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Festive decorations can quickly become a nuisance as the new year approaches, but packing them away isn’t always straightforward without the original packaging on hand. Ornaments, lights and even artificial Christmas trees are all things to consider taking down in January, though experts at The Range have warned against storing them in certain ways. They explained that everyday solutions like cardboard boxes and bin lines are “not the strongest materials” to protect your decorations from damage, and shared the most “effective” alternatives to opt for instead.
How to store Christmas decorations
It can be tempting to pile your festive decor into bin bags to quickly reset your home for the new year, but careless storage could leave you faced with damaged, mouldy or even completely broken items the following year.
This is especially true for delicate items like glass ornaments, but also for string lights, garlands, and table dressings.
A spokesperson for the popular retailer said: “Cardboard boxes and bin liners are not the strongest materials to contain your decorations and delicate baubles and garlands may get broken or jumbled together.
“If you have an heirloom Christmas decoration or luxury glass ornaments, you’ll need to store these individually with plenty of padding.” boxes or ornament chests are the safest alternatives to the original packaging, but you will need padding.
Rather than using old newspapers or shredded paper, a storage box with built-in dividers is the best solution to keep your belongings organised and safe from damage. You can buy collapsable designs made of fabric which allows you to keep them neatly tucked away when not in use.
If you need more room for your tree decorations, the experts at The Range recommended using a “handy bag” with built-in dividers and a double zip function to ensure nothing falls out. You can buy these through the popular retailer either in-store or online.
Lights and garlands
Recycling all those cardboard boxes that arrive in the run-up to Christmas is second nature for many people, however, they are worth saving for easy storage once the festivities come to an end.
The expert at The Range added: “However do consider where you’ll be storing away your lights, garlands and table runners. If it’s the basement, shed or garage then cardboard won’t keep your items moisture free and they can become damp in the cold and wet months if they aren’t kept up high, so plastic is a much better option.”
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They recommended using a piece of cardboard to wrap your lights around, as this “can really help to keep many string lighting separate”.
Do this for all your wires before placing them in a “durable” storage box with a lid. This way, you won’t need to spend hours untangling them again.
The storage experts added: “Using this hack can save you time and it’s especially handy when it comes to unboxing them as you can also write on the cardboard whether the lighting is for outdoor or indoor use, tree or house.”
Delicate string lighting used for your stairway garland or wreath is best stored in a two-litre plastic drinks bottle for safekeeping. Do this by feeding it gently into the lid opening and taping the end to the outside neck of the bottle.
If you prefer a more extravagant Christmas light display in the form of inflatables but are unsure how to store the pieces afterwards, a furniture cover is a “must-have” item.
The Range experts explained that the best kind is one with a PVC or waterproof material to protect against any dampness while keeping it mark-free. Simply cover the statue in the covering and tie it at the foot or head before storing away.
Statues, plaques and table dressings
If you have decorations which don’t fit into uniform spaces, or have taller items like nutcrackers or table decorations, wrapping them up is the safest option.
Do this using bubble wrap and tape before placing them into a clear, slimline, long-height storage box with a lid. Lay all boxes flat to prevent any accidental damage.
Artificial Christmas tree
The experts at The Range said: “Artificial trees are certainly less messy, better for the environment and a worthwhile investment as they can be reused for many years but they do take time to store away correctly.
“There is a tendency to lose patience and stuff them away, however, if you’ve had your tree up for a month, it can actually gather lots of dust and dirt so be sure to brush the branches with a soft brush or use a handheld hoover with the brush attachment to ensure that it’s clean first.”
Taking the time to do this will pay off next year by reducing the number of faux needles that fall off too, so it’s definitely worthwhile. The Range team added that if you have a colour-coded tree where certain branches need to go together, you should make sure to tie the ends up with coloured elastic bands so they are easy to locate next time.
If you really can’t be bothered taking each section down, a genius hack which has been tried and tested by many Britons is to shrink-wrap your whole tree before storing it away. You’ll need an extra pair of hands for this, especially if it’s a big tree so set aside time to do this properly.
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