Wrapping paper, ornaments, menorahs, lights and wreaths – no matter what holiday you celebrate ‘tis the season for holiday decorations! As we go through the boxes we find old tinsel, half burned candles, broken ornaments and raggedy old tissue paper from last year’s presents that we were going to recycle and use again this year. Wouldn’t it be great to simply open up the storage box and find everything in pristine condition so all we need to do is place it on the mantel or tree? Here are some tips to help make that dream a reality!
Lights can easily become a tangled mess. While we secretly enjoy watching our husbands stomp around the yard in frustration attempting to detangle them, is it really worth the fight to get them to put the lights up in the first place? Let’s keep it simple for them! When you put the lights away this year loosely wind each individual strand of lights or wrap them around a piece of wood or wrapping paper roll and place them in large Ziploc bags for easy storage.
Tree ornaments can be stored in a variety of ways – either in their original boxes (if you still have them) or in a storage bin specifically designed for decorations, like this great low profile storage unit from Rubbermaid. Plastic is another great choice since seasonal items are usually stored in the basement or garage it will keep moisture at bay. Clear bins allow you to see all of the contents making identification for the appropriate holiday simple. Very small ornaments and decorations can be stored in egg cartons – fill the spots and place some tissue paper on top.
Candle holders, menorahs and kinara should be wrapped in tissue paper or bubble wrap. Hardened wax can be easily removed from candle holders by placing the holder in the freezer for 30 minutes until wax has loosened then carefully popping it off with your fingers. Or fill your sink with very hot water and let the candle holder soak until the wax softens, then wipe it off. Leftover candles should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or florescent lights as they are sensitive to light, temperature and moisture.
Keep all of your wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbon and bows, gift cards, scissors and a pen all in one handy spot. An under the bed storage container is perfect for this – especially for those of us with limited storage space. Each time you have an occasion that requires a gift be wrapped you simply pull out the bin, find great paper or a bag and voila! – a beautifully wrapped, Martha-worthy present!
The key to keeping your holiday accoutrements organized is to make sure you only have decorations that you love – purge every year so that each decoration is important to you. So put your feet up with a glass of cheer, enjoy all of the wonderful things the season has to offer and plan how you’re going to put it all away in an orderly fashion!