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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Safely Store Your Ornaments & Holiday Decor

Proper storage of your ornaments and decorations keeps them in perfect condition year after year. Purchase sturdy storage containers and resolve to store your treasures properly this year!


Don't wrap ornaments or decorations in newspaper, printed tissue, or other printed papers. The inks can rub off on the ornaments and ruin them.

Keep glass ornaments away from damp environments, like basements, garages, storage units, or attics. These treasures need to be kept inside to avoid mold or mildew damage.

Avoid using plastic shopping bags for storage as they tend to break down or weaken over time.


Compartmentalized ornament boxes are wonderful and can be found at discount department stores or ordered online.

Specially made containers are great, but you can also use sturdy cardboard boxes and inexpensive plastic bins with lids. It's a good idea to save your original ornament boxes whenever possible, especially for breakable items as they are usually packaged to prevent damage.


Save and organize your gift wrapping materials in a plastic organizer made especially for this purpose. You won't have to buy all new materials next year, and you'll know exactly where your papers and bows are when you need them.
Long rolls of paper can also be stored by tying the rolls together with string or ribbon (don't tape them or use rubber bands that can mark or tear the paper) and lying them flat on a closet shelf. Store gift bags by removing any tissue paper from the bags, fold bags carefully, and store the folded bags in your largest gift bag or in a large department store bag. Hang or place the bag so that it won't be crushed or come into contact with moisture.

Sturdy cardboard inserts (like the ones packed inside all those toy packages) work great for wrapping garlands around to keep them flat and untangled. Layer in paper bags for protection and easy handling next year.

Wrap individual strings of lights around cardboard inserts. Check for broken or burned out lights and replace or mark with a colored twist-tie for replacement next year. Buy replacement bulbs in the after Christmas sales.

You can quickly make cloth bags to store and protect your lights by cutting the legs from a pair of old, worn out jeans and either sew, glue or use fusible web to seal one end. Place lights inside the bag and secure the open end with a large rubber band and by tying a length of string securely around the end. The bags can then be securely hung up in your storage area on a hook or nail. Store smaller strings of lights (for wreathes, or other decorations) in plastic containers marked to identify what the lights are used for.

Store extension cords with lights so you can locate them next year when you need them.

Use acid-free tissue paper to wrap loose ornaments and place in shallow, sturdy cardboard boxes or plastic ornament containers.

Many home/school made ornaments have candy (peppermints, etc.) that can deteriorate, get gooey or sticky, attract pests, and are generally not easily stored. If you want to try to keep them, place each in a Ziploc baggie to protect other items from direct contact.

Cushion ornaments by using lots of tissue between them. I don't recommend Styrofoam peanuts as packing material because they can get wedged into an ornaments tiny openings and cause breakage, and moisture can also cause the material to stick to your ornaments

Avoid overcrowding a box of ornaments or making too many layers.

Use sturdy cardboard boxes to store antique or fragile ornaments rather than airtight plastic containers.

Ornaments with photos, natural materials (pinecones, dog biscuits, macaroni, etc.) should be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and stored in airtight containers to avoid attracting insects. Note that some natural materials may not store well from year to year.

Place small packets of silica gel (available at arts & crafts stores) in storage boxes to avoid mildew.

Wreaths should be wrapped in tissue paper and can be stored in cardboard boxes; avoid stacking wreaths.

Separate out any ornaments or objects in need of minor repairs and set aside to fix before packing them away.

Store collections or like items together so that each collection can be easily put together next year.

Label boxes for easy identity next year.

Use a clear plastic shoebox to organize and store extra gift tags, tape, scissors, small ribbons, trims, ornament hangers, cookie cutters, and other small miscellaneous holiday items.

Ribbons and bows are best stored in a large plastic box so they won't be crushed or exposed to moisture.


A cool, dry area where the temperature remains fairly steady is preferable for storage of your treasured collectibles.

Avoid storing holiday decorations in laundry rooms, garages, outside storage buildings, basements, or attics that are not temperature regulated.

A high closet shelf or indoor under-the-stairs storage area where the boxes can remain undisturbed is ideal, especially for fragile items.

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