Instead of buying storage boxes or bags, recycle what you have on hand. Here are a few simple ways to reuse leftover tissue paper, boxes, and bags to pack and store your decorations.
Store Small Ornaments in Egg Cartons
- Before packing away your lights, make sure to dispose of any lights that have been damaged or are not working properly.
- Egg cartons (Styrofoam, clear plastic, papier maché) are perfect for storing small ornaments. For delicate items use the tissue paper from your presents to wrap the item. Christmas tins make great places to store small specialty ornaments.
Store Holiday Crystal in Cardboard Liquor or Wine Bottle Boxes
- You can get cardboard boxes at your local liquor store. These boxes have dividers in them that will protect your larger ornaments. You can put several in one compartment but first wrap them individually in tissue paper. If you have glasses that you use only for the holidays, these boxes are an excellent way to store them and prevent breakage. Just remember to clearly label the boxes so you know what is inside.
Store Strings of Holiday Lights in Cardboard or Tin Coffee Cans
- You can store one 50-bulb string of lights in one can or two 35-bulb strings or three 25 bulb strings in one can each. Wrap the cans in leftover bits of holiday wrap to identify them as Christmas lights if you want.
Store Wreaths and Garlands in Individual Paper Shopping Bags
- To store your garlands, roll them up first and then tie with ribbons to hold them in place, then place in a paper shopping bag (the kind with handles). To keep dust free, hook the bag handles over a wire coat hanger and cover with a clear plastic dry cleaning bag.
Store Leftover Wrapping Paper in Old Pantyhose
- Use torn pantyhose to store rolls of leftover wrapping paper. You can fit at least two rolls per leg. Then use safety pins or laundry clothes pins to attach the pantyhose to a wire coat hanger. Because you can see through the hose, you will know at a glance what you’ve got stored away for next year.
Storing or Disposing of Christmas Trees
- Most cities and communities now have real Christmas tree disposal. Find out you’re your local city hall or council to find out when to put your tree out and remember to remove every bit of decoration and tinsel.
- Repack your artificial tree came in its own box but first wrap it in a couple of dry cleaning bags to protect it from dust. You might also like to put in some cedar blocks or even fresh twigs to keep insects away from the tree while it’s in storage.
Storing Christmas Candles
- Wrap the candles in old socks or knee-high stockings to prevent scratching. Candles should be stored away from heat like the furnace room, attic or other areas which can melt the candles. If you have a large freezer, you can store your candles there. Put them into those clear plastic tubs you bring your vegetables or fruit in so you can see what’s inside.
Labeling Christmas Storage
- Be sure that you clearly label each container before you move them to your storage area. You can make a detailed inventory on the outside of each box. Then number the boxes so that you’ll know how many you have (i.e., box 1 of 12). Labeling the boxes this way, also lets you order them according to how they should be unpacked. And wrap or glue on a bit of leftover wrapping paper on each box to identify it as Christmas storage.