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Our totally painless guide to packing up holiday decor

If you're procrastinating putting away this year's decorations, our step-by-step guide will make the task a whole lot easier.

 

Christmas decorations

It’s time to put all those decorations back in their boxes — here’s how you can make the process easier. (Photo, Dan Duchars.)

Putting your house back in order after the holidays can take a bit of motivation — taking down your tree and decorations is never as much fun as putting them up. Below are tips to help you pack away your decorations efficiently.

1. Getting started

Invest in some solid, plastic lidded tote boxes to store your seasonal decorations. If you can find ones with red or green lids even better. Colour coding will help you to pick them out next year. Gather some tissue paper, Ziploc bags and cardboard tubing.

2. Ornaments

Remove ornaments and store them in small containers you already have. Egg cartons, cookie tins and plastic salad boxes all work well. For extremely fragile ornaments, wrap them in tissue paper or shredded newspaper before putting them away. Stack these smaller boxes into your tote boxes and label accordingly.

3. Lights

There are a couple of ways to store your lights. The first is to simply round them up and then place in Ziploc bags labeled with their use – exterior porch lights, tree lights, decorative string lights. The second requires the cardboard tube of a paper towel roll or wrapping paper. Cut a slit in the top and bottom of the tube and then pull the top of the light strand through the slit. Stuff the remaining lights inside the tube and then secure the end of the lights through the bottom slit. Label the tube.

4. Wrapping supplies

Repurpose an over-the-door shoe organizer as a wrapping paper station. The small pockets are perfect for tape, gift tags, ribbon, tissue paper, gift bags and bows.

5. Trees

Removing a real tree can mean a mess of pine needles. To lessen the clean-up job, wrap the tree in a large sheet before removing it from the house. This will contain the pine needles and hopefully mean less mess on your floor. If you are removing an artificial tree, use elastic bands to hold the branches tight together. Throw away the cumbersome cardboard box the tree came in and invest in a sturdy plastic tote box that will contain the tree.

6. Holiday decor

Put all remaining holiday décor in a tote box including seasonal table decorations, candles, wreaths, etc. Take the time to throw out or fix anything that is damaged so it is ready to go next year.

7. Planning ahead

Keep one tote box handy for presents and gifts you pick up throughout the year. Come next December you’ll know exactly what you have and won’t be searching the house trying to remember where you stashed everything.

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