TIPS FOR ORGANISING AND STORING YOUR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
When Christmas is over, we have the not-so-fun task of having to pack everything away again.
If getting out your Christmas things this year, felt anything but organised and enjoyable (and you had no idea what was lurking in those boxes) spend a little extra time this year getting organised for next.
I know it might seem like something that really isn't a priority after all the chaos of Christmas - but trust me - you'll be so grateful that you did it next year.
I have found that the more organised I am putting my Christmas decor away, the quicker and easier it is to get it all out again.
Rather than just chucking everything randomly into unlabelled boxes, here are a few tips for packing and organising your Christmas decorations neatly.
STEP ONE: GATHER ALL OF YOUR DECORATIONS TOGETHER
I begin by gathering EVERYTHING Christmas related from around the house into one area - the decorations, Christmas plates, your Christmas jumpers, spare Christmas cards and wrap...
Get back out your storage boxes. Make sure that they are all empty - if there is stuff in them that you didn't use this year, get that out as well and add back in with the rest of your Christmas stuff. It's good to have a fresh start, and it makes it so much easier to see everything that you have.
Step Two: ORGANISE - SORT ITEMS BY TYPE
Spreading out, sort everything into groups and piles of similar items. All tree ornaments in one area, wreaths in another, kitchenware, cards and wrap and so on.
Once you have your main category piles, you can further subcategorise by colour or type. If you decorate more than one tree, group each trees decorations together.
Step Three: DECLUTTER AND SIMPLIFY
After everything has been laid out, start weeding out the things that are broken, missing pieces, out of date, haven't been used in a while or that just no longer make you smile.
Donate what you can, and recycle (or bin if you have to) the rest. It's a waste of time and space to store things that are not going to get used again.
I will sometimes re-use old smaller decorations for wrapping gifts when I no longer want to use them on my tree, so I'll move them to my gift wrap pile ready to use next year.
Step Four: STORE AND CONTAIN
Once all the items have been decluttered and organised, it's so much easier to start packing away neatly and safely. We don't want anything to get ruined. Christmas decorations are not necessarily cheap and can often hold a lot of sentimental value.
Plastic Storage Boxes.
I think plastic storage boxes work best and are worth investing in for the long term. My favourites are from The Really Useful Company (pictured below). They hold a lot but aren't too heavy to carry. They are sturdy, stackable and the lids clip in place. Definitely worth investing in if you can afford to. (They also make boxes specially designed to store rolls of wrapping paper).
Note: If you are buying new boxes, make sure that you choose a size that will fit through your loft hatch if that is where you are going to be storing them!
Make sure that you pack your lights in an organised manner (rather than just shoving them into a box) to prevent them from being broken or getting tangled. Wrap them around a kitchen roll tube, thick pieces of cardboard or even a coat hanger before placing in your storage box.
Glass Baubles and Fragile Ornaments.
For my most favourite and fragile ornaments, I have a box specially designed for Christmas baubles that have individual slots for each decoration.
They are great, but they can get quite expensive. You can make your own dividers for your storage boxes using cardboard strips, toilet roll tubes, plastic cups, shoe boxes, or use egg cartons to store smaller baubles.
Try and pack oversized and fragile decorations back into their original box, as these are likely to come with inserts and packing materials to protect, and keep them safe while in storage.
For the less fragile, shatter-resistant items - such as plastic baubles and garlands - I sort by colour/type and then store them in clear zip-lock bags before placing in a storage box. (Make sure that you only do this with plastic ones. Glass ones will break if you store them this way!)
TIP: If you have any of those Silica packets that come in shoeboxes, place them in your Christmas boxes to help protect the contents from moisture and mould - especially if you are storing your boxes in the garage.
Artificial Trees and Wreaths.
Trying to pack your artificial tree back into its original box can be frustrating and sometimes seemingly impossible! If you can't get it back in, or the box takes up too much space. You can wrap your tree in strong bin liners and tie with a ribbon, or 'mummify' it using an old bedsheet.
Wreaths are best stored hung up, so place each one over a coat hanger and use a transparent clothing protector or bin bag to keep them dust-free.
Step Five: LABEL EVERYTHING
Clearly label all of your storage boxes and containers - even if the boxes are clear! Making sure that the label is visible when the boxes are stacked.
Step Six: ALLOCATE A HOME
Try and keep all of your Christmas items together in one location, so that they are easily accessible for next year.
It is such a calming feeling to know exactly what you have, and next year you will feel more in control and less likely to rush out and buy more Christmas stuff.
What are your favourite storage hacks for Christmas decorations? Let me know below if you have any that I can pinch!