Another holiday season has passed and we are now faced with the clean up from all the festivities. Putting away the holiday décor is not as fun as getting it all out.
If you are anything like me you were probably excited about decorating the house for the season but now dread packing it all up for another year.
My collection began around 35 years ago, purchasing holiday decorations each and every year. I have also been fortunate enough to inherit many family holiday heirlooms. Over the years my collection became bigger and more valuable, as my homes got larger, my collection grew. This may be the first year I did not buy a new decoration other than my traditional yearly personalized ornaments for each child in the family. (Some are no longer children but are happy recipients of the annual ornaments.)
My collection had grown so large that a good portion of the basement was devoted to holiday storage. That was great when I had the big house and a big basement but have since downsized to a 1 bedroom apartment. Storage was a problem and I was certainly not getting rid of these treasures.
My solution was to rent a self storage unit for this dilemma. I have a climate controlled unit to preserve and protect my treasures. I cannot display everything each Christmas in my apartment so the majority is packed & stored in the rear of the unit. Those decorations that I now decorate with are easily accessible towards the front of my unit.
Regardless of where you store your holiday treasures I have some packing suggestions to hopefully help make you holiday decorating easier next year:
Commercially available ornament storage boxes can be an easy solution to Christmas packing. One storage box can have many individual sections allowing you to separate ornaments and prevent breakage. Or perhaps you have a partitioned wine box hanging around? These make great packing boxes for tissue wrapped or bubble wrapped glass ornaments. Several ornaments can be stacked on top of each other in each slot, placing heavier ornaments on the bottom and keeping the most delicate ornaments wrapped in bubble wrap at the top of the box. .
Recycle that used gift wrap paper and tissue paper. Running the wrapping paper through a paper shredder makes great fluffy filler for storage. Egg cartons are perfect for storing tiny ornaments.
All boxes and storage containers should be clearly labeled.
Decorating will be easier next year if decorations are grouped by the location where they go, all the tree décor in boxes stored together, the outside decorations together and other decorations stored by room. Have you finally perfected your decorating scheme and don’t want to forget it? Take pictures and pack these things together, placing the picture in the box. Be sure to store the heavier boxes or containers on the bottom and the lighter ones on the top.
Last but not least, the Christmas tree and lights. I purchased a handled, zippered bag which keeps my artificial tree clean and dry. I store this in the corner of my unit at the end of the season. I remove the lights and wrap each strand around a separate piece of cut cardboard; taping the ends down, this eliminates a tangled mess next year. I place these cardboard “spools” together in a large box.
At the end of each season I place the Christmas tree in first since that is the last thing I will be removing next year. I place all other boxes and containers in the unit in the order that I will be removing them. Since I decorate in stages I place the boxes and containers in the order in which I will be removing them next year.
I guess I will continue to store these precious decorations until I can pass the baton to my daughter. I look forward to the day I can help her decorate her home and visit and admire our family’s holiday treasures each Christmas
Hope everyone had a joyous holiday! Happy, healthy New Year to all!!