Holiday Aftermath – Removing and Storing Decorations

It’s the first week of January, and the annual ritual of delicately taking down dozens – if not hundreds – of holiday decorations is staring you squarely in the face. (For those of you who intentionally take them down before the new year due to the fear of a year’s worth of bad luck, this article isn’t for you – this year.) Aside from hosting distant (eh um, non-favorite) relatives, the annual storing of holiday decorations is one of the most dreaded parts of the holiday. Yet, it must be performed no later than early January or else you risk being labeled as “that family.” You know the ones – who keep their lights up year-round and dare we say even the decorated tree. The audacity. But that’s not you, is it?

So, let’s explore some simple, cost-effective methods for storing and organizing these precious decorations that turn your home into a warm, festive winter wonderland for three to four weeks out of the year.

Plan Ahead

As best as possible, think ahead to where and how your holiday decorations will be used, so you can plan storage space and options accordingly. Depending on the layout of your home or business, it may make sense to break up the collection into different storage areas. For example, for a multi-story structure, it may make sense to store first-story decorations on the first floor and the second-story decorations on the second floor, thus eliminating the need to lug large trees, wreaths, figurines, and light sets from floor-to-floor.

Dedicated Storage Space

It’s best to have dedicated storage space for holiday decorations. Perhaps a corner in the attic, a spare closet, or off-site storage unit (for the expansive holiday collections) is available. By keeping the collection together and easily accessible, you won’t “lose” precious decorations each year or forget about timeless pieces due to them being scattered about different storage areas. Dedicated storage spaces also allow for easier transportation. Don’t forget to pick storage areas that are dry, temperature controlled and away from direct sunlight to prevent weathering and deterioration.

Wreath and Storage Boxes

Protect your wreaths, ornaments, and lights in sturdy, clear boxes dedicated for their purpose. When possible, keep the original boxes that the ornaments were sold within. They can be used each year to store ornament collections in a safe way to prevent damage during the holidays. Also, consider investing in a label machine or permanent, thick black marker, so you can clearly label boxes. It’s best to group ornaments and decorations by purpose and room for ease of decorating year after year. For example, if you have more than one holiday tree, group ornaments together by tree in its own box, so ornaments do not get mixed up.

Post-Holiday Decoration Purchases

Considering investing in a high-end, pre-lit tree or large outdoor decorative statements that are on post-holiday clearance? While the 70 percent off deals may be too good to pass up, be sure you have room to store the new tree or holiday-themed lawn inflatables 11 months or so out of the year before you buy it. You definitely don’t want to bring them home only to find the only space large enough to store them is your dining room. That makes for awkward dinner party conversation.

With a little pre-planning, having the right storage solutions, and organizing your holiday decorations, you can make the decorating – and storing post-holiday – more enjoyable and less stressful.

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