To most people the holidays are an exciting time. Most importantly the decorations are what are exciting. People cover their houses with beautiful lights, tinsel and all the trimmings. Some people transform their entire home into a winter wonderland inside and out! Then the holidays are over in a blink of an eye and organizing and putting everything away can become an overwhelming task. If you are like many people you decorate for every holiday and have a storage unit just to keep all of those seasonal items in one place and safe. Great Idea!
Here are some tips to make it easier to organize everything before you tuck it all away in your self-storage unit for the next year:
Shred Wrapping Paper.
Don’t throw away used gift wrap and tissue paper, run it through the paper shredder and use the fluffy strips as packing filler when you’re putting away your decorations. This is great for those glass ornaments and anything fragile that needs an extra layer of protection.
Label Your Decorations.
If you have a perfect outline on how you’d like to decorate for each specific holiday and don’t want to forget how it all goes for the next year, label each string of lights, segment of garland and groupings for the fireplace mantel or other areas you set decorations with a marker and masking tape as you take it down so you’ll remember which item to hang where and which items go on what piece of furniture. You can also label lights and garland in order using numbers or letters so that you not only put them in the right location, but you put them in the right order to fit perfectly.
No one likes when their fragile ornaments and kick knacks emerge from their boxes chipped, dusty or broken. It’s best to keep the original package that they come in when you buy them. These boxes are designed to fit only those items and will protect them from damage. If you don’t have the original packaging, wrap the item in a re sealable bag then store it in a well-padded box also using bubble wrap, packing paper or your newly shredded gift wrap to cushion your things.
Gather the Right Boxes.
Cardboard liquor and wine boxes can be used for storage standard ornaments and small decorations. They are already segmented to fit glass bottles, so you can use that to your advantage. Eggs cartons make excellent packaging for the tiny items since they are already designed to hold delicate eggs. Then be sure to stuff shredded wrapping paper in all the gaps and holes so nothing moves around when you are stacking your boxes. Keep the fragile boxes on top and the sturdy boxes at the bottom. The more you dig for an item the greater your chance of damaging something. The boxes can then be put inside a plastic storage tote and places in your storage unit.
You can also purchase our Dish Saver and Glass Saver Kits with Boxes to keep your fragile items. These are designed to keep fragile dishes and glasses from breaking during moving and storing, so they will be perfect for your decorations. You can find them in our retail shop located inside our rental office.
Use Re-Sealable Sandwich Bags.
To keep pests away from your homemade dough and macaroni ornaments and crafts, pack all those food-based decorations in a re-sealable bag. Then place the sandwich bags inside a cookie tin to keep odors in and the rodents out. You want those childhood projects and gifts to stay in good shape over the years so that you can enjoy them as your kid grows up and start their own family.
Organize and Label Your Lights.
The most irritating thing I know everyone goes through is getting ready to hang lights and they’re all tangled up. Or not knowing which lightbulb go to what string of lights. Whenever you buy a string of lights, immediately label the plug with the type and number bulbs in the strand and where you purchased it. If you keep the boxes, tape the receipt to them for easier identification. That way any damaged bulbs will be easy to replace.
As for the knots and snarls, take an empty coffee can, cut a slit in the plastic lid, and put the receptacle end of the light cord through it. Wrap the string around the can and put the last light or other end through a second slit in the lid. Then store extra bulbs, fuses and extension cords inside. Keeping your colored lights inside your storage unit is a great idea because the constant darkness and lack of sunshine will keep the bulbs from fading over time.
Pack an “Open First” Box.
When you start placing the boxes into your storage unit pack an “Open First” box for each holiday which will have the decorations you need first during the decorating process. Place all the things that you need first in the box, and put the most important items on top. If you decide to keep next year’s decorations to a minimum, you won’t have to open every box to find what you need.
Label the Boxes and Totes.
If it feels like you can never find anything you are not alone. To prevent that terror, label each box with a few notes of what’s inside. For an even easier identification system, use plastic storage totes with color coded lids such as; green for Christmas, orange for Halloween and so on. For ultimate identification, keep a more detailed content list for each box on your computer that you can print off and place on top of each box. Be sure to update this list as you add and remove items.
Organize Your Storage Unit.
If you decorate for several holidays, you really need to organize your storage unit to reflect when they fall. Pack the winter holidays in the back, then fall in front of that, then summer in front of that and spring in the very front. As each holiday comes and goes, rotate your boxes and totes to put that holiday in the back and move the rest forward. If you continue to do this each holiday, it will be easy to grab the next holiday’s boxes quickly.
As you can see, organization is vital to keeping your holiday decorations free of damage and easy to locate when needed. If you follow these simple tips, you will remove the stressful side of decorating and make the whole process fun and exciting. If you have more tips to share from your experience, please share them in the comments. If you have any questions about organizing your storage unit, simply contact us or ask our friendly property manager and he will be glad to help. And, if you are ready to move those decorations out of your attic and put some order to your life, you can rent a storage unit online now and get started!