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Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,734
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage

Some may be aware that at pack up time in January of this year, I decided to try a new way of storing my holiday decor. I have antique trunks, ottomans or storage benches or other similar things in each room that I decorate. They are just a part of the 'normal' decor, and in the past housed various things from throws to magazines etc.

 

I decided to save steps up and down stairs, I would try storing all or most of each room's decor in the room it is displayed in. For me, this is the dining room, the living room and the family room. 

 

I had hoped it would save my knees, and save a bunch of time. And I'm here with my results and reflections on how it went.

 

First, it is definitely a work in progress. It was indeed wonderful to open those vessels and have what I needed to set up vignettes much more quickly than in the past. It was wonderful to make such few trips to an upstairs closet or the basement. And I wrapped almost nothing, but simply laid bubble wrap or old towels between layers in each vessel.

 

What I have gleaned is that this really only works if you have specific places for things, and always keep them in that room/area. If you are constantly changing and mixing things up, this is less effective than I had planned. For myself, I had an entire curio to decorate inside that I hadn't done in years past, so there was some maneuvering of some things from where I used them before. 

 

Overall, I think that this year's pack up will be more complete (I found things that I thought were in a specific room, either upstairs or in the basement, like garlands and candle rings and some pine branches, instead of with the decor for that room. I will try to get those things stored in the individual rooms, but I'm not sure all of it can be.

 

I've waited so long to post the results, because after the decor was done, I went to the Christmas closet upstairs that was still full, and reduced it by about 25%. There were some things that weren't Christmas, and needed to be moved on (older decor I haven't used in years, and it is GONE) and some odds and ends of Christmas that I just won't use anymore. Two big boxes ready to donate. I'm hoping to scale it back a bit more as I do the pack up.

 

So, from my perspective, this had it's successes, and I have a few ideas on how to improve it for next year. What I have to come to grips with, is that if I want to keep things pretty much the same from year to year, this is pretty easy and effective. If I want to mix things up, and create new displays each year, this isn't as quick as I had hoped. Not sure where I will fall with this. I want to make it easier and just do the same, but my creativity gets going and I want to make new things. 

 

Oh, and I'm noticing my Christmas closet (which until about two years ago, was all the decor I had....man has that exploded) is probably 25% ornaments. I have a number of Thomas Pacconi sets in the wooden boxes (five sets I believe, and they were gifted to me) as well as so many ornaments accumulated through the years. They are probably the main thing preventing me from having a closet I can live with during the off season. Considering thinning those out, but that will be hard.

 

So if anyone was thinking this might work for them, I'd say if you have the storage vessels in each room that you can spare the space in, if your decor is pretty much 'set' and the same things stay in the same places (or rooms) you're set. If you like to mix it up, it still was way less up and down steps with boxes etc. 

 

Glad I tried it, found some success with it, and will make improvements this January......

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,830
Registered: ‎07-28-2012

Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage

@mominohio, thanks for reviewing your "new" holiday storage system. While I would love to not have to make those up and down the stairs trips (and crawling underneath the stairs) to store and pull out all my holiday decor, I simply don't have the space in my own home to do as you have done. It sounds great though. I do have 1 storage ottoman that I think I can use to store 2, perhaps 3 of my new groupings. The majority will have to go back underneath the stairs though, much to my dismay, lol.
I do appreciate that you took the time to explain how it went this year.
"To each their own, in all things".
Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,734
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage


@snicks wrote:
@mominohio, thanks for reviewing your "new" holiday storage system. While I would love to not have to make those up and down the stairs trips (and crawling underneath the stairs) to store and pull out all my holiday decor, I simply don't have the space in my own home to do as you have done. It sounds great though. I do have 1 storage ottoman that I think I can use to store 2, perhaps 3 of my new groupings. The majority will have to go back underneath the stairs though, much to my dismay, lol.
I do appreciate that you took the time to explain how it went this year.

