With New Year's Eve just around the corner, you'll soon be
thinking about cleaning up after the holidays and getting organized for 2013.
Here are 10 of my favorite storage tips to make putting
away your precious
holiday items faster and easier.
1. Easy ornament storage
It's hard to store
fragile ornaments without breaking them. Here's an easy solution: Use a plastic
storage tub and store each ornament in a separate plastic cup (the 6-oz. party
size works great).
By using cardboard to separate the layers of cups, you can
stack a lot of ornaments in one sturdy tub without any tangling or breaking.
You can reuse the same cups and cardboard year after year.
2. Label your Christmas
trees are assembled in color-coded layers. Assembly can get a little confusing if the colors wear off or the instructions vanish. Try this:
When you disassemble the tree at the end of
the season, do it one level at a time. Once all the branches from one level are
off, duct-tape them together and number each layer with a marker. Next year,
the tree will go together in a snap!
3. Store your
artificial tree in a tube
Many people like the
convenience of an artificial Christmas tree, but storing it can be a pain
because it takes up so much space. Here's an idea: Buy two 8-in.-diameter
concrete form tubes, wrap each layer of the tree in twine and shove half of the
tree layers down each tube. Mark the layer numbers on each tube and slide the
tubes up in your garage rafters for a perfect storage solution!
4. Corral your gift wrap
Propping up rolls of
gift wrap in the corner of a hall closet often means wrinkled, torn or lost
rolls. Here's a way to keep the rolls neatly organized and easy to reach. Make
a wrapping paper "corral" by screwing a small section of wire closet shelving
vertically to the side of a closet wall. Just slide the rolls in
5. Make a ribbon and spool center
Keeping tape, twine
and ribbon spools in a drawer is messy, it wastes a lot of space and it makes
it hard to find things. Here's a better solution:
Screw a paper towel holder to
the window trim and slide rolls of the things you use most often onto the
holder. You'll know right where everything is and you can pull off the amount
you need without the spool of ribbon or twine jumping out of your hand and
rolling across the floor.
6. Hose reel for holiday
house with tons of outside lights is exciting, but storing them can be a
challenge. To keep all the lights from getting tangled and to make it easy to
string them around your yard, roll the light strings onto a portable hose reel
that has wheels and a handle.
7. Make cardboard storage spools for your holiday light strings
Here's a great way to recycle
cardboard and keep your strings of holiday lights from getting tangled when you
store them. Just use strips of cardboard and cut out a slot on each end to make
a "spool" to keep the lights from slipping off.
8. Keep your lights in labeled plastic bags
This has got to be the easiest way
to store strings of holiday lights. Just put each string in a separate plastic
bag and write where the lights go right on the bag. No wrapping or coiling
necessary. It's in the bag!
9. Make holiday light storage stands
Storing holiday light strings
without wrecking them is tough. Here's a great idea: Just screw a dowel to each
end of a wooden base cut to the size of a large plastic bin. Then wrap your
lights around the dowels in a figure eight and place the stand in the bin.
You'll be amazed how many light strings you can wrap around the stands without
them getting tangled or damaged.
10. Make a back-of-the-door hat and mitten organizer
The end of the
holiday season is just the beginning of winter in some parts of the country. Tossing damp or snowy mittens and hats in a plastic bin gets them out of the way, but
they never dry. Get things dry and organized quickly by making this simple
back-of-the-door hat and mitten rack. Just string clothespins on non-rusting
aluminum wire and stretch it between screw eyes on the back of a closet door.
— Elisa Bernick, Associate Editor
I remember my parents damaging their fifth Christmas tree last year after our cat went hyperactive on it. Keeping it in a tube is a perfect solution, and it does not take too much work either. For the safekeeping of ornaments, my parents have stuck to keeping plastic Christmas tree decorations though since the cat loves them too much.
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