5 Tips For Storing Your Christmas Ornaments

Christmas ornaments can be tricky to store after the holiday season. If you're not careful, they can become scratched, or even shatter. Unwrapping your ornaments next Christmas to find your family heirlooms in pieces is the last thing anyone wants to start off the holidays. Luckily, if you store your Christmas ornaments properly, they will be perfectly preserved and ready to use every year.

There are many types of Christmas ornaments, including glass balls and other shapes, according to Ornament Shop. The different shapes can look like icicles, lamps, animals, holiday symbols, and other fun designs. They can either be made from glass or shatter-free plastic. Vintage and family heirloom ornaments are usually made of glass and will need extra care when storing them away. Plastic ornaments are less likely to break, so they won't need the extra layer of cushioning that glass needs, or to be packed away in individual containers.

Use the original boxes

Keeping the original boxes your Christmas ornaments came in is the best way to protect them while they're in storage. Glass ornaments often come in cardboard boxes with foam padding that is perfectly shaped to their dimensions. Since it is the exact impression of the ornament, there is no amount of bubble wrap that will stabilize the fragile pieces quite like an ornament's original packaging. Thus, you won't have to worry quite as much about jostling the boxes when moving everything in and out of your storage space. You can put all of the separate boxes into one plastic bin, which makes them easy to transport.

Hallmark recommends not only keeping the original packaging, but also the silica gel packets that come in the box. These packets will absorb moisture that may damage your decorations. When exposed to water, certain Christmas ornaments can grow mildew and become stained. Craft stores also sell these packets if your decorations don't come with one in the box.

Purchase an ornament storage tote

Another way to pack your ornaments if you didn't keep the original packaging is to purchase a storage system. You can choose from a couple of options that allow you to put each ornament in its own protected section of a container. The best option is a formed plastic bin, according to We Be Christmas. These work so well because they prevent the ornaments from getting crushed while also sealing out moisture and bugs.

Canvas storage bins are also available with the same inserts that click together to create perfect ornament-sized sections. These storage containers are helpful because they often have pockets where you can put your ornament hooks. Some even come with a carrying strap or wheels for added portability. The cardboard version of this storage system is the most basic option. These will still protect your ornaments, but are not as effective as the other containers. Your ornaments probably won't break by knocking into each other, but they may get exposed to moisture or bugs, and can also be crushed.

Protect ornaments wrappings or linens

Adding another layer of protection around your glass ornaments will help ensure that they are safe while packed in storage. However, there are a couple of different ways that you can do this. Bubble wrap is a popular medium that offers excellent protection. Tissue paper is also an option, and it's less bulky, so you can put more ornaments in one container. Decor Hint recommends reusing bubble wrap or tissue paper every year.

Using holiday linens is another option to protect your delicate ornaments. Plus, this will allow you to store your Christmas decorations twice as fast. You can use your festive tablecloths, hand towels, blankets, or pillow covers. Your larger linens will be more effective because you can wrap multiple ornaments. To do this, roll one ornament at a time and then use a rubber band to section it off. Repeat this until there is no more space left. If you're doing this with a tablecloth next holiday season, don't forget to iron it before your holiday dinner!

Leave the hooks on

Depending on what type of ornaments you have, you may be able to save time and leave the hooks on while the ornaments are in storage. The wire hooks used to hang ornaments on a Christmas tree are less likely to cause damage to shatter-free plastic decorations. As such, you can leave the hooks on for these types of ornaments when you pack them away. It will not only save you time while you're cleaning everything up in January, but also when you're decorating the tree next December. You'll also save money from buying new wires every year if you tend to remove and misplace them.

According to Public Storage, it isn't a good idea to leave the hooks on if you use glass ornaments. You risk scratching the glass if they are wrapped with the hooks still on. To prevent this, remove the hooks and store them in a plastic sandwich bag that you can put in the same bin as the ornaments. Doing this will ensure that you can easily find the hooks next season.

Label everything

Labeling everything is the best thing you can do when putting anything away into storage. It will keep you organized and save you time when you're taking boxes out the following year. That way, you'll know what you're grabbing without digging through the boxes to find out what's inside. Since Christmas decorations are often fragile, you'll want to refrain from unwrapping them in your storage unit so that there's no risk of them breaking while you're moving things.

The Little Details recommends adding categories to your storage bins with a label maker since this will keep everything uniform and easy to read. Another option is to print decorative labels. These will make it even easier to differentiate between your Christmas decorations and the other boxes in storage. The simplest way to label your bins, however, is with a permanent marker. Besides writing the category of what's in each container, you can take it a step further and itemize the container's contents.