 

@snicks

 

In all honesty, I was pretty happy when all my Christmas decor was in one closet in my spare bedroom and the closet was neat and not so overstuffed that you couldn't function when opening the door. It was easy to know it was all in one place and after all, it was only gotten into once a year. 

 

But what happened was that I accumulated so much decor over the years, it was now in the Christmas closet, in the basement, and tucked other places. It was just a mess. As my knees get worse, all the up and down the steps, all the tissue, bubble wrap, and boxes where I put things back in their original containers just expanded terribly, took up way more space than it needed to, and took forever to pack back into the closet and basement after the decor was placed, then a few short weeks later, all had to come back out to be repacked, then carried up/down steps and shoved and crammed back into closet or basement. It was becoming a nightmare!

 

Bottom line, I had to get rid of some things, and I've done that. I will unload more at pack up, too. I had to get rid of original boxes with the Styrofoam inserts (I bet I pitched 25 at least) and stop wrapping most things up like they were priceless jewels and just lay them in bins or ottomans or storage benches, or trunks.... with towels or bubble wrap in between layers. Heavy stuff on the bottom, more fragile on the top, just being careful. 

 

I also had a big problem with all the 'regular' decor that comes off surfaces in order to place the holiday stuff. It had to be packed into laundry baskets and set in the basement. Now I can simply place it in the same room into the trunks/storage benches that the Christmas stuff is coming out of.

 

I'm considering a way to work another storage ottoman into my front door closet, to keep even the garlands and stuff right on the main floor, that are used there.

 

STill a work in progress, and I totally understand this isn't going to work for everyone. I'm not sure it will work long term for me, but attempting to make it so. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,830
Registered: ‎07-28-2012

Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage

@mominohio, I totally get why you are trying new ways to store. I have plenty of room under the stairs for everything in one place, just dislike all that it entails to get the stuff where I want it. I know how difficult it is getting for me and my arthritic back and knees to continue this every year. One of these years it just won't happen anymore. I'm hoping that won't be for a while yet though. Thanks again.
"To each their own, in all things".
Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,909
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage

It sounds like a good idea.  This weekend I dropped two glass decor pieces moving them from room to room.  Glass went everywhere.  I cleaned my storage closet yesterday and put all like things together.  My closet works for me.  Next time I move things, I will carry them in a box.  It was my own stupidity.

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Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage

@mominohio I wish I could do that! I can't do our basement stairs so I am at the mercy of those who will come carry things up. Nearly every year something is missing, even tho I know it's there. I finally found room to hang my Christmas clothing (I taught Autistic middle school kids for ten years. I had an outfit for every day and then some, if I started the Monday after Thanksgiving!) That helped a lot, but I find my linens get misplaced as they aren't always washed at the same time and I find the odd napkin or towel in February.

 

One tip I have is to buy Christmas (or holiday) Themed tissue paper after the holidays on sale. I use it (or holiday napkins) to wrap my breakable holiday items. It keeps them safe and is cheerful when I unpack the items. Of course, I reuse the tissue for as long as it holds up!

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Posts: 5,409
Registered: ‎04-17-2013

Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage

@mominohio, Thanks for the update on how the storage method is going.

 

What is your plan for Fall or Easter/Spring decorations?  If you are like me, you may not have as many of them as you have Christmas decorations, but they still have to go somewhere off-season, and a few everyday pieces have to be shifted around or stored temporarily during those seasons, too. 

 

It seems that I won't ever get my spare bedroom and its closet back to what they are meant to be used for, and it's becoming more and more frustrating.  I'm almost to the point of unboxing or unwrapping every single piece, fragile or not, getting rid of all of the bulky packing materials, then keeping my favorites and getting rid of the rest.  What I keep will have to fend for itself without all the packing materials.  I guess I feel especially guilty about all my "stuff" since I used almost none of it for decorating this year.  The circumstances were beyond my control, but still...

