you know what I mean.

If you have multiple boxes, label them so you can easily attack them next year. Better yet, pack and store them as you would want to unpack them next year, then number them accordingly for easy organization. Store them with labels out in a cool, dry place out of the way.

Then, next year, pat yourself on the back for making the next holiday season so easy on yourself.

About The Author

Tracey

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