Christmas 2019 will soon be a faded memory. Watching your kids tear into gifts without saying “thank you” to grandma, while your relatives argue about everything from football to food, as you cook dinner for 30 people will soon be past history. Before you have time to say, “could someone unglue yourself from the TV and help me in the kitchen,” it will be time to move on to the time-honored tradition of storing the decorations.
Nobody enjoys this task. It’s tedious and lonely because no one wants to help. If you do coerce family members into helping, they suddenly remember a previous engagement or a chronic knee or back condition. Get used to it; it’s not going to change. Ask Alexa to play “songs for the misery of dismantling Christmas decor,” and get to it.
Before you start packing your decorations into either the very expensive storage bags from Target or Wayfair or the leftover egg cartons and plastic cups from your garbage, you need to think about where you’re going to store the packed boxes. If you’re anything like me, the ornaments and decorations seem to multiply while your space seems to shrink. You need a solution and you need it before the Christmas ornaments find a new home in your garage and the cars are stuck out in the driveway all year.
How Self-Storage Can Help
What you need is a self-storage unit, preferably a convenient, secure climate-controlled storage unit. Here at My Storage Plus, these units are available in a variety of sizes that are suitable for large or small Christmas trees and all your other seasonal items. You can add pegboard to the walls for hanging your wreaths and garlands and shelving for plastic ornament boxes. With climate-controlled storage, you won’t find a cracked, discolored ornament that was once a treasured antique or a mildewed piece of fabric that was an expensive Christmas bedspread.
Read the following tips to help get your decorations ready for their new home.
Did you ever begin your Christmas decorating, suddenly realizing that you can’t remember how you hung the garlands on the stairway or where you placed that oversized wooden reindeer? Before you take down those decorations for storage, take pictures. Mobile devices make it so easy to take photos. You can even add a few selfies before you store them on your phone or your computer. The look on your face will speak volumes.
In many families, Christmas ornaments are irreplaceable treasures. They represent life events, travel, and tradition. Many were created with little hands out of construction paper, glue and glitter. Some are given as special gifts. Fortunately, you can find endless options in boxes and containers made specifically to protect fragile ornaments. They’re available in Wayfair, Home Depot, and Target, just to name a few. Remember to leave the hangers on the ornaments, and store a few extra boxes of them for any new ornaments that you get next Christmas. There is nothing worse than having to go shopping for hangers in the middle of decorating the tree.
Even though artificial trees are quite durable, storing your tree in its original box is not the best idea. With each passing year, the box will deteriorate, making it prone to insect (and deranged squirrel) infestation, and the tree will start to fall apart if it has to be jammed into the box and reshaped every year. There are several different tree storage container options that will protect your tree and keep it in great shape. Climate-controlled storage is perfect for keeping your tree in pristine condition. This is especially important if you have a frosted, flocked or white tree; they don’t do well in extreme temperatures.
Wreaths and Garlands
As with all your other Christmas paraphernalia, there are numerous options for wreath and garland storage. Look for sturdy containers that will preserve the shape of these items and protect any decorative bows and ornaments. They can also be hung from hooks on a pegboard in your storage unit. For extra protection, you can cover them with a lightweight dry cleaning bag.
Clark Griswold should not be your “go to” example for Christmas light storage or design. Think “organization.” The first thing you need to do is to dispose of any lights that are damaged or not working properly. Then, you need to avoid the tangled mess of previous years by wrapping your lights around storage reels. When you’re finished organizing the lights, place them in a large plastic storage bin along with the necessary extension cords. Don’t forget to take pictures as a guide to next year’s light design.
Gift wrap can get out of control. I know a crazy mom who, in her obsession to cover all Christmas details, customarily wrapped her kids gifts in their favorite Christmas colors. In the middle of wrapping, there was always a trip to the store for more of the “right” color. The leftovers were saved in a box and became more wrinkled and damaged every year because she didn’t have the appropriate wrapping paper storage. Don’t be like this mom (nobody I know). Check out these awesome storage options for wrapping paper and keep it all nice and new looking.
Christmas Table and Bed Linens
Be sure that your Christmas table linens, bed linens, and towels are clean prior to storage. And don’t forget those Christmas stockings. You don’t want cousin Eddy sleeping on discolored sheets. Stains can oxidize over time and be impossible to remove. Don’t wrap linens in tissue, newsprint, or cardboard as these materials can release gases that will turn your fabric yellow. Plastic and hangars can also damage the fabric. If you have the space, you can store these items on an extra shelf in your linen closet. A better option is a suitcase that you no longer use in your storage unit. Keep in mind that these items should be stored in a climate-controlled environment to maintain their beauty and prevent further damage.
Candles Require Special Care
Wrap candles in old socks or cellophane to prevent scratching and color transfer. Do not use plastic wrap or wax paper as they can stick to your candles. After you finish wrapping, store them in a box or crate. Be sure that they are in a climate-controlled area in your home or storage unit. Unless, of course, you want melted, misshapen globs of wax.
It goes without saying that you should store you boxes strategically and with labels. Not only should each label show a detailed content list, but they should be numbered and stored in the order in which you want to open them.
Storing your decorations the right way is tedious and time consuming; but, when next year rolls around, you’ll be happy to find everything organized and in perfect condition. Happy Holidays!