Packing away Christmas for another year

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Be sure to label where you want the decorations to go next year.

Chances are you are beginning to take down your Christmas decorations to stash them for another year – if you haven’t already.

My mother always said it was unlucky to keep the decorations up beyond the arrival of the New Year, so that means I have today and tomorrow to perform the dreaded task. I left them up until January 6 last year because I was having a party. The year 2008 was not my best, so I figure let’s not tempt fate again.

Here are a few tips, compliments of professional organizer Sarah Aguirre:

How to store Christmas Lights

1. Empty Wrapping Paper Tubes

Cut small slit in each end of the wrapping tube. Thread the end of one set of lights through the slit and wrap the lights along the tube. Thread the other end of the lights through the opposite slit in the tube.

3. Plastic Bags

Wrap each set of lights and put them individually into a plastic bag. Box the plastic bags together.

Christmas lights generally are only meant to be used for no more than 90 days. Chances are if your lights are more than three seasons old, they may need to be replaced next year anyway. Take the initiative now and throw out worn out lights. Shop for replacements at after Christmas discounts, or add lights to the Christmas Decoration list in your Holiday Planning Notebook.

I recommend storing the lights in an easy to reach location. You might just want to string them around the back yard, come Fourth of July!

Storing Christmas Linens

Store Christmas linens in a suitcase to keep away the risk of moisture damage. Or keep your Christmas towels, rugs, blankets, etc. on an unused shelf in your linen or personal closet. You can put one or two lavender scented dryer sheets between the linens to keep away moths and keep them smelling wonderful.

This is not a problem for me since I use the same linens for all occasions.

Storing Christmas Wreaths

Whatever container you use to store your wreaths must be able to preserve it’s shape throughout the year. I often hang mine on a screw inside a rarely used closet.

Storing Christmas Trees

Although the box your artificial tree came in may seem like the perfect one to repack it in for storing, this isn’t the wisest idea for preservation. The cardboard boxes begin to deteriorate making them more prone to insect infestation. Try a commercially available Christmas tree bag or Christmas tree box.

Or do like me, just take the tree, decorations and all, and stash in a closet or cabinet. I have an armoire that has no shelving. I can stuff almost all five of my pencil posts in there. When’s it’s time to decorate, I just pull them out and place them in the windows of my home.

I know, I know. I, too, thought this lazy woman’s system defeats part of the joy of having a Merry Little Christmas – decorating the trees and all. But since my children are grown, and Lucky Dawg and Rebel are not much help, this is the easy way out for me.

Storing Christmas Ornaments

Special ornaments most often benefit from being stored in the boxes that they came in. You can store smaller ornaments in an egg carton. I saw on television yesterday a family using boxes from the liquer store which have those individual compartments. You can stack four or five ornaments in each sleve.

Again, you can use my method and the ornaments are stored along with the tree.

Storing Christmas Candles

Wrap the candles in old socks or knee-high stockings to prevent scratching. Make sure to store the candles away from the heat of the attic or other areas which can melt the candles. I’m more inclined to use votives these days – so I just chunk them and plan to restock next year when I take up candle making.

Storing Christmas Decorations for Reassembling

Before you take down Christmas Decorations for storing, take pictures to remember the way you set up your decorations. Then take everything down in reverse order of the way it was put up. I definitely did this with my dining table decorations. I wouldn’t remember how to get it back in a million years, and it was one of my best.

Remember to put all your Christmas magazines in the bottom of the boxes so you will be able to refer to them next year.

Christmas attire

I’ve never been one to wander around the mall decorated like a Christmas tree complete with blinking lights. In fact, I don’t own a single “Christmasy” piece of clothing. But if you like that sort of thing, you might want to store your Christmas sweaters along with your linens.

4 thoughts on “Packing away Christmas for another year

  1. Hello, Emily,
    Have you seen the book “How Not to Look Old?” Wearing Christmasy clothing definitely puts you in the “older looking” catagory! Actually, my granddaughter, Mackenzie, pointed out several things I was doing that made me look older; aren’t we glad we have the younger generation to tell us what to do!! I’m hoping that one day, she will realize how silly the Ugg boots and short shorts look!

  2. I knew it! If you check out people at the mall, it’s the older women wearing such garb. Down with Christmas sweaters and blinking earrings!

    But I must get that book! What else are you doing wrong? Betcha a dollar I’m doing it too!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Well, wearing tennis shoes with your jeans is another “older woman” thing-I guess you’re supposed to wear heels? And darker lipsticks are a no-no! I wish I could train with you all for your half-marathon-good luck with that!

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