Decorating your home for the holidays, whichever holiday you celebrate, is often an activity for the entire house. From menorahs passed down through the ages to historic glass ornaments hung for years on the family Christmas tree, the act of decorating your home for the holidays is much anticipated. However, once the holidays come to a close, the packing and storing of these items can seem exhausting and overwhelming. To ensure you pack and store your items safely and properly—and hopefully help you avoid the stress and headaches of packing—we’ve prepared some holiday storage tips to help you get from decorated to packed in a few easy steps.
Hanukkah Storage Tips
· Clean The Menorah Before You Put It Away - All that caked on wax can seem overwhelming after eight days of celebrations. Whether you’re packing away your menorah or returning it to its year-long display area, you want to make sure you return your menorah to pristine condition free of wax. To remove wax easily, you have a few options.
o A little known trick is to lightly spray your menorah with PAM or a similar oil-based spray before use. This will help wax slide right off after the holidays.
o If your menorah is metal, an old trick is to simply boil the menorah which results in wax simply melting off and floating to the top of the water.
o Avoid using anything sharp to remove, like razors or knives, one material that can be scratched or chipped easily.
o For everything else, mild warm soapy water and a little bit of elbow grease should free your menorah of wax.
· Group Small Items Together – After the dreidels have spun for the last time, they can often end up lost amid the chaos of holiday décor. Use plastic baggies or small containers to group small items like dreidels together to help make sure you can find them easily next year.
· Mind Temperature Sensitive and Remove Perishables – If you have extra menorah candles for some reason, be careful not to store them in any packaging that will not be safely stored in a temperature controlled environment. Melted wax candles will ruin next year’s decorating experience. In addition, make sure to thoroughly check through decorations and packages for any leftover chocolate or other treats. Melted or expired chocolate will not be well-received next year either.
Christmas Storage Tips
· Store Lights Separately – make sure each strand of lights is wound and stored apart from others. Using large Ziploc bags to store each strand or use sheets of tissue paper to create layers between lights in storage bins. This will not only prevent knots but it will help ensure your lights are kept from breaking.
· Make Sure Every Ornament Has a Home – use special containers to layer and separate ornaments. Corrugated cardboard separators are best used in plastic storage bins, which will keep ornaments safe and protected from elements. If you’re on a budget, consider using old box separators or wine storage boxes to create the same separated areas.
· Clean Outdoor Decorations Before Storing – Wipe down outdoor garlands, wreaths, bells and ribbons. Storing dirt-covered items will only add headaches to next year’s decorating and possibly cost additional money to replace.
· Throw Out “Real” Materials – Real Christmas trees, wreathes and roping should never be stored. Once these decorations dry out they become fire hazards and should be disposed of according to your local area’s regulations. Make sure to check on rules regarding the disposal of trees in your area.