How to Safely Pack Up Your Holiday Decorations

Festooning our homes with all that glitters and glows is a favorite activity for many during the holiday season, as is the tradition of preserving holiday decorations year after year. But ensuring that your cherished ornaments, tableware, figurines, et al stay in good shape year after year requires a commitment to carefully packing them away at the end of the season. Here are some great ways to do so from organization expert Marie Kondo.

Set the stage. Don't take a random approach to packing up holiday items—doing so will likely lead to overlooking items and a haphazard approach to putting them away. Create a designated space, such as your dining room table, and have all the necessary supplies at the ready, including boxes, tissue paper, recycling and trash bags and tape. Be sure to cover your workspace with a protective cloth.

Get the family involved. Decorating your home for the holidays is usually a family affair. Make packing up the decorations a group tradition as well. Turn it into an 'I spy" game for children, enlisting them to spot specific items throughout the house. This will not only make the process more enjoyable, it will teach children the special meaning of your family holiday heirlooms.

Organize and discard. Once you've got your space and your team in place, gather your decorations in an organized fashion with a designated space for each category, such as ornaments, lights, linens and garlands. This is the time to also discard anything that has broken, and create a special spot for any salvageable items in need of repair.

Select the right storage containers. The principles of Kondo's popular KonMari style of organization advises choosing containers that can be stacked in order to minimize storage space. Choose containers that allow you to store your decorations without overstuffing each box. A weatherproof container is best for linens, and a garment bag is the perfect solution for wreaths. Use a special box with divided spaces for storing precious and fragile ornaments, wrapping each in tissue before tucking it into its individual nook.

Taking these steps to pack away your holiday belongings will add meaning to the de-decorating process as well, and make your home fresh and ready to greet the new year.

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