It’s always a tough decision, take down the tree and all the trimmings, or just keep them up just a little bit longer? I always try to milk having my Christmas tree for as long as possible, but at the same time, I always feel the urge to start the New Year clean and clear. This year I opted to leave it all up, until after Epiphany, or Dia De Reyes (Three Kings Day) which is this Friday, January 6th. So what do you do with all the trimmings once you have taken them down? Here are some of the my tips on how to store it all so you can find it again, in no time and on the cheap.
What to do with Christmas Lights
- Use garden hose reels to store outdoor lights. Label everything so know where they belong next year!
-Wind lights around cardboard panels from boxes or wrapping-paper tubes. Tape the ends of the strings of lights to the cardboard with low-tack masking tape. If using tubes, slide extra lights and fuses inside so they’ll be easy to find next year.
- You can even use a coffee can to store lights. Put extra light bulbs inside the can and reseal the top.
- Toilet paper rolls are great to store extension cords.
- Store wrapping paper in hanging garment bags. “The bags are tall enough to hold wrapping paper tubes and ribbon. If the garment bag has outside pockets, tuck gift tags, unused cards, and tissue paper in them. Stash the garment bag in the back of the closet for easy access for birthdays and other holidays.
- Evaluate your decorations annually, and keep only what you are really going to use. Then wrap snugly with tissue paper to protect against breakage. Recycle discarded tissue paper from opened gifts to wrap the ornaments.
- Use divided boxes for ornaments. Divided wine or liquor boxes are perfect for storing round or odd-shaped ornaments. They are sturdier than commercial versions and often free at your local store.
- Repurpose a hat box. Now you can store wreaths without crushing bows or losing embellishments. Hat boxes are sturdy and come in a variety of sizes.
- Use an egg carton to store small ornaments.
- Put together a holiday tool kit. Fill a regular toolbox (or a shoe box) with holiday essentials, such as ornament hooks, tape, wire cutters, nylon line, narrow ribbon, scissors, florists’ wire, twist ties, and spare holiday light bulbs. Next year all these supplies will be ready to go.
For these ideas and more check out Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Storage Guide!
And to see my segment on Univision all about this topic, En Español! Check it out here!
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