Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday Decoration Storage

If you are in the NYC metro area today, you are experiencing freezing temperatures and the remnants of yesterday’s lovely snow. I have my stack of magazines and endless cups of tea standing by to avoid going outside. However, I have had a lazy week so I am getting a jump start on taking down my holiday decorations. I am not much of a decorator, favoring the 'less is more' philosophy so clearing up will be brief.If you are of the other persuasion, ‘more is more,' then putting away decorations could take a few days. However you choose to decorate, the important thing is making sure everything you have is in usable shape and put away carefully. 

While stores like The Container Store have special containers for decoration storage, I have some additional tips that won’t break the bank especially after a busy spending season.

Inspect all of your dishes, ornaments, etc. and look for chips, cracks, and signs of wear. If items can be repaired and still work, then by all means do that. Otherwise it might be time to pare down or replace your decoration inventory. Holiday sales are happening now so it’s a great time to stock up and avoid holiday shopping crowds next year. If everything is in good shape it is important to preserve them for future seasons. For fragile decorations, I suggest wrapping in bubble wrap and storing in Ziploc bags (depending on the size of the item) or sturdy gift boxes. Linens should be washed and can be housed also in Ziploc or cloth bags with some lavender sachets to keep out moths. Dishes and glassware should be stored in zipped quilted cases. Use egg cartons to store fragile ornaments. 

Check out your interior and exterior lights to see if they are working properly. Make sure you replace burnt out or broken bulbs. Once you have determined they are in good order, don’t just toss them in a box only to deal with a tangled mess next year. Instead, save the headaches and carefully wrap the strands around pieces of cardboard. If you have multiple lights for multiple locations, label the cardboard according to use. 

Cover hanging decorations like wreaths, in large trash bags or reusable cloth or nylon laundry bags and hang on hooks in your storage area or mount uncovered on a heavy duty rod so they're off the floor. 

Group like items together to save time and label. 

Now that everything is wrapped or contained, it’s a good idea to house all holiday related items in one bin or designated area. I suggest using clear bins so you can see the contents or use red/green or blue bins to designate the holiday contents. Whichever method you use, make sure you post an inventory on the outside of each box so you can access items easily next year as well return items to their designated home post holidays. 

And finally, one item that seems to puzzle people on how to handle is holiday cards. Some like to hold onto them, others just toss. If you are going to keep them, curate your collection and limit the number you keep; perhaps scan them and then discard the actual card. If you are going to toss, consider recycling or re-purposing. Just note that the St. Jude's Hospital re-purposing program has been discontinued.

Enjoy the last remaining hours of 2017 and have a wonderful and hopefully organized New Year!

 2017. Rosemary Flannery. All Rights Reserved.

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