Over the years, a considerable sum of money can be saved by a storage system.
Do little chores while packing, never leaving them for next year.
We've all been there. The tangle of lights. Hours spent trying to identify burnt-out bulbs. Twisted, warped wreaths. Missing decorations. Broken bulbs. All this equals out to an unnecessary mess that costs you time and money. Whether you are working on a shoestring budget or have funds to set up the best Christmas storage system, right now is the time to eliminate holiday chaos.
A good storage system will include everything that you use only at this time of year, from decorative linen to the mistletoe. Yet, the three most important things to save are your wreaths, ornaments, and lights. Take great care of these things and you will find yourself a little richer and a lot less stressed in years to come.
Shape is the most important aspect of Christmas storage for wreaths, since you will have to replace those that get twisted or bent out of shape next year. You will need containers that are durable and sturdy, and of the appropriate size for each wreath. There are special bags and boxes that make it simple. The bags are the best option since they allow you to hang them up out of the way of other items, protecting their shape and freeing up space.
If you are working with a budget, consider making your own just as you would make a garment bag in a pinch. Simply take a bag of suitable size for the wreath and attach a hook to the top. Make sure the wreath is secure and will not drop to the ground.
Also, make sure the area you hang your wreaths in will remain dry and that other hanging items do not push against them, flattening them out with time.
If you have extra hat or boot boxes, they can be used in your Christmas storage system as well. Make sure to use some paper to cushion them and avoid forcing a tight lid that doesn't fit the wreath.
This is the trickiest aspect of a Christmas storage system, since most people add to their ornaments every year and most are breakable. If you have children, then you probably have the extra consideration of saving handmade bulbs that cannot be replaced. You can start by saving sturdier boxes from new bulbs and even from Christmas gifts after the big day. As your collection grows, you will need to conserve space by packing them together in larger containers.
The fastest way is to simply purchase ornament storage containers that will safely store them in an organized manner. If you don't want that expense, create your own Christmas storage containers with household items that would otherwise be tossed in the trash. For instance, egg cartons and plastic tubs with lids can be used.
For most people, purchasing just a couple ornament storage boxes for sentimental bulbs and those irreplaceable original creations from your children is a good investment. All others can be packed in recyclable containers.
You may even want to pack ornaments according to color or location of use if you have more than one tree in the home.
This is where doing little chores while packing up saves tons of time. Fix any blinking lights on each string and toss out those starting to dim out. There are plastic pieces sold for rolling lights neatly, but you can also use empty gift-wrap tubes or other pieces of cardboard to wrap them around.
When all else fails, wrap them around your arm into a neat loop and tie with leftover gift ribbon or thick tape. Store them by color and indoor/outdoor use so you don't have to spend time separating them next year.
Setting up a good Christmas storage system may take a bit of time this year, but in future years, you will find decorating for the season much more enjoyable. The cost of any special containers purchased will be made up easily by money saved not replacing broken and twisted decorations.