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Store Your Holiday Items Properly for Easy Retrieval Each Season

The holiday season should be an enjoyable time of the year, but it can also be stressful. While we all want our homes to be decorated to celebrate the holiday, the aggravation of untangling lights, wrestling yard ornaments and finding that some of our most treasured ornaments have broken over the past year can make it all seem like too much effort. One of the easiest ways to reduce the strain of the holiday season happens after each holiday ends. Take the time to properly store your decorations and other holiday items at the end of the holiday season and next year you may find that the holidays are much more enjoyable.

So, how do you store your holiday and seasonal items for easy retrieval? The first step is to invest in proper storage containers. You may never be truly organized if you pack the items away in whatever cardboard boxes and plastic bags that you can find. Take an inventory of your holiday items and purchase storage containers for everything. The benefit of storing items in containers made for long-term storage is that they provide excellent protection for your valuables.

There are a variety of storage containers that you can purchase that are made specifically for storing holiday decorations. One excellent investment is a plastic storage box for storing ornaments. These boxes are often partitioned into small sections. This allows you to place an ornament in each section without going through the additional step of wrapping the breakable in tissue paper or newsprint. The partitions prevent the ornaments from banging against each other and the plastic box, and it protects the ornaments from being crushed while in storage.

To store your Christmas tree lights, invest in a box made specifically for the job. These plastic boxes have removable inserts that you can wrap around each string of lights. The inserts are then slipped back into the box. The next year you simply remove the lights, one insert at a time, and decorate your tree. Storing a wreath from year to year can be tricky. A quality wreath is expensive, and you want to enjoy it from year to year, but they easily become damaged after one year. A box specifically designed for wreath storage prevents the wreath from being crushed or damaged.

Other holiday items may be more difficult to organize. Candles, stockings, table linens and ceramics all make up an important part of the holiday scene, but without proper care, they may not last year after year. Although these items do not have a specifically designed storage box, you should follow similar procedures as if they have a special storage solution. Use a plastic storage box, not cardboard or a plastic bag. If there is room for the items to move around in the box, then the box is too big. Get a smaller box or fill in the empty spaces with newspaper or tissue paper. All storage containers should have a lid that seals.

Once you have a storage container for all of your holiday items, it is time to store them. Seasonal items should be stored in an out of the way location so that you do not have to move them when you are looking for an item that you use more frequently. Depending on your living arrangements, this could be in an attic, a basement, a garage or a storage building. No matter what the location may be, there are some important things to keep in mind.

Store everything together. Do not store some of your holiday items in the garage and others in the basement. If there is not room for everything in one spot, rearrange. It is better to have all of your Christmas items in one area and all of your Halloween decorations in another if it is necessary to keep items separately. Often people try to divide decorations up by room, but often, when this happens, you forget from year to year what you have, and end up not using all of your decorations.

Store your items off the ground. When you store your items in a plastic container, you should raise your holiday decorations a few inches off the ground. This step is not necessary in the attic, but at ground level, and below, it is a wise precaution. Lay out some pallets, which many stores can provide free of charge, or some blocks of wood, and then set your boxes on top. The two to three inches under the bottom of the box allows air to circulate and prevents moisture from building up. This step is extremely important because moisture can easily damage your decorations and you may not even realize it until the next holiday season. By utilizing these tips, you can safely store your holiday decorations without worrying about any of your items breaking during storage.

Rachel Jackson is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about topics concerning home maintenance and organization. Rachel Jackson writes about seasonal organization issues, such as Christmas ornament storage.

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