by Jen Montbleau of Sterilite Corporation
The holidays are wrapping up and it's time to take down and store your winter wonderland. Now is the perfect time to get organized and de-clutter as you pack away your home's festive trimmings.
As the glittering holiday centerpiece in many homes, today's Christmas trees proudly wear dancing lights, musical ornaments and glimmering garland. Each tree is as unique as the family that decorates it, but no matter the differences, we all want to keep our ornaments in good condition for the next holiday season. Using a solid plastic container is very important when packing away your precious ornaments. The compartments in the Ornament Case cradle larger ornaments, preventing them from emerging with scratches or chips.
Tip: Do you have smaller ornaments that you like to hang on your tree? If you don't have proper storage boxes for them, consider keeping them safe by storing them in an egg carton. Use a rubber band to secure the carton shut and stack them into a plastic storage tote to keep them safe. Also, if you decorate your tree with ribbon, try wrapping your ribbon around an empty paper towel roll and securing it with a pin to save it for next year.
The most important thing about storing lights and garland is making sure you keep them from getting tangled thereby preventing a hassle next Christmas. A clever way to store lights and garland is to wind them around a sturdy sheet of cardboard. Try using some of the shipping boxes from all your on-line gift purchases. Wrap a single strand of lights around a sheet of cardboard, cutting slits to secure both ends. Then stack them neatly in your Christmas-colored tote for next year.
Tip: When decorating next season, try unwrapping them from the cardboard as you walk around the tree.
Artificial Christmas trees are durable by design, though that doesn't mean that they don't require a little care. Most come with instructions on the correct way to set them up for the holidays, but there are usually no directions for proper storage.
After you have removed all of your decorations, here are a few simple things you should do if you have a pre-lit artificial tree:
- Locate and replace broken or burned-out lights. The more lights that are not working on a light string, the more electricity the working lights have to consume. This will permanently damage the working lights and give them a brown tint.
- Try to compress the branches of the tree so you don't damage them when you place the tree into a smaller space for storage.
- Fold in your branches toward the center pole and wrap the bottom and middle sections with twine or a cloth covered bungee cord to further compress the tree. You do not want to make it too tight but just a little compression makes storage easier.
As you work, evaluate all of your holiday decorations. Consider donating anything you didn't use this year and throw away anything that is damaged. Most people have limited floor space so whether in an attic, garage, closet, or under the stairs, take advantage of the vertical space by stacking several totes on top of each other.
By storing your holiday treasures in an organized manner, decorating next year will be a snap!
Do you have any Holiday storage tips? We'd love to hear your ideas!