For many of us, the best part of the holiday season is the decorating. Nothing puts you into the festive spirit like a decorated house and tree. Every ornament you hang or decoration you unbox brings back fond memories and feelings of nostalgia. It’s an absolute joy. But then Christmas is over and you are confronted with what you were trying to forget…it all must come down. That joy you felt quickly turns into frustration because the tree just won’t go back into the box! It came out of the box so why won’t it go back in? And why won’t the ornaments fit back into the plastic containers? And why is there still glitter everywhere!? Taking your tree down and putting away your decorations can be a real headache, but that’s where we come in! We’ve compiled some tips and tricks that you can use to not only stay stress-free this year, but also make your decorating next year even easier!
How many times have you said to yourself, “I’m going to organize my Christmas decorations and pack them efficiently this year!” But then a year passes and you find yourself unboxing crushed bows and torn wrapping paper? Not this year though, this is your year!
- RealSimple suggests you pack and label your boxes by the order you use them instead of by type. For example, pack and label an “Open First” box and put it into storage last. This will make it easier the following year to grab exactly what you need when it is time to find it.
Label everything. This simple step will save you time and end the stress of opening and rummaging through miscellaneous boxes for that one thing you need. Label as you pack away and remember to include a description of all the contents in bullet points.
Still trying to fit your ornaments in their original packaging? Do you have a bunch of flimsy plastic holders covered in scotch tape that just won’t make it to next year? Consider these long-term solutions instead:
- Commercially available ornament boxes
Invest in ornament boxes. These are plastic containers made to store and protect ornaments. They often have cardboard separators so you can store your ornaments individually so they don’t bump against each other in the box, protecting them from accidental damage.
- Clear plastic bins
These are great for seasonal items because they are long lasting, stackable, easy to carry, and transparent. No more will you have to go through box after box or rely on memory to find something you packed away a year ago. RealSimple suggests to take your organization one step further and organize your boxes by season with color-coded lids (for example, red for Christmas and orange for Halloween).
Recycle and Reuse
Before you go out and buy new storage containers, take a DIY approach and look around your house for what you may already have available:
- Make your own ornament box. Use leftover plastic cups as ornament protectors by gluing them onto a piece of cardboard and stacking them in a plastic bin.
- Anna Moseley suggests reusing egg cartons (what an egg-cellent idea…), cardboard beverage trays, old takeout containers, or plastic apple containers to store ornaments safely. Store each ornament individually in each space.
- Use coffee filters as protectors for your ornaments and delicate decorations. They are soft, flexible, and inexpensive.
- Use garment bags to store wreaths, wall-hanging decorations, and rolls of wrapping paper and stash them away in your closet for next year.
- Forget spending time sorting through tangled webs of holiday lights. Instead, keep your lights organized by turning leftover cardboard into a DIY spool for your lights and store them in a plastic container.
You know how the tree always seems to come out of the box, but never seems to want to go back in? You force and pack it down like you’re stuffing a sleeping bag, but the box rips and tears on you. You pull the tree out the following year to find the branches bent or damaged. It’s incredibly frustrating! The original box is the perfect fit for your tree, but unfortunately only lasts about 1-2 years. When it’s time to throw away the original box, try these long-term alternative storage solutions:
- Invest in a heavy-duty tree bag. They are less bulky than a box and easier to carry with handles.
- Shrink wrap your tree. Setting up and taking down your tree can be a lengthy process. An easy solution to avoid this is to stop by your local moving supplies shop and pick up a roll of shrink wrap. Instead of taking your tree down, leave all the ornaments and lights on the tree and start wrapping it up! The tree can then be stored vertically much easier in your attic, closet, garage, or basement. Then, when next year rolls around, simply grab a pair of scissors and slice down the side of the wrap and fluff the branches back out. Tad-da! Instant Christmas tree!
Taking down and packing away your holiday decorations doesn’t have to be such a terrible chore. With a little bit of organization, easy to use and protective containers, and some DIY innovations, taking down and packing away your holiday decorations will be a piece of cake!