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Make the holidays merry and think ahead

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Make the holidays merry and think ahead

Holiday preparations such as tree trimming, present wrapping and hanging lights help get us in the holiday spirit and are lots of fun. But thoughtful packing of seasonal decorations and materials at the end of the holidays for the next year can keep the fun in what is for some a stressful time.

In other words, it pays to plan, even 12 months ahead.

Careful packing and organization prevents damage and breakage and ensures you can find everything next year. It is worth taking the extra time to organize and preserve your decorations for next year.

Here are some tips from Two Men and a Truck to keep in mind while packing away holiday decorations:

Delicate items

Wrap breakables in paper or bubble wrap. Do not use newspaper — the print may wear off on ornaments. Use tissue or packing paper. Instead of throwing away used paper or junk mail, run it through a paper shredder, it makes great packing filler.

Decorations that contain photographs or food should be sealed in an air-tight bag to keep them safe. Sealing photos preserves them and the scent from any food item will attract insects or mice wherever they are stored.

Boxes with dividers are best to pack ornaments in. There are cardboard boxes made especially for fragile items. They come with adjustable inserts that forms individual cells for delicate items. These “dish pack” boxes are very popular at all our branches.

Keep extra hangers, hooks and ornament parts in a labeled bag or box.

Lights

To prevent tangles, wrap lights around empty gift-wrapping paper tubes. Leave the plug accessible by taping the ends of the light strands to the end of the tube. Next year you can quickly test the lights before unwinding them.

Store coloured lights in a dark place to prevent fading –- especially blues, greens and purples.

Wrapping paper

Hanging garment bags provides good storage for wrapping paper rolls. Use outside pockets for gift tags, cards and tissue paper.

To protect used rolls of paper, cut an empty wrapping paper tube from end to end and slide it over the roll.

Ribbons and bows can be saved and reused, pack loosely so they keep their shape.

Other considerations

Wrap holiday candles individually in cellophane and store in a cool place so they do not melt together.

Pack an “open first” box. Place the decorations you use first in here with essentials such as extension cords.

Use a wardrobe box to hang and store seasonal clothing that you only wear twice a year like that special snowman sweater from your mother-in-law or that flashing Christmas tie. This way you can find it, wear it, and store it away on a hanger easily.

If you haven’t used a decoration in a few years donate it. If it is damaged, get rid of it.

Take special care if you are storing your items in a damp area like your basement.

Don’t store boxes near sources of heat and moisture.

The most important tip is to label every box. The more detailed the description, the easier it will be to find things. Use different colours to distinguish different holidays. For example, use orange for Halloween, brown for Thanksgiving and red or green for Christmas.

Take a digital photo of special care items like snow globes or wreaths, print them off on regular paper and tape the photo to the outside of the box as an easy description of what’s inside.

All Two Men and a Truck branches offer a variety of storage boxes and packing supplies suitable to store all your decorative treasures.

Chuck Resnick is vice president, marketing and operation at Two Men and a Truck. https://twomenandatruck.ca/

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