It’s so much fun to get the sparkling decorations and sentimental ornaments out of storage at the end of November and such a drag to pack them all away at the beginning of January. A few clever storage solutions and a little organization can make the chore less of a headache. Proper storage helps ensure your favorite holiday items will last for generations and makes it easier to unpack your treasures next Christmas.
Label Those Lights Of course you’re going to wind those light strands up on a spool for storage, right? Before you do, attach a piece of masking on which you’ve written how long the strand is and where you used it. Having that information at a glance will make next year’s decorating a snap. Also, consider purchasing insulated bags for storing lights to protect them from dust and breakage. Oh Christmas Tree Whether you’re packing away an artificial tree or hauling a real one to the curb, taking down the tree is a messy job. Artificial trees are heavy and take forever to dismantle. Even when properly maintained, a real tree will probably be shedding needles everywhere by the end of December. You can make either job easier with a bit of ingenuity.
A rolling case for artificial-tree storage makes it easier to get the tree back into basement, attic or garage. Some styles can accommodate a full-size tree without taking it apart. The best trick for reducing mess with a real tree is to replace the tree skirt with a large sheet or drop cloth before you start removing decorations. Once all lights and ornaments have been removed, use a turkey baster to remove any water still in the stand. Spread out the sheet, and have someone help you lay the tree down—stand and all. Bundle the whole thing up, and carry it outside. Remove the stand, and carry the tree to the curb for pickup. Smart Storage A crush-proof wreath storage case, a divided ornament chest or a hanging gift-wrap organizer can make a world of difference in how well your Christmas decorations survive from year to year. Before rushing out to buy storage solutions, consider the reality of your storage space. Look for storage containers that stack, hang or are slim enough to slide under a bed. Good-quality holiday storage containers really are worth the investment if you have room for them. Don’t forget to label each container even if you’re super sure you won’t forget what’s in it. For home tours, home tips and more visit homechanneltv.com.