TOP TIPS FOR STORING CHRISTMAS DECOR
As Christmas draws to an end, it is all too easy to take decorations down, shove them into various bags and secrete them in attics, garages, under beds, and even in random places where space can be found, (I am guilty of the last one, for years my faux tree has been stored in an airing cupboard).
This is all very well until 11 months later, when you need to get things out and find them twisted, smashed, crumpled or just gone! Fairy lights are particularly good at getting lost in our house, sometimes not turning up for a couple of years by which time replacements have been bought and then there are strings of them lying around everywhere.
So this year I am have a New Year resolution; packing away Christmas efficiently.
Delicate glass baubles can be stored in these great Ikea Tjena boxes that come with separate inserts. Less delicate baubles can be bagged up in clear food storage zip lock bags, so you can easily see what you have to hand. I then pile these bags into the larger Tjena boxes, and mark up what is in them on the tag. These can be stored anywhere, and look quite smart which is always a bonus. But any sort of sturdy box can be used, and is you don’t have inserts available you can either make then from card easily or just wrap delicate items in tissue or newspaper.
A simple way to store lights is to cut rectangles of card and wrap the lights around them, starting with the end of the lights furthest away from the plug. These then keep the lights flat, and easy to store in one clearly labelled box. I also write on the cardboard so I know the colour of the lights; warm white, cool white etc, as I find that the new LED lights are hard to judge on their colour when turned off.
I have a load of faux garlands, some of pine cones and fir, some of plain fir and others of red berries. They are all long, and can get into a real tangle if not controlled when packing them away. I start by taking a garland and folding it over and over length ways until it forms a ‘neatish’ bunch. Then take a piece of A4 paper, fold it length-ways and wrap it around the centre of the garland bunch. Staple it into place on itself, and it holds the garland securely, and makes packing it away much easier.
I found online some great wreath storage bags, with inbuilt handles. These are quite deep and can take 3-4 wreaths each. Wrap them in tissue paper first if they are delicate and then simply pop inside. As they have handles they can be hung on walls or inside attics and stay dust free ready for the next use. This one is only £1.99 from Sue Ryder.
Faux Christmas Trees
Depending on the tree – as some come in sturdy reusable cases, and these are ideal to re-use, but I find that they are bit like tents – fitting the tree back into the box is never as easy as getting it out from the packaging! I now use a sturdy Christmas Tree Storage Bag, again with a handle like the Wreath Storage bags, so it can be stored dust free in the attic or garage, and hung up if needed. These are not expensive, and also far easier to handle than a large box (such as the one which took up valuable space in the airing cupboard up until now). Available at good garden centers or online for £6-8.
Now that I have stuck to the above principles, I have a much more organised collection, all ready for storing dust free and unpacking next December.