The best time to think about storing your Christmas decorations is at the beginning of the season, not the end. Reduce the hassle of taking down decorations by having all of your storage needs right at hand, beforehand. When you are out buying a new wreath, artificial tree, or candles, pick up a bag or box that fits your new decoration. Selecting storage with the decoration in your hands makes it easy to pick the right size for your needs.
Placing a single white candle in each window of the home is a long-standing tradition in Guilford. Keep candles in their own container, since they are often put up and taken down at a different time than the Christmas tree. Store extension cords, holders, and spare bulbs with the candles to keep them handy from year to year.
Some strings of lights come on spools that can be saved for storing the lights. Did you know that three rolls fit neatly into a five-gallon bucket? Add a cover and you have a sealed, easily portable way to keep your lights ready for the next holiday. You can also buy spools for lights that did not come with good long-term packaging.
Hint: Roll the lights back onto each spool the opposite way that you strung them up, and leave the male end of the plug exposed. This will ensure that you start stringing with the correct end next year, and also allow you to test the lights before you put them up.
Ornaments can be tricky to store because they vary in size, shape, and fragility. Dedicated ornament storage containers exist, but you can also find a variety of good options outside of the Christmas aisle. Large, clear storage totes with latching lids are ideal because they keep dust and moisture out, are stackable, and you can easily see the contents. For small accessories, like wreath and ornament hooks, replacement bulbs and fuses, try a set of plastic storage drawers, a tool box, or a latching storage case with customizable dividers.
Egg cartons make perfect holders for small, fragile ornaments. Wrap enough tissue paper around each ornament to make them roughly egg-size, so they stay in place. Stack several egg cartons in a plastic tote to keep them from getting squished. Another great cardboard holder is a jelly jar box. The dividers create spaces that fit many sizes of round, glass ornaments, wrapped in tissue paper. As with egg cartons, placing several jelly jar boxes into a larger plastic container with a lid.
Don’t forget wrapping paper! You only use the Santa or snowflake wrapping once a year, so protect the paper leftover from this year’s wrapping spree and store it with your holiday decorations. Include a roll of tape, scissors, gift tags, marker or pen, and ribbon so you have everything ready to go next year.