Nothing is as disheartening in early December as pulling out a favorite box of Christmas ornaments to find that it is damaged or mildewed from a year in basement storage. Protect precious holiday decorations by storing in labeled, plastic containers. Take special care of lights, fabric decorations and large ornaments to find them ready to use and in perfect condition each holiday season.
Store Ornaments in Clear Plastic Containers
Plastic containers are a good choice for ornament storage because they keep damaging pests and moisture away from decorations. This is especially important if Christmas ornaments will be stored in a basement that has a tendency to get damp or flood.
Pack fragile ornaments with recycled Styrofoam peanuts. Instead of buying new, reuse packing peanuts from a holiday shipment. Ornaments that aren’t fragile can be stacked in a clear container, separate from their fragile counterparts.
Use Labels to Identify Boxes of Holiday Decorations
Use a label maker to label boxes of ornaments and holiday decorations. This makes decorating a little at a time a snap. It’s easier to find the advent calendar at the beginning of December if it’s marked on the outside of the box. There’ll be no need to rifle through boxes looking for a few particular items or unpacking everything at once when it’s going to clutter up the living space until it’s used.
Keep Lights from Getting Tangled
Lights have a tendency to get tangled. Instead of tossing them into a box in a ball, wrap each light strand around a stiff piece of cardboard. Recycle several small, collapsed cardboard boxes for this purpose. Before the lights get packed away for the year, buy a few new boxes of Christmas lights at post-holiday clearance sales. When holiday decorating starts the following year, the new lights will be on hand to replace any strands that no longer work.
Stockings, Tree Skirts and Fabric Decorations
If no other decorations are stored in plastic, make an exception for stockings, tree skirts and special items made from fabric and yarn. Rodents are attracted to things made out of cloth and will chew through them and use it to make a nest. Plastic storage containers will offer a level of protection that a cardboard box cannot.
Large Christmas Decorations
Large holiday decorations, like outdoor reindeer, signs or wreaths, can be covered in a plastic bag before being stored for the year. The bag will keep dust from collecting on the items.
To avoid misplacing holiday decorations, designate a special place in the basement or attic to store everything together. If items will be stored in a damp or likely to flood basement, be sure to put boxes on a shelf or pallet off the floor. Use clear, plastic containers to store ornaments and label all boxes. Take some extra time to carefully put away lights, fabric decorations and large Christmas decorations.