As the holidays finally come to a close, many of us will once again grab our bins, boxes or bags to return our decorations to the basement/garage/attic/closet for yet another year.

Here’s some great tips to make the repacking process easier and keep your decorations safe for years to come!

  1. Hang Your Ornaments

    Ornaments are one of those unique holiday elements that have the ability to store memories spanning our entire lives. From “Baby’s First Christmas” to home-made gifts crafted in Elementary School, ornaments are special to many.

    Most of us, however, don’t have the original boxes they were first purchased in, and opt for wrapping them in paper and placing them in a box then hoping for the best.

    This year, try hanging them, instead!

    Drill Four holes (two on either side) of a plastic storage bin and insert a wooden dowel of equal width through from end-to-end on each side. Now simply take your ornaments off the tree and hang them on the wooden dowels. When you’re done simply cover the box and store!

    No need to worry about accidentally smashing and breaking bulbs or keepsake ornaments!

  2. Shrink-Wrap Your Tree

    If you’re the type who prefers artificial trees over the real thing, you know how much of a hassle it can be to put it up and take it down year after year.

    Try something new by removing the ornaments and storing them as described in step 1, then wrapping the entire tree in cellophane wrap with the lights still on it!

    The process is actually quite simple. Use twine, rope, or some crumbled up cellophane wrap to tie the very top (and very full) section of the tree tightly together. Once it is bound, begin wrapping one section at a time; lifting branches one section at a time and wrapping them securely.

    Because the lower branches are so much longer (and heavier) its best to lift one branch, wrap the cellophane around the whole tree, lift the next one, and continue the pattern.

    When you’re done you’ll have spent half the time and next year you’ll simply need to cut the wrapping, fluff the branches and you’re all set to add the ornaments!

  3. Wrap Your Lights

    Most of us are guilty of it: removing our lights and chucking them in a box with dozens of other light strands.

    Not only does this create a very frustrating tangled mess for you next year, but it can also damage the bulbs. The good news is you can make homemade organizers for absolutely nothing!

    If you’re anything like most of us, you’ve done an impressive amount of online shopping during the holiday season. With that, you’ve also accumulated and equally impressive quantity of cardboard boxes. Simply cut these boxes into 8 x 11 inch pieces and wrap your light strands around each one. Either secure at the end with a twist tie, or simply plug both ends together.

  4. Wash Linens Before Storage

    Even if you don’t think anyone spilled food or beverage on your beloved Christmas tablecloth, it’s best to give a trip through the washing machine just in case.

    As stains sit unattended to, they begin to oxidize; worsening the stain and potentially creating a permanent mark.

    Before placing them in the storage bin, wash and dry all the items complete, then insert a dryer sheet between every layer to keep them fresh and dry throughout the storage season.

    This will also deter rodents and pests from potentially destroying them!

  5. Remove Batteries From Decorations

    It’s a step many of us don’t consider until the following year when we discover burst batteries in a favorite decoration and potentially devastating corrosion which ultimately breaks the item.

    Because many of us store decorations in a non-climate controlled location (like the attic or shed) the batteries are exposed to extreme temperature variations which ultimately lead to the destruction of the battery and degradation of its physical integrity. This then allows battery acid to leak out, corroding whatever it is contained in.

    So make certain to stay aware of whatever runs of batteries after the holiday season is over and protect your decorations for years to come.