In a matter of a few short weeks, I’ll be forced by my husband and the HOA to take down my holiday decor, even though I’ve had no time to properly enjoy it. I honestly feel like I’m Moira Rose handing my wigs over to the feds…
In other words…my very soul has been kidnapped. There is no ransom. And no one is coming to save me. I’VE BEEN STRIPPED OF EVERY MORSEL OF PLEASURE I’VE EARNED IN THIS LIFE.
But alas, the show must go on! Even though I can’t display my holiday decor 365 days a year, I can at least organize and store it in a way that showcases all its shining glory; while also keeping it safe from damage and making it easier to unpack the following year.
Let’s start with the basics…
Take photos: Before you start packing up, snap some photos of the decorated rooms to use as a reference for next year. It will simplify the unpacking process when you can visually see what you have and where it needs to go.
Edit as you go: Fight the urge to shove everything back into storage bins without editing first. It’s a waste of space and energy to pack and then unpack items that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Keep a few garbage bags nearby to toss or donate the items that have reached their expiration date.
Store in good condition: If something is broken, fix it or toss it. If something is dirty, clean it. It takes more effort to resurrect an item after its been in storage so just take care of it now so life is easier later *insert shrug emoji*
Label E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G: Just because you access these items once a year doesn’t mean you should skip labeling. In fact, it’s even more of a reason to label because you’re even more likely to forget. (P.S. If you want labels in THE signature font, place your custom order here!)
Let’s start with the most fragile, shall we? Protect ornaments in clear stackable bins to keep them contained and maximize space. It helps to customize your categories based on your decorating routine, either by color, design, or the tree they belong to.
For extra security, wrap each ornament in individual foam packing envelopes.
[ the ] LIGHTS:
A string of tangled lights is just another part of the human condition I refuse to experience. And since most lights come on cheap reels that offer no long-term value, use a durable reel that will secure and protect the lights before placing in a bin.
[ the ] WREATHS:
A crushed wreath? No, thanks. Use a storage container made specifically for wreaths. They are durable, stackable…and also work perfectly for garland.
[ the ] TREE:
Contrary to popular belief, a real tree and an artificial one require the same amount of maintenance. On one hand, you have to water and sweep constantly to maintain the allure of bringing a piece of nature inside. On the other, you are required to take apart each stem just to put it back together again.
If you opt for artificial and have the vertical space, use a protective tree bag and store it all in one piece, lights included. If not, wrap and label each part and store them in a bin.
[ the ] GIFT SUPPLIES:
Designate a closet or space in your home for *every* gifting need. Instead of categorizing by item, categorize by occasion. This allows you to grab what you need and only what you need at any given time.
Use clear stackable bins with cup inserts to contain items like ribbon, bows, tissue, gift tags, etc. Wrapping paper can either be stored laying flat in under-the-bed boxes, held in acrylic risers flipped upside down, or stored upright up using floor bins.
For even easier access, utelize an Elfa over-the-door rack and swap the items by season. It should include a utility board for scissors and tape, baskets for ribbon, gift tags, and cards, and a holder for wrapping paper.
[ the ] EVERYTHING ELSE:
Items like stockings, pillows, tablecloths, and tree skirts can either be stored in stackable plastic bins or if you don’t have the room, vacuum-sealed bags. The containers can be labeled in two different ways: by room or by item. If you tend to keep it routine, labeling by room will help in the unpacking process.
To protect glass or ceramic accents or tableware, store in stackable china storage cases or wrap each item tightly in foam packing sheets before placing them in a labeled bin.