We all enjoy the lights, ornaments and merry decorations that brighten up our homes during the holidays...until it's time to take it all down and store it for next year. Let's help you store those items with ease so next year you won't be wrestling with a ball of lights.
Before you begin, examine your storage materials that you currently have on hand. Make sure boxes still have secure bottoms and handles that are strong. Ensure that you have enough containers in case you have purchased new lights or have received ornaments as gifts. The end of the year is a great time to pick up new containers and bins, but you can easily store your treasures with items you already have on hand.
The key to storing lights is all in the wrapping. Start with a heavy piece of cardboard and slowly wrap each strand around it. Each piece can be then slid into a box for storage. Another idea is to wrap them around a heavy duty hanger. When finished, they can be hung in a spare closet or rack in the attic. If you have extension cords that need to be stored, inserting them into a paper towel tube is a great organizing trick. If you have an extensive outdoor light collection, investing in a storage spool is an option. Spools can hold up to 200 feet of lights and are easy to carry and unwind.
A clever alternative to wrapping each ornament in tissue paper is found by nestling them in a cardboard divider. If you don't want to invest in a pre-made container, you can easily make one by using larger plastic cups with cardboard dividers in a storage bin. Smaller trinkets can be stored in egg cartons or clear shoe boxes. As you put away your ornaments, examine them to make sure they are not broken and make repairs if necessary. Now is also a good time to assess your collection and pare down or donate items you have not used in a while.
Wreathes and garland present an interesting challenge in that there is never a box quite big enough to store them nicely. Think vertically on this one and utilize a garment bag. Attach the wreath or garland to a sturdy hanger and slip it into the bag. DIY with a hanger poked through a garbage bag and cinch it tight at the bottom.
Although they come out of the box with ease, getting your artificial tree back in the box is often a wrestling match. Pinterest user Time with Thea used an old bed-sheet as a way to wrap it up neatly. Once in the sheet, it is secured by tying the ends together. For larger trees a pillow case can come in handy to hold the top portion.