ORGANIZED LIVING: Taking Your Holiday Decorations out of Storage


Closeup of Christmas tree ornaments

We are plunging head-first into the holiday season. If your home gets a full treatment of ornaments and accessories, you likely spend a good deal of time unpacking decorations. We have some tips that can help.

These suggestions apply to any seasonal item that you use annually and then store for the rest of the year. Whether it’s your Christmas tree, your Valentine’s Day reds, your reusable birthday banners, your school homecoming paraphernalia, or some other decoration tied to an annual tradition, you might dread the chore of taking everything out—just to put it away again for another year.

So let’s consider some ways to keep your spirits up while sprucing your home up!

Share the Task

Taking boxes off high shelves or hauling heavy bins can put a damper on your holiday spirit. Don’t risk injury by trying to do everything on your own. Also keep in mind that every time you take something out of storage, you run the risk of damaging it. Be sure to enlist family or friends to help lift and carry, especially if you need to navigate a ladder or manage bulky, unwieldy items. Many hands make light work!

Load Heavy Items First

If you store your decorations in an off-site storage facility, you’ll obviously need to transport them to your home. Keep this tip in mind: Always push the big, bulky items toward the front of your trunk and the small or fragile things at the back.

When you hit the brakes during your drive home, momentum forces everything forward. If you put large or dense items at the back, you risk crushing your smaller breakable items at the front. (Alternatively, place very fragile items on the floor of the front seat, well protected by bubble wrap or blankets.)

Remember the Sparkles

Whatever the reason, holidays seem to bring out the sparkle… in the form of glitter that always seems to find its way everywhere else. Cover your trunk or vehicle cargo space with an old sheet or a few towels to prevent the spread.

It’s OK to “Recycle”

If something is broken, just get rid of it, on the spot. No sense in hanging onto those three sets of twinkle lights that keep shorting out. And your kids will forgive you for tossing a Kindergarten popsicle-stick snowflake that cracked in half.

One at a Time

If you have the time (and didn’t wait until the night before you’re hosting a dinner), break up your decorating into manageable sessions. (This is a good idea even if you’re not working with your short-attention-span 10-year-old).

Your decorations likely don’t fit in one gigantic box, so decorate from one box at a time. And before moving on to the next box, put the empty containers back into the box. This lets you stop whenever you like while keeping your clutter to a minimum.

Make it Fun

Most importantly, we all want this to be a fun time. With all the work that goes into decorating, you might see it as a chore. Try to add elements of fun, like holiday music, festive (yet easy!) snacks, and scented candles.