It’s that time of year again. We’ve put up our tree, our wreath, our many [many] lights. The tree is lit, the house is lit, the whole neighborhood is lit. It’s nice to admire our beautiful handiwork from the front yard. It’s nice to come home after work to our beautiful well-lit house. It’s nice to—hold up… Why isn’t the garage door opening? Why isn’t the remote opening the door? Guess the universe wanted you to have a little more time to admire your beautiful decor.
“There's no place like home.”~~~Dorothy-The Wizard of Oz
According to AAA, the time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve will see the highest number of people traveling. Over 93 million people will be making their way to visit loved ones near and far. Unfortunately, this time of year also sees an increase in home break ins. Let's not let that information deter you from leaving your home. A little planning and common sense will ensure your home and your family stay safe during this busy time of year.
Although it may be tempting, don't broadcast your travel plans on social media. You never know who may be following your page. Let's not give any criminal a heads up to your activities. Those pictures of you and all the cousins wearing matching PJ's can wait till you return.
The use of lights on a timer inside the home is an excellent deterrent, as most burglars will look for signs of no one being home.
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.
Before you stash all your trimmings away, take a look at your storage area. Make sure it is clean, free from any potential water damage and not in an area that heat may damage any of your decorations. Stack heavy boxes on the bottom and allow some room to maneuver items with ease. If you have the space, storing items on the floor they are used on can save time and avoid injuries from carrying boxes up and down stairs.
Congrats! You are all set for next year. Reward yourself with a hot chocolate and don't skimp on the marshmallows.