Decoration accommodation


POSTED: Friday, December 26, 2008

Trimming the Christmas tree provides a sense of holiday cheer, but taking the decorations down is another story altogether. It's like unpacking suitcases after a long vacation—the fun's over, and it's time to return to everyday life.

Not much can be done about the post-holiday letdown, but organizing your holiday decor can make packing up the ornaments, wreaths and lights a whole lot simpler.

Michelle Suzuki, merchant for the new Simply Organized store in Kapolei, offered some tips:

» Use color-coded boxes for storage. Red and green boxes will make your Christmas items easy to find next year.

» Keep all of the holiday decor in one place.

» Make a checklist of the items in each box. This makes things easier to find, especially if you use different themes or color schemes from year to year. Inventory boxes by labeling them with numbers or attaching a list of contents. Labeling then in the order you'll need them to set up next year makes things more efficient. For example, box 1 might include an Advent calendar or other things you need at the beginning of the holiday season.

» Wipe ornaments before storing them to remove dust or debris. If possible, wrap each ornament in tissue before storing it.

» Boxes with dividers work best because ornaments are kept more secure and safe from breakage. Some people opt for decorated fabric-covered containers, but plastic ornament boxes are more practical.

» Storage boxes for lights come with cardboard dividers to wind the Christmas lights around so they won't get tangled. To cut costs, just use pieces of recycled cardboard.


Some Storage Options

Gift-wrap storage: An upright container holds rolls of wrapping paper in the bottom and tape, scissors, tags and ribbons in a smaller top compartment. (Simply Organized or Longs, $24.99). A less elaborate version is also available (Kmart, $11.59), as well as an under-bed container for those with limited space (Longs, 17.99), and ribbon boxes with removable tool tray (Simply Organized, $9.99).

Ornament chests: Hard plastic containers come with cardboard dividers to make it easy to keep ornaments organized. For up to 84 ornaments (Simply Organized, $26.99) or 45 ornaments ($18.99). A two-layer box with dividers holds up to 32 ornaments ($11.59). Fabric-covered ornament boxes are also available (Simply Organized, $27.99 for 30 ornaments; $32.99 for 36).

Light storage: Wing-lid hard plastic boxes come with cardboard reels that hang like file folders. Ideal for lights, garlands or cords. (Simply Organized, $21.99).

Other plastic storage options: Binlike containers (Kmart, $10-to-$20 range) or Rubbermaid's red and green totes (Kmart, $7 to $15). Smaller ornaments could be stored in egg cartons or in plastic compartmentalized jewelry or craft boxes (prices vary; available at discount or craft stores).

Christmas tree bags: Green, tear-resistant polyethylene bags fit trees up to 9 feet tall (Simply Organized, $15.99). A vinyl-backed polyester bag also fits trees up to 9 feet (Simply Organized, $26.99). Both have zippered closures. A rolling storage tree bag makes moving the tree easier (Lowe's, $32.97).

Wreath containers: Choose one that will preserve the shape of your wreath, up to 24 inches wide (Kmart, $14.99; Lowe's, $14.97; Longs, $10.99). Other options are tear-proof plastic wreath bags (Simply Organized, $9.99) or a prettier box made of red and green denier polyester, for wreaths up to 36 inches (Simply Organized, $22.99).

Dinnerware storage: Plate container (Simply Organized, $15.99), cup chest (Simply Organized, $18.99) and salad plate/bowl storage container (Simply Organized, $13.99). Each holds 12 pieces. Plate holders come with 12 felt plate protectors. Cup-storage containers have 12 cardboard dividers. All have solid side panels that fold flat for storage.