How to Properly Store Away Holiday Decor

The Christmas carols have been played, the presents have been unwrapped – and as the holidays wind down and the new year rings in, your household (and sanity) could likely benefit from having a strategic way of putting away all decorations until next time. And no, putting away the holidays may not be as exciting as taking them out and putting them up, but the proper storage of your trees, lights, ornaments and more will ensure they stay secure for years to come. You will also be shielding them from the elements and pests such as roaches, spiders and rodents.

Take heed of the following storage tips to keep your holiday decorations safe and ready-to-use. Some items you’ll want on hand will be bubble wrap, tissue paper, newspapers,  and sturdy boxes or stackable containers. You may also want to consider purchasing specific storage containers (for your artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, etc) for storage that’s both easy to store and easy to put away.

Make sure decorations are in a dry and temperature-controlled area. Holiday decor will be put away for a year and will likely be untouched until then. Humidity and extreme climates (both hot and cold)  can easily ruin them, so be sure your attic or storage unit is cool and dry at all times. Designating a temperate and memorable spot for all of your decorations will also make it easy to access and store away, without messing up other storage areas in your house.

Roll away your Christmas lights. Rather than just bunching your lights into a tangled wad, which can break bulbs, put wear and tear on wire and make it a complete pain to unthread in the next year – roll and wrap each strand around flat pieces of cardboard, empty paper towel tubes, hangers, or rolled up newspapers and magazines. If you have multiple strands of lights, you may want to invest in a spool or a hose reel from your hardware store. You may want to separate outdoor and indoor Christmas lights as well.

For Christmas tree storage: Artificial trees often require a larger storage space then your other decor items and it’s probably best to store them on the same floor level as where they are going to be put up. If you don’t have the original box in which your tree came, it’s best to take your artificial tree apart by the branch and store them away in bins. If your budget allows for it, you may also want to invest in an upright storage bag with wheels for ease of transportation whether you’re wheeling it out for the holiday or away to be put out of sight.

For Wreath storage: Faux fir wreaths and garlands can easily be coiled away in hat or shoe boxes when stored horizontally to preserve their permanence and shape. Another easy storage option includes covering the wreath in plastic (such as inside a trash or dry-cleaning cover bag) and hanging it in the back of a closet, or in the attic or basement.

For ornaments: Whether they are glittering orbs or toy animals, it’s best to store ornaments with similar shapes together, particularly in containers with compartments (such as cross-hatched cardboard inserts) so that each ornament fits inside each one. You can always pad compartments that are too large for the single ornament with tissue paper or bubble wrap to make sure it doesn’t get shaken around when being moved from place to place. Other storage hacks include using egg carton crates, paper or plastic cups or apple containers.

Save the packaging for delicates: Whether you’ve kept the original packaging or not, you’ll want to always store delicate ornaments on top of any other decorations in your box or tub. If you haven’t kept the packages they came in to put them away, make sure to wrap each one in tissue paper and lay each layer of ornaments between bubble wrap sheets.

Wrapping papers storage: If you have leftover rolls of wrapping paper, typical and easy ways of storing them include placing them vertically in an umbrella stand or a long storage bin, as well as stacking them inside of a garment bag to be put away in the closet until they are ready to be used again.