Christmas day is approaching quickly. Before you know it, all of the parties will be over, the gifts dispersed to loved ones, and it will be time to pack up all of those twinkle lights for next year. And if you’re a savvy decorator, you’ll have a plan in place already.
The day you start taking down the tree is a crucial one. It will help define your decorating experience for years to come. That may sound dramatic, but it’s the difference between finding what you need and buying what you already have. Every year that you go in without a plan compounds the confusion of the year before.
You probably already know how to separate items by type, but things get fuzzy beyond this cardinal rule. The tips below are designed to make the organization of your decorations more aesthetically pleasing. More importantly, they are going to make it easier for you to put out your decorations and pack them away for future years.
Let’s start with the items that are most likely to cause us to pull our hair out: ornaments. The problem with ornaments is that having a lot of them is a necessity in order to cover the tree. They’re also not uniform in shape or color, which complicates things when you’re putting them away.
Tip #1: See-through storage containers are a necessity. If you can see which box you need without having to open up every box first, you’ve saved yourself a lot of trouble.
Tip #2: Use dividers inserts. This has two benefits. First, you want to separate your ornaments to have quicker access to the one you’re looking for. Sort by color first, and break it down further by shape and size. The other benefit to this is that it will keep your ornament protected by separating it from the other ornaments.
Tip #3: Protect especially fragile ornaments made of glass by placing them on a cushion – try bubble wrap, a coffee filter, or even some wrapping paper so that they have a forgiving landing.
A Christmas scene doesn’t feel complete without some white or color lights to illuminate the scene. And you’ll need a lot of them to get the effect just right. But how to keep them from becoming a gigantic knot of lights, wiring, and extension cords?
Tip #1: Wrap your lights around something to keep them from getting tangled. It could be a piece of wood, cardboard, or even an old metal sign. The only necessity is that the item is flat so that it’s easier to pack those lights afterward.
Tip #2: Hang them up in a closet by looping them around a hanger for a space-saving method to keep them untangled.
Tip #3: Find a friend. Hold your arms out shoulder-width (or shorter) and have your buddy wrap the lights from one hand to the next in a loop. Use ties to secure them in at least two areas, but preferably more.
For large decorations or trees, you’ll need a different strategy than you do for the smaller decorations. The issue here isn’t that you have trouble finding them. It’s that they take up a lot of space.
Tip #1: If you don’t want to buy an expensive artificial tree holder, you have other options. First, break the tree down into all of its separate parts. Next, find your storage. It could be the box it came in, although this gets tricky. Sometimes the box is too small once you’ve opened the tree. In this case, buy a large cardboard tube from your local home improvement store, or use a sturdy plastic bag if the tree doesn’t disassemble. Keeping the tree upright saves some horizontal space.
Tip #2: For inflatable decorations, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to deflate them properly. Roll them up tightly like an overstuffed burrito, making sure to tuck and fold as you go. Then store them in a clear container or the box they came in.
Tip #3: Label everything to easily locate them later on.
Decorating for the holidays can be hard, but it’s so much simpler when you know what you’re looking for. Take a little extra time this holiday season to organize your decorations as you pack them and make future Christmases a breeze!