Why yes, I AM just now getting all this Christmas junk put in storage. Leave me alone.
I got super-sick right around the beginning of the year. You may remember that I had pneumonia for six weeks before getting pregnant with Bam, so my lungs are a little jacked up and even a little cold tends to quickly spiral for me. This, however, was not just a little cold. It was the flu. Good news is, I'm almost back to 100 percent! In the meantime, we came back from all our travels and the tree was still up and I didn't have the energy to deal with it. Oddly enough, nobody else stepped in and put all the Christmas things away.
Shocking, I know.
Being ALL in the new-year-clean-house-fresh-slate mode, I kept eyeballing the wads of storage paper and ornament boxes and I just. couldn't. do it. anymore. