Packing Up: A Guide to Organizing Holiday Ornaments and Decorations
The holidays have come and gone. You had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends. Now it’s time to put everything away for another year. It seems like this process gets increasingly more difficult every year because you accumulate more and more every year. So where do you start? Is there an easier way? The answer is at the beginning and yes, there is. All puns aside, here are some tips and tricks to help you organize your decorations in such a way that you are actually preparing them for next year.
The first tip I can give is make sure that you are storing all ornaments and decorations in order of how you are going to decorate. That means put the items you use last in the back and the ones you use first at the front. This will help make the decorating process easier, faster and more enjoyable next year. Also, while you are packing up your decorations, declutter your collection as you go. Items that you no longer want can be donated. If you have broken or damaged items, write them down before recycling them, that way you can buy replacements when they go on sale. Moreover, organizing items by color or specific place can ease the decorating process for next year. Finally, ensure that everything is clearly labeled for ease of finding specific items next year. These are just some broad tips, now for some specific tools and tricks you can use to organize your entire holiday collection.
For ornaments, you can use red Solo cups or empty egg cartons to store various sizes of ornaments and then those can be placed in plastic organizing containers. You can also use recycled drink containers from fast food restaurants to organize bulbs and round ornaments. If you use plastic ornaments, zip lock bags can be used for storage and will save space in larger plastic organizing bins.
Moving onto strands of lights, you can wrap lights around a plastic hanger or pieces of cardboard to keep them from knotting up. Also, ensure that all bulbs work on the strand before storing it so that it’s ready to go for next year. There’s nothing like putting lights up and getting them just right to find out that one bulb is out.
Artificial Christmas trees can be stored in a tree bag with handles. Not only is it easy to transport and store, it also keeps the stray “needles” from getting everywhere. Plastic organizers for wreaths can be purchased and garland can be wrapped and placed in the middle. Garland can also be stored with your tree in the tree bag, which will help save space. For all that wrapping paper, you can use toilet paper rolls or hand towel rolls cut and placed over wrapping paper to keep them from unrolling. In addition, place items like stockings, tree skirts, “snow” blankets and other such items as these into a Space Saver Vacuum bags to store and save space. They keep these items save from water and bug damage. Just as a reminder, ensure that the heaviest and flattest items are placed on the bottom of the organizer and place the lightest and most breakable on top. I know it’s common sense, but when you are getting tired and just want it to be done, it’s good to remember so a precious piece can last for many years of decorating.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas of how to make the tear down of the holidays much less of a chore, and more of a way to remember and cherish the memories made each year.