Who doesn’t love Christmas decorations? Whether you go minimalist and discreet or full-on bling, we all welcome a little Christmas twinkle.
The trouble is, all those pretty (and delicate) decorative items tend to get tangled, broken or lost during the months they’re lying idle. Plus, they can take up an alarming amount of space.
We’ve got some sparkling ideas to help you keep Christmas neatly packaged up and ready to spring into action year after year, whether you want to keep everything at home or seek out alternative self storage options. In future, you’ll only replace the sparkles when you want to instead of when you find crushed baubles or lights that won’t come on.
Garlands and Bunting
Quick to tangle and slow to straighten, Christmas garlands look wonderful wherever they’re hung and make it so easy to add cheer all around the house.
Keep them at their best through the year by storing them, neatly rolled or folded, in individual zipped food bags. Alternatively, stow soft garlands such as tinsel or fabric, in plastic storage tubs. They’ll stay clean and dust-free, and you can easily see where each garland is.
Garlands of beads can be dropped into plastic cordial or squash bottles where they’ll sit neatly on a shelf, side by side.
Artificial trees can be real space-hogging dust collectors. If you struggle to get yours back in its original box, try investing in a Christmas tree bag or a large tub designed for tree storage. If you get one that’s a bit larger than you need for the tree itself, you’ll have room for some tree decorations too.
Maybe you buy a new wreath each year, but if you’ve got a favourite that you like to use every year, you’ll want to save it from getting crushed and keep it dust-free while it’s in storage through the year.
- Install a wall bracket to hold wreaths, so they’re not lying flat. You can cover them lightly with fabric or plastic to help keep the dust off.
- Pop wreaths into individual bin bags that have handles. Tie up the handles to close the bag, hang the bag on a hook or bracket.
- Put smaller wreaths into flatter storage tubs so you can stack them without crushing.
Christmas tree lights
Tangled up lights are a constant, not very funny, Christmas joke. Trying to detangle fairy lights can really make your blood boil.
Avoid the problem by wrapping the string around a rectangle of sturdy cardboard. A piece cut from the side of a strong box is ideal. Start from the plug and wrap methodically, taking care to lay the wire flat where possible. You can secure the end with a little low-tack tape, or just tuck it in.
Make sure to leave the plug hanging a little, so it’s easy to plug in and test the lights before you drape them around your tree.
Baubles and other hanging decorations
Christmas tree baubles can accumulate a surprising amount of sentimental value over the years. From ornaments the children made when they were little, to cherished vintage items saved from your own childhood, these little treasures deserve some special treatment.
Devising your own storage works well, and you can customise it to fit your individual baubles perfectly.
- Cut strips of card to match the size of your tub, then cut slits along the length of the strips so you can slot them together in a lattice inside the tub. Place baubles in the square slots created.
- Stand plastic cups inside the tub, and place baubles inside the cups.
- Wrap fragile baubles in tissue paper before putting them in the tub.
- Create additional layers in a deep tub by placing a sheet of cardboard over the first layer, then adding more baubles on top.
Finding space for everything
Packing up is one thing: finding a safe spot at home is something else. Since these things won’t be used again for another year after you’ve packed them away, a good solution is self-storage.
With a storage room, you don’t even have to dismantle and pack up artificial Christmas trees that come in sections. You can put in some free-standing shelves to hold tubs of decorations, along with clothes rails to hang garlands, wreaths, and lights.
If you have a big collection of outdoor decorations, a self storage room will solve storage issues. And if you have just a few interior items, large lockers are available too, so you never need to rent more space than you need.
Replacing broken or damaged Christmas decorations can be an expensive business, and it’s far more rewarding to spend that money on a few extra gifts or festive food and drink.
Spending a bit of time to store things away carefully makes getting ready for Christmas next year much easier.