Containing Christmas: How to store all your decorations, wrapping paper and more
Your home was so pretty in the days leading up to Christmas. The mantel, with its holiday village, the tree glowing with colorful lights and treasured ornaments. All those gifts carefully wrapped, with the bows and ribbons adding the final touch.
But just a day or two after Dec. 25, the word “rubble” comes to mind. You’ll notice only a pile of bows, a dried-out tree and you know the neighbors will soon tire of the lights you’ve carefully strung outside the home.
Add to it the bags of half-priced wrapping paper, cards and ribbons that you’ve scored the day after Christmas, and you have all the makings of holiday fatigue. The “bah, humbugs” usually happen after the holidays.
The secret, say organization experts, is to weed through the broken ornaments and the mangled bows and say goodbye. Then find the right organizational tools to help you keep your treasures in good condition, and store them lovingly in a corner of the attic, the basement or a closet.
We spoke with Melanie Graham, organizational expert from The Container Store, who offered several tips to ensure your decorations are protected for years to come. She offered these tips:
Be mindful of where you’re storing items. Wreaths, artificial trees and some ornaments are fine to store in a garage or attic. Choose sturdy plastic boxes that can be stacked or bags you can hang on the wall to protect items against dust, dirt and bugs.
Store delicate items, such as candles, handmade or other valuable ornaments, in a climate-controlled room. Ornaments made with natural materials (such as paper, or kid’s craft projects with dried food, pasta, etc.) should always be kept in airtight containers to keep pests away.
To keep from untangling yards of lights next year, wrap lights and garland securely around spools so they are easy to unwind next year.
Storing items in clear containers enables you to see what’s inside. A container in traditional holiday colors also helps to quickly identify what’s inside.
Wrapping paper is best stored in a closet or under a bed to protect it from dust and the elements. Keep tape and scissors stored with the gift wrap and ribbons and you’ll have everything you need to start wrapping again next year at your fingertips.
We’ve suggested a handful of items that will help you store your treasures safely, and ensure that next year, that organization will pay off:
Each box contains four light cord wraps to keep the strands from tangling. Wing-lid light storage box, $17.99 for small, $21.99 for large, containerstore.com
Keep that artificial wreath looking new with this handy box, which can lie flat, or use the handle and hang it. 30-inch wreath box with clear lid, $26.99, containerstore.com
Roll this handy cart into a corner of your closet, and you’ll have all the paper, ribbons, tags and accessories you need for everything from birthdays to holidays at your fingertips. White elfa mesh gift wrap cart, $189, containerstore.com
This water-resistant, fabric chest will keep those decorations safe. Household Essentials 27-piece ornament chest, $41.99, wayfair.com
Those ribbons and bows are what make packages special, so invest in snap-tight containers to organize everything from tissue paper to tags. Holiday ribbon and bow storage, $23 for a set of three, wayfair.com
Instead of cramming those festive plates and bowls in a box filled with ornaments, tuck them away in this cushioned carrier, where they’ll stay safe. Household Essentials salad plate and bowl lidded storage chest, $27.99, kohls.com
This will come handy year after year. It’s the perfect place to store those rolls of paper, both the leftovers from this year, and the new, half-priced finds you’ve collected after the big day. Honey-Can-Do canvas gift wrap organizer, $39.99, kohls.com