It is only a few days after Christmas but I bet some of you have already undecked the halls.  For the remainder of you that take it all down on New Year’s Day or later here are a few tips that your future self (the one that will be decorating for the holidays of 2018) will thank you for.

As you pull out those storage containers and boxes they should be empty. If they contain decorations that you are certain you will never use again or that you do not even like, it’s time to donate them. Your style and likes change, it’s OK to pass them on.

If you have strings of lights that do not work, throw them away. Purchase new ones next year or better yet purchase them on clearance now.

Save storage space and throw away, sell, or donate the Christmas tree you plan on replacing next year.

Wrap lights around a piece of cardboard, a pringles can or a plastic hanger for easy storage.

Plastic cups, egg cartons and cut up paper towel rolls work well for storing bulbs and smaller ornaments. Remove the little hooks first so they don’t get tangled up.  Either buy new hooks each year or store them in an envelope or zip-lock bag with the ornaments.

Fragile ornaments wrapped in tissue paper can be stored in cookie and popcorn tins. Save the tissue paper from opening gifts to wrap around ornaments before storing. That way they get fresh, new paper each year.

Special ornaments often benefit from being stored in the boxes that they originally came in.

Never use bubble wrap around ornaments—it can stick to them and ruin them, especially when temperatures are extreme.

The most common way to store holiday decorations is in plastic tubs. On sale at Target now! The sturdy containers keep out moisture, dirt and critters that may make their way into your home. Decide on uniform sizes that fit the space you have so they’ll stack evenly and take up less room.

Label all your containers. You will not remember where you packed what come next November.

Holiday decorations should have their own section in your storage area. This way you will always know where everything is packed.  Investing in a shelving rack is a great way to maximize space.

That’s a wrap. Happy New Year!

By: Nancy Bender