STORING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS: (and other seasonal items)


Whether you are storing Christmas decorations, outdoor Halloween yard decorations or Easter tablecloths, there are some rules to follow to make your life easier.  A little bit of planning, prep and order will make next year’s retrieval and set up a lot smoother.  Most of us make the same mistake of setting decorations up with time and care, but putting them away with reckless abandonment.  Follow these tips for storing Christmas decorations and other seasonal items, and you’ll be better off.

  1.  Any types of linens, table cloths, or fabric type items should use rules followed in Storing clothes:  How to Store clothing, the most effective ways.  If decorations are wool, cotton, etc the same rules apply as for clothing.
  2. When storing your Christmas tree, if you have the storage space, use a Christmas tree storage bag, and leave it intact.  This will save you time each year on set up.  If you don’t use small tags with numbers or letter codes when you take the tree apart (especially pre-lit trees) so each branch (and electrical connection) has its partner predesignated.  If you can save the original box and original instructions and or troubleshooting guide you’ll be glad you did.
  3. When storing holiday figurines, or houses, save the original box if at all possible. It is by far the best option.  If not visit, Packing sculptures, vases, and fragiles for direction, on how to protect holiday fragiles.
  4. Wreaths or other large hanging decorations should be stored in one of two ways, (bag or box).  A garbage bag for smaller wreaths or a bed bag for larger outdoor wreaths works well and the wreath can be hung in a storage area or garage.  In the same way a telescoping mirror picture carton for smaller wreaths or a bed box for larger wreaths can serve the same purpose larger wreaths can serve the same purpose and protect the wreaths from being crushed at the same time.  Either way, it’s good protection from dust, insects, and cobwebs.
  5. When storing outdoor lights, first verify that they all work when you take them down.  Don’t store defective lights, it’s just another trip to the hardware store next year at install time.  Use a cord caddy (it looks like a small ladder about 11/2 ‘ to 2’ tall) to wrap the lights on and store.  Then tag or write on the side of the cord caddy(s) where the lights go.  Use a number or letter coded system of what plug matches up with what to avoid confusion.  If there are any gutter clips, extension cords, etc, store them all together in the same tub or box, so you have everything you need for your next years install.  This system works better than 2 loops of electrical tape.
  6. Large yard decorations work well in garage rafters, a garage attic or hanging racks in the garage.  This keeps them out-of-the-way.  Separate by type of decoration and use bed bags to wrap if needed.
  7. When storing decorations in a basement or store-room a system of tubs and storage shelves work well.  Use a different color tub for each holiday like red for Christmas, orange for Halloween, green for St. Patrick’s Day, etc.  Then make a tag for the outside of the tub with a brief inventory of whats in it.  This will help alleviate digging through all the tubs to find a certain items.
  8. When packing ornaments many of the same rules apply as with dishes and wine glasses.  Generally, wrap each item, pack boxes to the top with no rattle, and if possible, stand items up.

Hopefully, these tips can make holiday decorating a little easier and more organized.  Remember a little work when putting items away saves time and frustration the next year.

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