Christmas decorations are great for adding holiday cheer to your home, but storing them between Christmases can be a real headache. Use these tips and tricks to keep your lights, decorations, Christmas linen and gift-wrapping supplies organised and out of the way.
Divide and conquer
Once you’ve taken your decorations down, start by grouping them into categories. Divide them into outdoor, indoor, table décor, tree ornaments, and holiday cards, and find appropriate storage containers for each group.
Make sure that you label and colour code containers for each category, so that you can quickly and easily locate specific decorations for next Christmas.
Keep it clean
Before you store any Christmas decorations or décor, make sure that each item is clean. This is especially important for outdoor decorations, which collect dirt and other debris over the course of the festive season.
It is also important to wash and dry fabric decorations and décor thoroughly before storing to protect them from dirt and moisture damage.
Avoid cardboard containers
Where possible, avoid storing your Christmas decorations in cardboard, as it deteriorates over time, is prone to insect infestation, and absorbs moisture (which can lead to mould and mildew growth).
Rather choose plastic storage boxes, suitcases, or sturdy storage bags that can be sealed properly to prevent moisture and insects from damaging your decorations.
How to store...
Trees and large decorations
Store larger items, such as Christmas trees, nativity scenes and wreaths, in storage bags or suitcases. Although the original box may seem like the perfect storage container for these items, remember that cardboard is prone to deterioration and insect infestation.
So rather store them in a sturdy suitcase or specialised storage container that can be sealed tightly. Wrap any delicate items in a few layers of newspaper, tissue paper or in bubble-wrap before putting them into a storage bag or suitcase.
Remember to always place heavier items at the bottom and the most fragile items on top, and make sure that you do not over-fill the container.
Before storing your holiday tablecloths, napkins and other linens make sure that you have washed and dried them thoroughly before, as food residue and residual moisture can wreak havoc on fabric items while in storage.
Keep your linens in a suitcase to protect them from insects, mould, mildew and moisture damage, and find a storage space for the suitcase that is dry, cool and not subject to temperature fluctuations. Never store linens in a garage, attic or any other place that isn't climate-controlled.
Wrap fragile ornaments in bubble-wrap, tissue paper or layers of newspaper before storing. Old Tupperware and food containers, such as ice-cream and margarine tubs, are great for organising and storing breakable items – just make sure that the container is free of food residue before you use it to store decorations!
Strings of lights
Before you store your Christmas lights, remove any faulty or dead bulbs. Then keep the lights untangled by wrapping individual strings around a spool, clothing hanger, or a strip of cardboard, or place them in resealable freezer bags.
The best storage containers for wrapping paper, gift bags, cards and ribbons are those that can be packed away discreetly until next Christmas. A linen hamper or plastic bin works well as a storage container for rolls of wrapping paper, and magazine holders work well for keeping cards and tissue paper intact.
Keep ribbons, gift tags and other small items in a tool or tackle box, or in an over-the-door rack with compartments.
Short on storage space?
If you don’t have an appropriate space to store your Christmas decorations, or simply want to keep them safe and out of the way until next year, consider storing them with XtraSpace.