Be on the lookout for holiday late-bloomers this year! You know who I’m talking about. Those people that wait to hang up their Christmas decorations until the day before Christmas and then keep them up until July because they are too lazy to pack them away.

Where does the root of that laziness come from you may wonder? It comes from not knowing how to properly pack up their holiday decorations. Packing up holiday decorations properly makes them easier to access when you need them.

The ultimate question is how do you avoid becoming a holiday late-bloomer this year? It’s simple, if you learn how to properly store your decorations, you’ll be just fine. Here’s a quick guide to decoration storage that can help you:

Lights

There are two different kinds of Christmas lights: lights that go around trees and lights that go up on your house. House lights are generally larger and come in longer strands than indoor tree lights. The most important part about storing any kind of light strand is making sure that it doesn’t get tangled. Tangled lights can easily lead to broken lights.

For indoor tree lights, wrap the light strand around a plastic coat hanger. Make sure that the strands are unplugged from each other, tape one end of the strand to the end of the hanger, and wind the strand around. Make sure that you pull it tight as you wrap.

For outdoor lights, you can use a standard garden hose reel. Tape the end of the light strand to the reel and start winding. Again, make sure the strand is tight as you wind the reel to make sure the bulbs won’t get loose and break.

Christmas Tree

If you use a real tree, you simply just need to recycle it. If you’re like millions of other households and have an artificial tree, you’ll need to take proper care of it so that it doesn’t get damaged.

After you’ve removed all the lights and ornaments, carefully take apart each section of the tree and fold the branches up as tight and flat as you can get them. Wrap each section in a pillowcase and put them in cabinets. If your tree does not come apart, wrap it into a bed sheet and place it into the box that it came in. Make sure you store your tree in a dry place to prevent any rust or mold from growing.

Ornaments

Many of us have ornaments that are delicate and highly personal. Lots of ornaments are made from fragile material like glass or thin wood. As a result, you need to take extra precautions when handling them and putting them away after the holidays.

Bulb ornaments can be the trickiest. If you have a Costco nearby, go and by a batch of a dozen Oneonta apples in the individual plastic containers. You don’t need the apples for storing your ornaments, it’s the containers that you need. Bulb ornaments fit perfectly inside the individual sections of those containers. Plus, they snap shut, making it the ideal bulb storage tool.

For other types of ornaments, individually wrap each ornament in bubble wrap or tissue paper. After making sure they are properly cushioned, you can either place them inside the individual sections of a light bulb box or inside shoe boxes.

Wreaths

Wreaths are complicated and awkward to store. They come in so many varying sizes that there isn’t just one universal method that works.

One method that does seem to be successful is placing the wreath in an old suitcase. This way it will be able to maintain its shape and be protected from any outside damage when it is stored. Boxes shift occasionally. Shelves collapse. The suitcase will be able to protect the wreath throughout the year.

Whichever way you decide to store your wreath this year, it’s always a good idea to give a wreath its own space. Since many wreaths can be fragile, the last thing you would want is for your other decorations to cause it damage while being stored in the same box.

Inflatables

Christmas inflatables are another tricky thing to store. Many come with their own bags that make storage fairly simple. However, if you’re like a lot of people, you may have lost that bag. What are you supposed to do then?

The biggest thing that you need to keep in mind when storing an inflatable is to make sure that nothing will be able to puncture or tear it. Don’t just wad them up. Fold them to prevent tearing. What good is an inflatable if it’s ripped or has a hole in it? Your first instinct may be to use a trash bag, but have you ever noticed how easy it is to put a hole in a standard trash bag?

What you’ll need to do is get a bag that is made from a stronger, thicker material. The blue tarp storage bags from Ikea are perfect for putting your inflatables in and they zip up to make securing the inflatable easier. These bags come in various sizes so depending on how big your inflatables are, you may be able to store them all in one.

Conclusion

There are plenty of tools out there to make your holiday decoration storage simple and efficient. As long as you stick to the mindset that everything is fragile, then you can avoid becoming a holiday late-bloomer whose house is the neighborhood black eye this year.

Storage