30 December 2021
It seemed so much fun a few weeks ago to start decorating for the holidays. Now you look around the room and see so much work to store it away again. Here are some ideas you might consider as you start taking things down. There are some fine products around that you can purchase but there are also these hacks that you may want to try.
Because styrofoam egg cartons are not recyclable, so they usually just go in the trash. Stockpile a few because they are great for storing small round or sort of round ornaments. For something a bit larger think about using those cardboard cup holders and barista provides. Then they can go into their own bin. The egg cartons especially are stackable and you can add layers of bubble wrap for extra protection.
Consider storing all the same color together.
Use wire hangers. Bend the bottom of the wire around the wreath to help them keep shape. If the wreath has its own loop to hang on a door, you can put that around the hook. Add a second wreath so they are back to back. Cover it all up with a dry cleaning bag. Tie the bottom of the bag and hang in a closet or on the basement rafters. You will be able to see what it is and it will be mostly dust free when you take it out next year.
Shrink wrap your tree. There are tutorials on the web that will show you how to do it. In fact, you can even leave the lights intact. It will take up less vertical space and next year you just fluff out the limbs again.
If you insist on disassembling it, be sure to mark or color code the branches and their respective holes to make it easier to put Humpty Dumpty up next year.
If you bought a tree from a lot, instead of placing it at the curb, here are some other options.
- Place it in the corner of your deck and spread birdseed nearby or tie it to a deciduous tree or a post close to your bird feeder. This will give the birds an extra space to keep warm during the winter nights and as an escape from a predator.
- If you have permission and access to a pond, sink the tree by tying it to a cinder block using a short, stout rope. This will act like a coral reef. The branches will allow plants to grow and provide housing for minnows or other small fish. Larger fish will like the shade during the summer heat.
- Clip the branches to provide extra insulation around semi-hardy perennials or any trees or shrubs you planted in the fall.
- Let the dry dry out and cut it for firewood. Conifers will spark and pop more than hardwoods, so keep a watchful eye.
If you didn’t invest in a store-bought reel, you can use a large coffee can, washed out of course. Slit a hole in the plastic lid to insert the cord and then wrap around the can itself. You can also wrap them around some sturdy cardboard or around a paper towel tube. If not all of them were used on the tree, be sure to mark where you displayed them.
Extra wrapping paper stores nicely in a garment bag. Stockings, table runners, tree skirts, and the like can fit into resealable plastic bags. Strings of beads can fit into an empty water bottle. Taper candles wrapped in tissue paper fit nicely into a cardboard paper towel tube.