A Professional Organizer’s 15 Tips On Storing Holiday Decorations

The holidays are over and decorations must come down. Save yourself time and money next year by properly storing, organizing, and protecting your holiday décor. Here are some simple storage solutions for holiday decoration organization in Chevy Chase, MD:

Artificial tree: Color-code the branches as a guide to putting it up next year. A cheat sheet in the box is a good idea, too. If it’s heavy, consider stowing it on the same floor as it’s used (e.g. adjacent garage, storage room, closet).  Alternatively, invest in a rolling case for easy moving.

Wreath: Place in a plastic box, or in a bag for hanging up, to protect against dust, dirt and bugs. If it’s made with organic materials, poke small holes in the plastic to allow ventilation.

Tangle-free lights: Test each strand before storing, and replace dead bulbs. Label each one indicating length or where it was used. Wrap lights around a spool (other options are cardboard pieces, coffee cans, empty wrapping paper tubes) to prevent tangling.  Store each strand in its own sealed plastic bag.

New lights: Whenever you buy new ones, label the plug with the type and number of bulbs in the strand and where you purchased it.

Garland: Wrap around spools or use substitutes (as with lights).

Ornaments: Try to keep the original packaging. Alternatively, wrap each piece in a re-sealable plastic bag and store in a sturdy, well-padded box. Partitioned wine boxes and egg cartons work well. Keep the fragile items together at the top.

Food-based decorations: Dough ornaments and macaroni crafts might attract pests. Pack them in re-sealable sandwich bags to protect from humidity, and place in a cookie tin to keep bugs and rodents out.

Candles: Store in a climate controlled room (not the garage!) to prevent warping and color fading. They should be put away flat, out of light, and in a fairly cool area. Loose candles in drawers can get damaged. 

Linens: Do your holiday linens end up wrinkled? Use skirt hangers for tablecloths, place mats, and napkins.

Bows: Don’t untie them and no ironing! To ensure the loops don’t crease, place flat inside a shallow cardboard box if you have one, or purchase the right-sized plastic bins.

Gift wrap: Hang gift wrap, ribbons, etc on a pegboard, or stow your wrapping materials in a plastic bin under a bed or in a closet. 

Lawn ornaments:  They take up a lot of space if placed in a box.  Hang your plastic lawn ornaments and other large, oddly shaped decorations on a wall in the basement, garage, or shed. Protect them in plastic bags (the zippered garment holders you get when you buy a new suit work well).

Outdoor lights: Use a hose reel on wheels to wind and store your lights.

“Unpack First” box: You may want the wreath and outdoor lighting first, then maybe the foyer garland and holiday cards, followed by the tree ornaments. What about the tablecloth? Whatever your holiday system is, store items in the order you use them. Having at least an Unpack First box saves you from digging through every single box looking for things you need early in the season.

Instructions for next year: In addition to handy notes stored with decorations, take a photo showing how items are arranged so you know where everything goes next year.

Get Organized and Stay Organized with Professional Organizers in Chevy Chase

Take some time now to organize your holiday decorations and prevent frustration and unnecessary expenditures next year.  Replace those burnt out lights now and take advantage of post holiday sales.   Call Potomac Concierge and our personal organizers in Chevy Chase will find storage solutions that suit you and make sense with your home layout.

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