Nothing says “decorations” more than the holiday season. In the beginning, you may own a few ornaments, a couple small strands of lights and a 2-foot-tall artificial tree for the coffee table. After 10 years, one corner of the basement is taken up by all of the decorations, hidden behind the summer water skiing equipment. While you’re digging out your favorite decorations, it’s time to think about how to better store them again when the holiday is over.
Storing round hanging ornaments
Perennial favorites on the Christmas tree are the colorful round ornaments that come in various sizes and colors. Often the last to go on the tree and the first to come off, they can be made of everything from fragile porcelain or nearly indestructible plastic. People typically have a lot these and accumulate more over the years.
One convenient storage container for these round ornaments are empty egg cartons. You can buy them online for around 30 cents each, foam or cardboard. For very small ornaments, a little piece of a paper towel underneath it will create a more snug fit. For larger ornaments, special containers are available with larger spaces for each decoration.
One useful method for storing decorations is to use a transparent container so you can see the contents. If you’ve ever stored decorations wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a cardboard box, you know how hard it is to find exactly what you want. A clear plastic container will let you find what you want without unpacking a lot of things.
Storing miscellaneous ornaments
Besides the round tree ornaments, there are a variety of other type of ornaments to deal with. If they are small enough, the egg carton trick will work, as well. Another option is a glassware storage box. These boxes have inserts that create little compartments in which to place the ornament. A piece of paper towel or foam sheet will add some padding if needed.
These boxes aren’t transparent, so you’ll want to come up with a labeling system that works for you. Mark each box appropriately so you can easily find things next year.
Storing Christmas lights
This storage tip will get rid of the tangle of lights you have to fight every year. Purchase a cord keeper to wind up and store electrical cords. These are perfect for winding up lights and keeping them safe. You can also plug the lights in and replace burned out bulbs before you unwind them to put up. Store each strand on a separate keeper for easier storage and installation.
Storing an Artificial Tree
There are two ways to store a tree: assembled or disassembled.
Most artificial trees are made to be easy to put together and take apart. When you purchase a tree, it will come in a box that you might be able to use for a couple of years before it tears and falls apart. Buy a heavy duty box with reinforced walls to protect the tree from being crushed. Secure the box with rubber cords; tape always comes loose.
If you want to and have the space to store your artificial tree fully assembled, purchase a tree bag. Look for a heavy duty bag that zips completely closed. Make sure to place the tree away from any fire hazard, such as the furnace, and make sure the bag stays closed. Critters and insects might decide that your artificial tree is a good home while it’s being stored.
It’s fun decorating for the holidays. It’s even more fun seeing your friends’ and family’s reactions to your festive efforts. Make the work of decorating easier on yourself by storing and labeling your decorations in a safe and practical way.