Since the holiday season is over, it's now time to put away your festive decorations. This may seem daunting if it feels like you have more ornaments, lights, and decor than you know what to do with — or have no place to store them. However, this is the perfect opportunity to get creative and take notes from organizing experts for storing decorations. Plus, household items like garment bags and egg cartons can help you get the job done. From preserving your wreath to protecting ornaments, these five clever tricks will ensure that your holiday decorations stay in tip-top shape until next Christmas.
Hang rolls of wrapping paper with shower curtain clips.
“Rather than clutter your closet floor with bulky bins, make use of vertical space to store holiday wrapping,” says organizing expert Ashley Jones Hatcher. Just adhere a few stick-on hooks to the back of a door, attach a shower curtain clip ring to each roll of paper, then hang them on the hooks.
Keep lights tangle-free with a coffee can ‘spool.’
It never fails — you spend hours untangling your Christmas lights after pulling them out of storage. To avoid the hassle next year, find an empty coffee can and wind the lights around it. Then cut an ‘x’ in the plastic lid and stick the plugs through. Finish by using a sticky note to label the location for where you string each set of lights.
Pack away a faux tree with plastic wrap.
To store your faux tree, push the branches back into their “storage” position, then tightly wrap the entire tree in plastic wrap while it’s still standing, advises Melissa Gugni of Melissa Gugni Organizing. “Now you can easily store it upright in the corner of your basement or garage. Your tree will stay clean and already be assembled for next year; all you need to do is unwrap it!" she says.
Preserve a wreath in a garment bag.
To keep your wreath dust-free in storage, “drape it on a hanger, place it in a garment bag and stash it in the back of a closet,” says Mary Jo Contello of Organized by MJ in Texas. No garment bag? Place a garbage bag over the hanger.
Protect delicate ornaments in egg cartons.
Smaller ornaments have a habit of getting broken in storage. To the rescue: “Egg cartons are the way to go to keep delicate Christmas decorations safe,” assures organizer Inez Stanway, owner of LiveLaughCreate.com. “Just pop the precious baubles in the cups, then close the lid and you’re done.”
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman's World.