We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when unboxing holiday decorations, only to be confronted with a jumbled tangle of lights, bulbs, tinsel, plastic Santas and more. There’s no need to re-live that same nightmare every December. You can keep your holiday ornaments nice and organized for next year’s festivities with just a few handy tips.
Throw out broken ornaments
It’s hard to get rid of items with sentimental value. Bulbs from baby’s first Christmas, a handprint ornament your child made in first grade, that tree topper grandma gave you for the first tree in your new home. All of those items are precious keepsakes, no doubt. However, once those items get damaged or start falling apart, it’s time to let them go. We don’t suggest this just because fewer ornaments makes packing easier. Broken ornaments can be a safety hazard. Sharp, pointy edges can be stepped on and small objects can be swallowed by infants. Those items are not save to have in the home. You can always make new memories with new ornaments going forward.
Get rid of duplicates
Does this sound familiar: You’ve only got the one Christmas tree, but you’ve got a whole collection of Christmas tree toppers – stars, angels, Santas, snowmen and more. While it’s nice to have variety, do you really need half a dozen or more tree toppers? Chances are you only ever use the same one year after year. That also goes for garland, strings of lights, and those plastic holiday villages for your windowsill. If you have boxes of decorations, but find yourself only ever using the same ones year after year, it might be time to start thinking about getting rid of those duplicates. There’s no need to throw them out, if they’re in good shape. You can always donate them to second-hand stores or charity shops, and help brighten up someone else’s holidays.
Keep original packaging
Whenever possible, use the original packaging for all your holiday ornaments and decorations. That’s the best way to store all your decorations, and it’s easy because every ornament has a place of it’s own.
Use household items
If you don’t have the original packaging, then try using common household items. For example, egg cartons can be used to store small round holiday bulbs. Wine containers also have separated compartments that are useful for storing fragile decorations.
Protect with packing paper
When putting breakable items in boxes or cartons for storage, make sure you use packing paper to cushion them. Plain paper is best, as sometimes the ink from newsprint can rub off and strain. Leftover tissue paper from gift bags can also be used.
Use plastic, seal-able bags.
Keep small items together by placing them in plastic bags that you can seal closed.
Use twist ties
Strings of holiday lights are always the worst. They get twisted and tangled and are sometimes infuriating to deal with. Prevent next year’s holiday-related stress by taking proper care of your lights this year. Wind them around your hand or arm in a loop and use twist ties to keep them together. Place them carefully in boxes, using packing paper or tissue paper to separate different layers.