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We have gathered some of the best tips we found on DIY Christmas storage. The ideas show you how to use everyday items in new creative ways. Decorating next year would be so much easier if you find your items labeled and put away tangle-free and clean. Check out the ideas and pick the ones that you think will work best for you. If you decide to forgo the DIY, you can always use store-bought storage containers–we have provided links to them on Amazon.
Tips for organizing Christmas decorations:
Categorize your items. An example of categories could be tree decorations, wreaths, candles, garlands, etc. Make as many or as few that work for you.
Pack like items together. Next year when you are looking for a wreath, you will know that it is stored with all the wreaths.
Separate outdoor decorations from inside decorations. It helps you to avoid debating if a garland belongs around an interior door or on the outside railing.
Tips for storing Christmas decorations
Use clear containers so you can see what is inside or label the containers. You can either make a label listing everything inside or number the boxes and keep the list of what is inside on your computer or a Rolodex.
Clean items before packing.
Gather your storage supplies before starting–permanent markers, labels, plastic totes–etc.
Label, label, label. Label the box but also label items going into the box for locations, light colors, etc.
Check each strand of lights to see if all bulbs light. If not, replace the bulbs or toss the strand. Wrap the light stand around your arm. When wound, attach a twist tie to the middle.
You can cut a piece of cardboard and make slits on each side to wrap the lights around or use a hanger or paper towel roll. Whatever method you use; place lights in a zip-top plastic bag that you have left a bit of air in for cushion. Label the color of the lights in each bag.
To keep your beaded garland from twisting together, thread it into a plastic water bottle to store. Each bottle should hold two stands. If you don’t have a water bottle, you can use any tall narrow container such as one used for tennis balls. See below for other types of garland.
There is a variety of ways to store ornaments. If the balls are nonbreakable, you can place like ornaments together in a zip-top bag. For your breakable ornaments, you will need to use containers that hold each bulb individually. You can make your own by gluing cups to a piece of cardboard that fits your container as pictured above (tip via Martha Stewart).
Other containers you may use include packaging plastic apples come in, take-out drink holders, and egg cartons. Not shown in the pictures is that each piece should be wrapped in tissue, felt scraps, coffee filters or bubble wrap. Do not use newspaper as the ink may come off on your ornaments or colored tissue paper. Wrap your more precious ornaments in an acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap.
Storing Artificial Christmas Tree
If you have had your tree up for a while, it is probably dusting. You can use the dust attachment on your vacuum or a handheld vacuum. Whichever you use, it should not pull needles off the tree–this will damage the motor. Start at the top working towards the bottom cleaning each branch. Find the complete instructions at Wikihow: How to Clean an Artificial Christmas Tree.
Place each row of branches in an individual garbage bag and label the outside. Store all in a plastic container. If you would prefer to store the tree whole, consider using shrink wrap. Click on the last picture above, and it will take you to the site that has the instructions.
Storing Other Christmas Decorations
Clean undecorated garland including lighted garland as described above for artificial Christmas tree. Label the garland indicating where you used it, then wind and place it in a storage container. Decorated garland can be cleaned using a feather duster, Swiffer duster or use a blow dryer to blow off dust and lint. Use a long plastic sheet to wrap the decoration. Tie or staple the plastic sheet. Click on the first image above for instructions. Then fold in half and place over a large hook in your storage space. For garland that has loops, such as down a staircase, you can make next years decorating easier if you label each loop with a tag.
Clean your wreaths as described above. Undecorated wreathes may be stored upright as shown in image one above. Use a plastic box that is the width of the wreath. Decorated wreaths require some padding. Place each in a plastic bag and label where the wreath is displayed before placing it in a box. Don’t overstuff. You can hang your wreaths either by the drawstrings, or you can insert a hanger before completely closing. Hang the decorations on a rod or hook.
Gently clean your bows using a duster or hair dryer to blow off the dust. Prevent your bows from crushing while storing by placing something in the bow loops. You can use air bubble packing as shown in image one, scrunched tissue paper or paper towel rolls cut to size and padded. You can create air bubble packing using small zip-top bags that are left inflated. Another option is to hang the bows. The person used a curling ribbon to tie the bows to a hanger. Click on the image to get the instructions. Cover all with a plastic bag.
Clean candles with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol before storing them. You can place knee-high pantyhose over pillar candles to keep them dust-free. Then wrap in bubble wrap. If you have the cardboard package they came in, use it to store. If not, use wine bottle boxes, beer six-pack holder or any other small box you can find. Wrap candle tapers in tissue then insert inside an old paper towel roll.
Clean all your cloth belongings–afghan, towels, tablecloths, napkins, rugs, pillows, etc.– before storing. Collect zip-top bags that will hold individual items. Place in the bag and squeeze out all the air. Label the bag.
If you have extension cords you use only at Christmas time, coil them as usual then insert them into a paper towel roll. Write the location you use the cords on a label glued to the roll.
This includes villages, angels and other decorations made of ceramics. Clean all objects and remove batteries. Best if you store in the original boxes after wrapping with bubble wrap. Always store your items in a plastic container after boxing to prevent a mouse invasion as they like cardboard. For those missing boxes, wrap generously with bubble wrap and then use inflated zip-top bags to provide a cushion between objects.
Storing Outdoor Christmas decorations
Wreaths, bows, and garlands
Follow the instructions above for inside decorations. If you want to keep long lines of lights together consider wrapping around a coffee can or an oatmeal box. You can use a clean plastic garbage can to store garlands in.
Icicle lights tangle easy. To avoid tangles wrap in brown paper. Click on the above image for a link to the instructions.
Hose down and let dry inflated. If it needs additional cleaning use a mild detergent that contains no degreasers. Do not use dish soap as it contains degreasers and will remove the sealant. Likewise, don’t use bleach. Once dry, fold up like you would a tent and store.
Storing Christmas Gift wrap
To prevent your paper from unwinding cut open old toilet paper rolls and slide over the paper. Store paper in a shallow container, so it doesn’t get crushed. You could also store your paper in a garment bag or a shoe bag that you cut open the bottom of each pouch so the paper can slide through.
A small basket container helps organize your ribbons.
Do you have any suggestions for storing Christmas decorations? Please share in the comment section.
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Check out January Holiday Planner It is a year around Christmas planner and will help you get a head start for next Christmas.