Christmas 2019 is another magical memory. Watching your kids fall asleep, face down, on top of their gifts while your relatives argue about everything from politics to football as you cook dinner for 37 people will soon be past history. Before you have time to say, “could someone unglue yourself from a chair and help me in the kitchen,” you’ll be forced to move on to the time-honored tradition of storing the decorations.
Nobody enjoys this task. It’s tedious and lonely because no one wants to help. If you do coerce family members into helping, they suddenly remember a previous engagement or a chronic medical condition. Get used to it; it’s not going to change. Ask Alexa to play “the happiest songs for dismantling Christmas decor,” and get to it.
Before you start packing your decorations into either the very expensive storage bags from Target or Wayfair or the leftover egg cartons and disposable coffee cups from your garbage, you need to think about where you’re going to store the packed boxes. If you’re anything like me, the ornaments and decorations seem to multiply while your space seems to shrink. You need a solution and you need it before the Christmas ornaments find a new home in your garage and the cars are stuck out in the driveway all year.
What you need is a self-storage unit, preferably a convenient, secure climate-controlled storage unit. Here at All Purpose Storage, these units are available in a variety of sizes that are suitable for large or small Christmas trees and all your other seasonal items. You can add pegboard to the walls for hanging your wreaths and garlands and shelving for plastic ornament boxes and Christmas linens. With climate-controlled storage, you won’t find a pool of hardened wax that used to be a candle or a moldy piece of fabric that was once an antique tree skirt.
Get Your Decorations Ready for Their New Home
Take Pictures of Your Decorations
Did you ever begin your Christmas decorating, suddenly realizing that you can’t remember which decorations you used on the mantel or which centerpiece you used on the dining room table? Before you take down those decorations for storage, take pictures for future reference. Mobile devices make it so easy to take photos. Add a few selfies before you store them on your phone or your computer.
Be Careful with the Christmas Ornaments
In many families, Christmas ornaments are irreplaceable treasures. They represent life events, travel, and tradition. Many were created with little hands out of construction paper, glue and glitter. Some are given as special gifts. Fortunately, you can find endless options in boxes and containers made specifically to protect fragile ornaments. They’re available in Wayfair, Home Depot, and Target, just to name a few. Remember to leave the hangers on the ornaments, and store a few extra boxes of them for any new ornaments that you get next Christmas.
Keep Your Christmas Tree Looking New
Even though artificial trees are quite durable, storing your tree in its original box is not the best idea. With each passing year, the box will deteriorate, making it prone to insect (and deranged squirrel) infestation, and the tree will not look as nice if it has to be jammed into the box and reshaped every year. There are several different tree storage container options that will protect your tree and keep it in great shape. Climate-controlled storage is perfect for keeping your tree in pristine condition. This is especially important if you have a frosted, flocked or white tree; they don’t do well in extreme temperatures.
Maintain your Wreaths and Garlands
As with all your other Christmas paraphernalia, there are numerous options for wreath and garland storage. Look for sturdy containers that will preserve the shape of these items and protect any decorative bows and ornaments. They can also be hung from hooks on a pegboard in your storage unit. For extra protection, you can cover them with a lightweight dry cleaning bag.
Keep Your Christmas Lights Untangled
Clark Griswold should not be your “go to” example for Christmas light storage or design. Think “organization.” The first thing you need to do is to dispose of any lights that are damaged or not working properly. Then, you need to avoid the tangled mess of previous years by wrapping your lights around storage reels. When you’re finished organizing the lights, place them in a large plastic storage bin along with the necessary extension cords. Don’t forget to take pictures as a guide to next year’s light design.
Keep Your Christmas Linens Crisp and New Looking
Be sure that your Christmas table linens, bed linens, and towels are clean prior to storage. Stains can oxidize over time and be impossible to remove. Don’t wrap linens in tissue, newsprint, or cardboard as these materials can release gases that will turn your fabric yellow. Plastic and hangars can also damage the fabric. If you have the space, you can store these items on an extra shelf in your linen closet. A better option is a suitcase that you no longer use in your storage unit. Keep in mind that these items should be stored in a climate-controlled environment to maintain their beauty and prevent further damage.
Candles Require Special Care
Wrap candles in old socks or cellophane to prevent scratching and color transfer. Do not use plastic wrap or wax paper as they can stick to your candles. After you finish wrapping, store them in a box or crate, even in your ornament storage boxes.Be sure that they are in a climate-controlled area in your home or storage unit. Unless, of course, you want melted, misshapen globs of wax.