It’s a brand new year and time to take down those decorations. Here are a few tips for making the process easy and stress free when you go to unpack them next year.
1. Wrapping tree ornaments in tissue paper you have left over after the gifts have been opened, will cushion them from breaking. Then, organize them in plastic containers with lids that can be then stored in larger containers along with your other decorations.
2. Ornamental candles can pass the test of time if handled properly. Avoid wrapping candles in plastic wrap or wax paper as these wraps may melt into the candles if they get warm. Wrap them in cellophane and store them in containers in a temperature controlled area of your home.
3. Store your table decor and other ornamental displays separate from your tree ornaments and mark the containers so they will be easy to identify.
4. Take a piece of heavy cardboard and cut it into strips approximately 10” wide by 12” long. Cut a small slit at each end. Insert one end of your garland or lights into one of the slits. Then wrap your garland or lights around and up the cardboard placing the other end into the other slit. This will avoid a tangled mess later and make it easier to store.
5. If you plan on storing bows, and this goes for bows on wreaths, as well, pump them up with cotton balls or paper towels by placing them inside each bow loop. This will keep your bows from getting flattened when stored.
6. Your wreaths will be as good as new if you store them in a wreath container. But, if that is not an option, then try wrapping them in trash bags and storing them on top of your other containers.
7. If you bought a live tree, planting it in your yard or giving it to someone, as an after Christmas gift, is an ideal way to recycle. If the tree was once alive, dispose it by contacting your sanitation department to find out pick-up dates and times. If you have an artificial tree, take cling wrap and wrap your tree from bottom to top. This will keep everything together and in great condition and you won’t have to reassemble it next year. There is also the option of wrapping your tree with the ornaments and lights still on it, however, keep in mind you will have to stand the tree up when storing as cling wrap isn't a protector against breakage.
8. Recycle your empty gift boxes, bows and wrapping paper. If you want to keep them for next year, flatten empty boxes, put bows in a small box (not a bag or they may end up getting crushed), iron your wrapping paper and tissue, fold neatly, then store all in a container separate from your ornaments.
9. Be sure that when you store your things, plastic containers are the best for preventing damage. Just purchase the right size that will accommodate your decorations, will stack neatly and are easy to move.
Hopefully, these tips will help you organize your decorations so you will enjoy them for years to come.