 

Back to the trunk subject, I saw a large and really old dark red embossed metal trunk at a flea market last year.  I wanted it terribly for its looks and storage capacity.  I passed on it due to the high price, but went back for it later, and it was gone.  It was similar to this child's trunk from Etsy, but bigger:

 

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Posts: 17,734
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage


@SHOPR wrote:

@mominohio, Thanks for the update on how the storage method is going.

 

What is your plan for Fall or Easter/Spring decorations?  If you are like me, you may not have as many of them as you have Christmas decorations, but they still have to go somewhere off-season, and a few everyday pieces have to be shifted around or stored temporarily during those seasons, too. 

 

It seems that I won't ever get my spare bedroom and its closet back to what they are meant to be used for, and it's becoming more and more frustrating.  I'm almost to the point of unboxing or unwrapping every single piece, fragile or not, getting rid of all of the bulky packing materials, then keeping my favorites and getting rid of the rest.  What I keep will have to fend for itself without all the packing materials.  I guess I feel especially guilty about all my "stuff" since I used almost none of it for decorating this year.  The circumstances were beyond my control, but still...

 

Back to the trunk subject, I saw a large and really old dark red embossed metal trunk at a flea market last year.  I wanted it terribly for its looks and storage capacity.  I passed on it due to the high price, but went back for it later, and it was gone.  It was similar to this child's trunk from Etsy, but bigger:

 


 

 

@SHOPR

 

I have more fall decor now than ever, It used to be just one tub, but I kind of went nuts this year with wreaths and rings, and added some Plow and Hearth pumpkins and gourds. So I have I think three plastic tubs in the basement for fall. That isn't too bad to handle for me. I can put up my fall things in less than two hours.

 

I don't do spring or Easter (or Valentine's Day or St Patrick's Day) decorations. I have just a handful of bunny things and many years I don't even use them, so I have no worries with that kind of decor. I just don't care for the color schemes or the quality and style of most of it.

 

I do have one small box of patriotic things that I put in the kitchen for summer. 

 

I bit the bullet last year and for all but the most thinnest, most fragile glass things, I threw away all the original packaging, and I stopped wrapping loose pieces in lots of bubble wrap etc. 

 

I simply layered it into the trunks or storage ottomans, heavy stuff on the bottom, and a layer of something like towel or tissue paper in between layers. I was careful not to overload and squash things, and not a single thing was broken or damaged. 

 

My ottomans and trunks don't get moved around or anything to cause things inside to be at risk. My only items that I still wrapped and put in a closet are the few things that I have that go back to my grandmother. I feel those were special enough to me that I'd be devastated if anything happened to them. But that constitutes about 8 smaller things, so not a big deal there.

 

I'm anticipating pack up again in a few weeks, will be tweaking some things, and will report back then!

 

I think you might find things much less overwhelming if you do dump a lot of boxes and wrappings. I was willing to take the risk with most of my stuff, as a lot of it is fairly sturdy anyway, and a lot of it is newer and without much emotional attachments. 

 

Let me know what you do and how it works.

 

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,550
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage

[ Edited ]

It never dawned on me to store holiday decorations in a large antique trunk that we have in our living room.  We use it more as a table but there is a lot of space inside.  When we had it restored, a cedar liner was put inside.

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Re: Reflections on my 'new' method of Christmas storage

I'm doing new Christmas storage also.  Most everythng is in the detached garage attic.   Everything was in heavy shipping suitcases.  I bet they are 5 to 10 pounds empty. .  DH uses a pulley to lift it all in and out of that attic.

 

I bought the soft canvas Christmas tree bags. They have handles for the pulley system.. I will line the bags with bubble wrap and store it all in the bags,  (Except the very delicate items, iTwinkle Christmas tree in spare bedroom, the other items in our walk-in closet).

 

While decorating I also donated or discarded items I wasn't using.  I'll go through it all again while packing it up.

 

 

Then I start on the rest of the house, sigh.... again.