Storing Holiday Decorations

Even Santa uses these storage secrets.

Make Holiday Items Easy to Find
If your household celebrates holidays with lots of decorative flair, carefully organizing your Christmas ornaments, Hanukkah menorahs, and other holiday items can save time, as well as wear and tear on treasured heirlooms. You’ll spend fewer hours looking for the decorations and more time enjoying
the holidays.

Pack and store Christmas ornaments and other holiday decorative paraphernalia in a way that will allow you to find them easily every year. Clear containers, for example, will let you see what’s inside so you can quickly find what you need. (This is particularly useful for Christmas lights and other decorations that go up first.)
If you use cardboard boxes, take time to label them, being as specific as possible. Don’t use large boxes, or you’ll have to sift through too many things next year to find that festive holiday centerpiece just before a party or to locate your tree stand the day you bring the tree home. Cover any unboxed items lightly with an old sheet to keep out dust and color-fading light. Decrease your holiday spending with these money-saving tips. 

Handle Breakables With Care
Pack fragile decorations with extra padding so they will last for years to come. Here’s how.

Save the boxes

    • that come with purchased holiday decorations so you’ll have a safe place for them.

If you don’t have the original boxes,

    • buy decoration storage boxes designed with compartments to protect individual items. Wrap each piece carefully before storing. Empty egg cartons also offer safe compartments in which to store smaller breakables. Empty wine or liquor boxes also are compartmentalized, perfect for storing larger ornaments or holiday pieces. Be sure to wrap each piece in plenty of newspaper or tissue paper.

You can also pack breakables

    • in regular cartons, wrapping each one in several layers of white tissue paper. Place crumpled paper on the bottom of each box or container, and put large items in first. Use plenty of crumpled paper between layers and items.

Use small boxes

    • for fragile decorations. Wrap ornaments individually and place in small boxes. Put the small boxes inside larger ones, padding them thoroughly with crumpled paper.

Use bubble wrap

    • for extra protection in storing delicate, antique, or one-of-a-kind decorations.

Candle Storage

    To keep candles from warping, don’t store them in a hot attic or near sources of heat, including ducts, pipes, or appliances that become warm from time to time. In fact, keeping candles cool extends their life. If you chill candles for a few hours before lighting them, they will burn much longer. To prevent candles from fading, store them in closed containers.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest