Seasonal storage is a dilemma for many families. What do you do with all your holiday decorations for the other 11 months of the year? Learn how to get your seasonal storage organized right now so that holiday decorating goes faster and more smoothly next year.
Seasonal storage is something that many of us struggle with from year to year. We spend a lot of money on holiday decorations, and we want to make sure that those items are protected from damage while in storage. Yet at the same time, we all get so busy, and sometimes it's just easier to throw everything in one box or plastic bag, stick it in a closet, and forget about it until next year! Inevitably, this always leads to more time and frustration when "next year" arrives and it's time to decorate again. Save yourself some time in the long run by investing a little time and energy now by learning the top 5 rules of seasonal storage basics
Rule 1: Fix it first Have you ever opened your artificial Christmas tree box or your Christmas tree stand and found that something was broken or a piece was missing when you took it down last year? As soon as you see this, you'll probably remember your good intentions last year of fixing the problem or replacing the missing piece before storing the tree or stand away, but somehow it just didn’t happen. This leads us to Rule number 1: Fix it first! Never store a holiday decoration away until it is in good repair.
Rule 2: Preparation This one kind of goes hand in hand with Rule 1. Before storing any holiday decorations away, you should first make sure they are prepared and ready to go for next season. For example, if you have old worn out strings of lights, throw those out. A set of candles that's burned almost completely out? Toss them, too. If you use any battery powered lights on coffee tables or end tables, take the batteries out and dispose of them properly before storing the light sets away. You'll want new batteries in them next year. All this might take you a little extra time at the end of the holiday season, but it will save you a lot of time at the beginning of the holiday season next year!
Rule 3: Like items together When you're getting ready to organize your seasonal storage, always remember to keep like items together. That is, all your holiday lights should be stored together in one box, all the nativity set figurines in another, and so on. There's nothing more frustrating than having to dig through all your seasonal storage boxes to find the two matching candlesticks that should have been stored together in the first place.
Rule 4: Store it wisely Now that you're ready to store your items away, you need to decide what type of storage container you want to use. Do you want to store in corrugated boxes, plastic bins, or cloth bags? This question is answered in part by your storage budget. If you have more money to spend, you might want to invest in plastic bins or commercially available heavy-duty storage bags. Also keep in mind that some items should be stored in their original packaging. For example, if your 12 piece porcelain nativity set came in a Styrofoam box that is specially molded to hold each piece, then don't throw that away! Breakable items will always do better if stored in their original protective packaging. If the original packaging includes a cardboard box, it might be a good idea to then place the cardboard box inside a heavy-duty storage bag or plastic bin to keep moisture out.
Rule 5: Label, label, label Once you get all your holiday decorations into their respective storage containers, the last and most important step is to label. It is absolutely critical that each storage container be labeled clearly! This will save you an enormous amount of time next year. For example, wouldn't it be nice to know which box contains your Christmas tree stand so you can get it out first and have it ready when your family brings home the live Christmas tree? Make it easy on yourself by creating large labels for each storage container.
The holidays are already stressful enough! Don't make it harder on yourself with a disorganized mess of holiday decorations. With a little time and forethought in how you put away your seasonal storage, you’ll make the holiday decorating process easier on yourself for years to come.