Well, they’re here today and gone tomorrow and still the world goes on the same. It seems like only yesterday you were hauling all those boxes down from the attic and dusting off your most precious and beloved holiday decorations. But before you know it, it’ll be time to take them all down and put them back into storage. But trying to get it all to fit in your attic can seem like a daunting challenge, you’re probably not even sure you can get it all back the way it was. Perhaps your storing system is a little outdated and rather chaotic. The tree never fits back in its box, the ornaments are just a hodge podge of “Hope those don’t break in that box!” and the lights are one never-ending thread of knots and insanity. Care for some advice? Well, away we go!

Designated Space

If you’ve got any amount of holiday decorations, it’s important to have a space that is intended just for you decorations. Meaning, keep them away from damp areas as well as areas that look like they might have a frequent critter visitor. Attics, while a pain in the derriere to access, are often the best place to store seasonal decorations. It’s up and out of the way and out of sight from everything. And unless you have major leaks in your roof (booooo!) it remains a relatively dry place. The only issue you might run into is infestation. But as long as your insulation is not hospitable to rodents and pests, you’re in the clear. (There are plenty of Green options that solve this problem too!)

Proper Storage Containers/Tools

Speaking of Green options, there are plenty of ways to store your decorations that will last for years to come and save waste in the world. The best ways to store fragile decorations like ornaments and Nutcrackers are as follows:

  1. The original box. If you can use the original box/container the item came in. Especially when it comes to glass ball/shaped ornaments. Granted, some boxes are like chastity belt grade impenetrable and breaking into them requires the skill and acumen of a trained thief. Or ripping. Lots and lots of ripping and tearing and cutting. In that case…
  2. Wrapped in Bubble Wrap or Used Wrapping Paper. Yep! You really can salvage that single-use wrapping paper. It can be used to wrap like you would with tissue paper, OR, shredded and used like mail packing materials. Those Sterilite/Rubbermaid bins with the locking lids are fairly inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes. Place a generous layer of shredded wrapping paper in the bottom and safely nestle the ornaments into their bed. Add another generous layer on top and repeat the process until the bin is full. The layers of paper need to be thick, but they ultimately provide cushion as well as keep the ornaments from moving around.
  3. Ornament Storage Containers. Legit, the Fancy Pants option, you can find ornament holders that are padded and have individual cubbies for each ornament. Wrap it in that leftover gift wrap for added protection, but these puppies are designed to keep your valued decorations safe and organized. (Shoot, you could gift one of these bad boys on Christmas and be a dang HERO!)

As For The Rest Of It

Large plastic tubs are the Beeze-Neeze for most decorations. But what about wreaths, and garland, and lights, and that dang artificial tree? Wreath bags are very easy to come by (and even have convenient handles for carrying and hanging) and can be used for wreaths and garland alike. For your reusable tree (Yes, real ones are nice, but they also bring in their own bugs and die before dinner is over and must always be replaced) you might get use out of the original box it came in for a year or two. Most of these boxes are cardboard, however, making them highly susceptible to bugs and weather damage should there be a leak. A good artificial tree is worth investing in and so is an equally good tree storage box. If your tree, wreath, or garland happen to be pre-lit, be extra careful to properly pack and not store anything on top of them. Nothing worse than having to discard a perfectly good set of decorations because the lights went out. (Pro tip, when packing and un-packing your greenery, wear a light gardening glove to keep your hands from getting scratched. That coarse plastic is short and stabby and no fun on your already winter-dry hands.)

Speaking of lights. … Oy. Can we all just agree that unless you have a degree in theatre (where they teach you how to properly wrap cable) trying to store lights is a headache just to think about. Raise your hand if the lights usually end up in a massive tangle shoved in the corner at the end of a long and exhausting day of de-decorating. … Yeah. You should not do that. Tension rods or wire spools (or even a sturdy piece of cardboard) are the way to go, especially if you don’t know how to properly coil cable. Not only will this method of storage keep your lights lasting longer, but the time it takes to un-pack and re-pack will be drastically shorter than the hours it takes to untangle the chaotic jumble that is your holiday lights. When storing, make sure to keep them away from moisture and extreme temperature changes, and avoid placing weight directly onto them.

Buying enough plastic tubs to accommodate your decorations may seem like a silly thing to purchase, but in the long run it will make organizing easier and storing a complete dream. Now go enjoy those decorations before they go!