Most ornaments have some amount of sentimental value to them so you will want to make sure that they are packed away properly so you will be able to enjoy them for years to come. Sadly, most people get frustrated with trivial things after the holidays and don’t take a few extra minutes to pack ornaments up in a safe manner. That can mean damaged or broken keepsake items the following year along with the regret of taking shortcuts when storing items. If you are prepared in advance and have the right items, you will be able to pack up ornaments in minutes and ensure that they are safe until next year.
One thing you want to remember is that the metal hang tags that hold the ornaments on a tree should always be removed prior to storage. They can scratch the surface of glass ornaments and that could lead to shattering. Likewise those hooks should be stored separately from ornaments; a small plastic index box works great to keep them from getting tangled in with other items.
Use acid free tissue paper to wrap ornaments; this will keep them looking great and will keep the colors bright. You will also want to wipe metallic or etched ornaments with a clean, lint free cloth to remove any finger oil that could lead to pitting and erosion. The oil on your fingertips could do some serious damage to the surface of an ornament over the course of a year.
Individual ornament boxes are sold in craft stores as well as online; these allow a little extra security for items that are one of a kind or have been passed down from generation to generation. There are labels on the boxes so you can write exactly what is inside of them so not only as you preserving your memories, you are getting organized at the same time.
Grouping ornaments according to size or color can help make unpacking them a complete breeze next year. Sterilite offers clear plastic shoebox sized plastic cases that are perfect for packing Christmas ornaments. These are a fraction of what specialty ornament cases cost and serve the same purpose. By grouping similar sized, colored or themed ornaments you will have a much easier time of decorating the following year.
When you are packing ornaments away, give them the once over to see if there are any cracks or breaks in them. Fixing them now will eliminate some stress when you unpack them. If you need to glue anything you will have ample time to allow it to dry, you may not have the time needed to allow it to dry or cure if you put it off until the following year. Even worse, you could end up with something that is completely unrepairable. If you do have something that is damaged beyond repair, you can take advantage of the after holiday sales to try and find a suitable replacement.
Take advantage of the post holiday sales to stock up on photo ball ornaments; these keepsake items are wonderful to give as gifts and can be found for up to 60% off the regular retail price. They come individually packaged so you can use them as you purchase them then store them away or save them up until the following year.
Once you have individual ornaments wrapped and boxed you will want to put them inside a large, strong plastic tote. This makes moving them easy, adds another elements of protection and allows you to add a detailed list to the outside of the container so you will know exactly what is inside it.
By time the holidays are over, most people are completely burned out and ready to pack away the tree and all the trimmings. If you take a little bit of extra time to store things properly you can save yourself a lot of time next year. Once you get organized it is a much easier and less stressful thing to do. Kids can help with removing the metal hang tags, pulling apart pieces of tissue paper and boxing up their own ornaments!