It’s all fun when it’s time to decorate for Christmas. But after the holiday is over you’ll probably hear crickets instead of clamors to help with the twinkle lights and wreaths.
Don’t let your holiday finery become a hot mess! Here are 5 tips to do when taking down and storing decorations.
1. Properly protect your decorations
Don’t gloss over this step. Not taking the time to protect delicate items is a big mistake when it comes to putting away holiday decor. It’s normal to want to rush through this tedious job so you can be done with it, but moving too quickly will just result in breakage.
2. Cull (and donate) your decorations
If you didn’t put it up this year, what are the chances you’ll do it next year? Toss out anything that is in disrepair or out of favor. Before you toss your purged decorations in the trash, though, consider donating them. Shelters, public libraries, health care centers, and other nonprofits might welcome the chance to give your used decorations a second life.
3. Storage correctly
If you have garland in four different boxes, you’ll never keep track of it from year to year. Instead, store like with like. Put items to decorate the outside together, and place soft goods in their own bin, such as tablecloths, stockings, runners, and napkins.
4. Label your decorations
On a related note, once you’ve packed things together, get out that magic marker. Try to be more specific when it comes to labeling your containers. Are the lights for the mantel, mailbox, Christmas tree, or something in the yard? It can also be a good idea to label boxes as “X out of X” (e.g., “3 out of 5″). If you do this, you won’t miss out on a box or search for one that doesn’t exist.
5. Keep notes
As you put things away, make notes on what needs replacing or items you need to add your collection (e.g., broken lights, stained cocktail napkins, or a bigger turkey platter for next year). With a detailed list, you can strategically hit those half-price sales in January and fill in the holes for next year.