This is the week when I pack the Christmas decorations away (sigh). From years of experience I know that taking my time when putting things away makes next year so much more pleasant. One year, when my children were just toddlers, I took all the items that needed fixing and stuffed them away in a bin. Needless to say, I forgot all about them until the following year — and they didn’t get displayed or repaired until after the holiday. Never again!
Now, as I take the ornaments off of the tree, or take down the sleigh collection, I dust each item carefully and inspect it for any damage that might need repair. For example, this year a few nutcrackers lost parts and a couple of ornaments needed a bit of glue. Once this is done, I can wrap everything and put it away knowing that next year, when I am in a rush with a millions things to prepare for the holidays, unpacking and decorating will be a snap!
I’ve also gotten smarter about storage. As my Christmas collection has grown (and grown!) I’ve found that storage methods can save you a tremendous amount of time and frustration. First, it’s easy to store an artificial tree when you have a tree bag. I used to keep my artificial trees (I have two) in the original boxes which were unwieldy to say the least! The tree bag by Whitmor, makes storing and transporting the tree simple. I found it at Target for only $19.99, plus Target is currently offering free shipping. No need to go out in the cold!
Next, I have several wreaths throughout the house. Until now, I simply stuffed them into garbage bags, stacked them up and hoped for the best. This year, I found the Whitmor wreath bag, as shown, which keeps wreaths looking fresh and uncrushed. Plus, the handle means easy transport. Again, this item is from Target and is a mere $12.99. Definitely worth the investment!
Finally, my other items – from snow globes, to nutcrackers, to ornaments – get wrapped in tissue or bubble wrap and packed away carefully in large plastic tubs. I found these Great Solutions 20-gallon totes, pictured, at The Home Depot for only $4.98 each! I’ve seen them in other stores for more than twice the price, so this one is a steal.
Although I would love to leave my beautiful Christmas decorations and collections up year round, sadly I know they have to go back into the basement. But with these great storage solutions, at least I know when I unpack them, my items will be safe and beautiful next year!
Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and social activist. In addition to The Best Christmas Ever! Susan also writes the fashion blog Susan Said What?!, McNeill Designs’ corporate blog It’s how you play the game! and the official blog for the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!