Keep it Merry and Bright: How to Store Your Christmas Decorations
Picture the scene: it’s December, 2023. You can’t wait to put up your tree. The eggnog is ready, the music is cued up, and you’ve been to your storage unit to get all your boxes of décor. You’re ready to be festive in short order.
But the top third of your tree is missing.
You rack your brain. Where could it be? It’s not with the other two thirds. You drive back to your storage unit and go through everything. Finally you discover it, in a mislabeled box stuffed in the back corner. Now you’re back on track, but the ‘nog is warm and you’re annoyed.
Like anything in your storage container, your Christmas decorations need to be stored in a way that’s clear and organized — and that protects them, too. Holiday decorations, especially ornaments, can have immense sentimental value that’s worth preserving. We’ve got some tips to help you put everything back so the next time you pull them out, you’re ready to get festive in as little time as possible. The less time spent looking for what you need, the more time you have to make memories with family.
Storing Your Tree
If you have an artificial tree, you’ll want to make sure you store all the parts together. It’s tempting to keep the original box, but Martha Stewart says not to bother — once it’s been up, your tree’s branches need more room for storage. You can buy bags, rolling duffels, or even tree storage boxes that will make sure the tree stays dust-free and safe. The good news is that these options are usually fairly inexpensive, too. Experts are mixed on whether storing horizontally or vertically is better, although both have their merits. Horizontal is often easier, but vertical saves space and helps you get the most out of your storage unit. Trees stored vertically do best on their own stand.
Make sure you remove all the ornaments and lights first, and vacuum or dust the branches. Cleaning the tree with a soft cloth and a mixture of dish soap and water is also advised. Ensure the tree and any other decorations you store are dry beforehand, as any moisture can cause damage down the road. The tree’s branches can be pushed up for storage, and you can even go the extra mile by wrapping them in plastic wrap for additional moisture protection. It’s best to disassemble the tree before you put it away, as well. One of the benefits of upright storage is not having to deal with disassembly. When properly kept, artificial Christmas trees can last up to 10 years or more – saving you the cost of having to buy a new one sooner than expected.
If you have a wardrobe or clothes rack in your storage unit, make room for your wreaths. Attach them to a coat hanger and cover the entire thing with a plastic bag (or garment bag) and then hang them on the bar. Hatboxes are also a good way to store multiple wreaths if you don’t have a way to hang them.
Keeping Lights and Garland Neat
Lights often get tangled, which can make them your least favorite part of decorating. Wrap them on cardboard to keep the wires neat. Check for any burned-out bulbs before you pack everything away. You can store spare bulbs in a plastic bag taped to the piece of cardboard.
Beaded garland can quickly become a tangled mess — and ruin other ornaments — if you store everything together. Good Housekeeping suggests storing them in empty water bottles. You can see what’s inside and 500 ml bottles are the perfect size to hold two strings.
You have a few options here, depending on how delicate your ornaments are. You can buy special boxes (some even padded, with handles) for storing ornaments. They often come with a divided insert that keeps your ornaments separated and away from dust, moisture, and ultraviolet light. Padding is especially helpful for ornaments that are old, fragile, or have deep sentimental value.
You can also make your own storage solution with plastic drink cups lined with tissue paper (use a piece of flat cardboard in between layers to stack them in a box. This method is both more cost-effective and easier to customize.
Speaking of boxes and containers, make sure that whatever you choose protects your items from dust, light, and moisture. If your storage unit is unheated and you’re concerned about temperature fluctuations, keep more delicate items (especially wood) in a more controlled environment. Climate controlled storage is an excellent choice for goods that are sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and humidity, as they are kept within designated ranges for both year-round.
Label, label, label
Make sure everything from your tree bag to your ornament boxes is labeled clearly, and try to stash everything close together in your storage unit. There’s nothing worse than rooting through your valuables to try to find one missing box! There are many methods of organization you can try, from making a list of what each box contains to sticking Christmas gift tags on the boxes for easy ID at a glance.
Taking just a few minutes to sort everything out before you put it away can make a world of difference when the holiday season rolls around next year.
Looking for a place to store your extra holiday decorations or other items? Find a Mini Mall Storage facility near you.