Packing & Storing Holiday Decorations

The Holiday Season is here and people are starting to think about bringing out Holiday Decorations. Packing and storing all your decorations can be a daunting task. In California there aren’t many musty attics storing holiday decorations in homes, but many of us have dusty, cobwebbed garages or storage sheds outside. While some people look forward to the project of dragging out huge crates of decorations and transforming their homes (well, the transforming part is fun; the dragging part not so much), many of us dread all of it; especially the back end of the process: tearing down holiday decorations, and storing them away until next year.

Decorating your home for the holidays doesn’t have to drive you crazy. With a little planning, you can unpack, decorate, repack and store precious holiday decorations in a systematic way that saves time and space.
Seasonal holiday decorating typically starts in October for Halloween, not ending until after New Year. For some brave souls it extends into Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and ultimately the Fourth of July. From the 4th on, there’s a breather until the cycle begins again.
Enjoy these tips for making the holiday decoration process, including storage and preservation, enjoyable while extending the life of your precious objects and art.

  • Evaluate your decorations. Decorations break, parts and pieces get lost. Prior to the intended holiday (when you are less in the mood to save every little thing), or as you are unpacking, sort through the decorations. Throw out broken ones you’ll never fix, give away those you haven’t used, don’t have place to display, or don’t like. Keep only the most important decorations.
  • Have the right storage boxes. We recommend plastic crates for storing and you can color code your crates. Red and green crates for Christmas, orange for your Halloween decorations. Also, plastic crates are easy to label with a marker. After the purging process, evaluate remaining decorations and purchase sturdy, manageable crates to store what’s left.
  • Store boxes appropriately. If you can’t reach decoration boxes without a ladder, and the ladder is unwieldy or hard to get to you’re setting yourself up for frustration. Make your decoration boxes easy to reach and easy to see.
  • Keep original packing where possible. People think that original packaging is meant for one-time use: when unpacking! It is often impossible to get an item back into its original box, and you can’t imagine how it was achieved in the first place. Unless it is very flimsy, keep and reuse original packaging, some of your more delicate decorations are best protected in their original boxes.

Packing for Storage: When the season’s over, and you’re tearing down decorations, follow these steps:

  • Room by room, gather all decorations. Put them onto a large, central table or at least all in the same room. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re done only to find a nutcracker high on a bookcase. Look, look and look again.
  • When all decorations are collected, match things with original boxes.
  • Throw out, or immediately repair broken decorations. If you aren’t willing to repair something, discard it.
  • Carefully wrap and store the rest, labeling boxes as you go. When you know everything fits into a container, you can continue replacing decorations into the same box, year after year, knowing everything fits.

For more helpful tips on packing check out: Packing for Storage blog

Over sized or expensive decorations. If you have a 5-ft. tall Nutcracker or priceless carousel horse, consider long-term, climate-controlled storage. Expensive or over sized objects can get worn down by weather, moisture and rodents as easily as a spice candle, and are harder to replace.  Many moving companies and storage facilities have climate controlled storage. Your elaborately decorated 7-ft. faux Christmas tree will be safe and fresh if kept in a secure storage facility.
We wish you happy decorating, and a happy, stress-free holiday season!

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