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10 Easy Holiday Storage Tips

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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.

 

Storing artificial Christmas trees
2. Label the layers of your artificial tree.

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 tree layers

Artificial 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:

Storing artificial Christmas trees in tubes
3. Save storage space by storing an artificial tree in a concrete form tube.

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

Storing gift wrap with wire closet shelving
4. Organize rolls of gift wrap with a small section of wire shelving.
and out of the corral-they won't tumble over or get lost behind the coats.

 

 

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 lights

Decorating your 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.

Storing holiday lights on a hose reel
6. A portable hose reel keeps long strands of holiday lights neat and organized.

 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. 


Build stands to store holiday lights
7. Build a simple wooden stand to organize multiple strands of holiday lights.

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

 

 

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  • Comments
    • by posted on

      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.

    • by posted on

      Wow, your storage tips are really amazing! Everything looks so neat and tidy, fit for a store display for people to view and browse. For most people (or is it just me?) the holiday ornaments and decorations often get dumped into the garage where everything will eventually be disposed off because of their poor conditions. Therefore, it is important to store them properly if you wish to use them again the following more years to come.

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