10 Tips for Packing & Storing Holiday Décor

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The final holiday meal has been served and all the gifts have been unwrapped; the last thing you’re probably thinking about as the festivities wind down is the next holiday season. However, taking advantage of a few savvy packing tips at the end of this holiday season can save you money, reduce clutter and make next year’s decorating a breeze. Smart packing and storage now can also prevent future headaches if you’re planning a move before the next holiday season. Whether you’re planning to deck new halls next year or just trying to keep the lights untangled between seasons, these storage and packing tips will make this year and next a little more organized and merry.

1. Before Packing, Consider Purging

Do you have decorations that didn’t get unpacked and hung up this year? Have some items become damaged or faded over time? There’s no sense in packing and possibly moving holiday décor you’re no longer using. Toss them now and take advantage of end-of-season sales to replace your favorite items.

2. Label Decorations As You Dismantle

Use masking tape and a marker to label each string of lights or garland. Note the length, color of lights, and where in your home it gets hung. You’ll save time decorating next year, especially if you tend to decorate the exact same way from season to season.

3. Untangle The Lights

Save time and money next year by preventing the ball of tangled wires and broken bulbs that seem to plague each holiday season. Cut a slit in the plastic lid of an empty coffee can and put the plug of your light cord through the slit. Wrap the string around the can, taping the other end to the bottom of the can to prevent unwinding. You can store any extra bulbs or bulb testers inside the can. Next year you can plug the string in before unwinding, making it easy to spot any broken or burned-out bulbs.

4. Reuse The Boxes Your Decorations Came In

Fragile ornaments, oddly shaped lawn decorations and holiday wreaths are easier to store using their original packaging. Try to make a point to reuse not only the box, but any additional Styrofoam or plastic that might have provided extra padding for fragile items. If you can’t reuse (or find) the original containers, sandwich bags and egg cartons make excellent storage boxes for small ornaments. Partitioned cardboard wine boxes work well for storing larger ornaments and decorations.

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5. Pack Last Things First

Pack the items you tend to need early in the season in a box labeled “open first”; store this box on top of any other boxes so it’s easiest to reach next year. If you move in the coming year, you may find it’s easier to stick with the basics as you adjust to holidays in a new place. Having a clearly labeled “open first” box means you won’t have to sort through all of your moving boxes to add a quick touch of holiday spirit to your home.

6. Pick The Right Storage Containers

Clear, plastic storage containers are usually sturdy enough to provide the protection you need and also let you see what is stored in each box, making unpacking easier the next year. Use color-coded lids to help you easily distinguish which holiday’s decorations are held in each box (green for Christmas and orange for Halloween, for example). It may be tempting to purchase the least expensive storage containers available, but investing in quality containers that have tightly sealed lids could save you the cost of replacing damaged decorations.

7. Label All Containers

Even if you’re using clear containers, it’s a good idea to put labels on each box. Tape packing lists onto each box so you know which items are in each container; you’ll avoid the hassle of digging through multiple boxes to find a specific decoration next year. These packing lists can also be used to help you figure out which items need to be purchased between seasons.

8. Store Boxes High And Dry

Plastic storage containers with tight seals are a great defense against moisture and pets. You should also try to store your boxes on shelves instead of on the floor. For added protection from moisture, drop in a few silica packets, which can be found in new shoe boxes.

9. Pack It All Away

Most people remember to take down the lights and put away the tree ornaments, but what about the cookie cutters and holiday linens that only get used once a year? Make room in your home and have an easier time finding these items next year by packing these items in clearly labeled, color-coded storage bins just as you do the rest of your holiday trimmings.

10. Keep Everything Together

Store all of your carefully packed and labeled boxes together; you don’t want to spend time next year hunting for that one box you put at the top of a closet or under a bed. Keeping all of your holiday decorations stored in the same place will also make moving easier if necessary in the new year.

This article was written by Britt Reints for MyMove.com, an online resource for moving information, products and coupons.

Last Updated: June 12, 2012
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