Storage: A Place To Put Holiday Stuff!
Every year we struggle to find the storage where we put last year’s holiday decorations. You name it – ornaments, garland, candles, wreaths and table decorations – it makes no difference – finding anything always is a challenge. Did we put the lights in the attic or under the floor? Were the wreaths in with the garland or was the garland in the boxes with the lights? It never changes. We tried labeling the boxes once. That was a mistake – three years later nothing was as marked.
Recently, we were flying home from a hardware convention in Chicago. As airplane passengers we were a captive audience. There in the seat pouch was an airline sales catalogue. Why not, there was nothing else to do! Thank goodness for temporary captivity. Suddenly we were in the holiday section and specifically on the pages regarding holiday decoration storage. Oh, what a blessing. There was an ornament box, a wreath box, a wreath bag and even a gigantic bag large enough to hold an artificial tree. That’s when our wheels started turning. How did these differ from our old storage containers? And how could they help? Well, the answer was instantaneous and the pleasure of storing this year’s decorations became an exciting thought.
First, let’s go back a few years when the stuff we stored for the holidays was not organized at all. Every box was a different size and large items like tree-garland and wreaths went into big black trash bags. They were great for keeping the dust off the decorations, but they are flimsy at best and only last a season or so. Every bag and box had to be opened and the contents laid out and sorted before any decorating could begin. Oh, and what wasn’t used had to be put away again.
We finally got an idea that we thought might be the solution to the entire mess. We decided to use hard plastic flip-top containers – all the same size and color. We labeled them according to what was being stored and stacked them neatly where ever we could find room. The next year or two wasn’t too bad, but as time went on the labels on the boxes and the contents therein no longer matched. Talk about confusing. Hey, sometimes you can’t help being in a rush to put away decorations. That’s when it falls apart and we stop paying attention to what goes where.
Back to the airplane catalog – what we discovered was a group of storage products that were decoration specific. Wreath boxes for wreaths – no more black plastic bags, ornament boxes with two levels of divided storage – perfect for ornaments, a gigantic bag for our small artificial tree and tree garland and last but not least a large flat bag for our super gigantic wreath. What a country! We could see where we could continue to use our flip-top plastic boxes for many items, but add a few new separate pieces that would help make things easier to store and find – with the accent on “find later”. Now our garland goes in large zipper storage bags that look duffel-like. Our ornaments all go into red and white ornament boxes that have separators – 2 deep, and hexagonal wreath boxes are superb for protecting our wreaths.
One of the problems we had with wreaths was that they would often get damaged in plastic bags and if we used a box big enough to hold the wreath it took up way too much room. The hex shaped wreath box is sturdy and storage friendly. Oh, by the way, we folded back part of the horizontal center separator in the ornament box so that we had a place for dolls and statues. It works great. The figurines are protected head to toe and we don’t have to use nearly as much tissue to protect them.
Here’s what we ended up with:
- We made H shaped spools out of quarter-inch plywood (hard board also works) for our strings of lights and making sure to mark which string goes where – on the string and the holder. They prevent the lights from becoming tangled and can be custom made to fit both the lights and your favorite container.
- Odds sized items are stored in flip-top hard plastic boxes (we like the clear kind), but labeling will work if you are careful when putting things away.
- All of our small statues, dolls and ornaments go into special ornament storage boxes. The sleeves protect everything beautifully.
- Our large garland and trees go into special zipper bags that won’t wear out every year and they are fitted with grips for easy handling.
- Our wreaths are now securely protected in rigid boxes that are big enough for our wreaths but not so big that they waste precious storage space. This one especially is a real step up from garbage bags. No kidding!
- Our big wreath goes in a special large, square flat bag that has carrying handles that double as hanging straps.
So, we’ve found a few additional ways to make storing our decorations easier and less time consuming. And now things won’t be so difficult to find. In addition, you might also want to consider getting a self storage unit from a self storage facility in your area. In the long run you will save money. We will! And, that’s all there is to it. For more home improvement tips and information visit our web site at www.onthehouse.com. And, good luck!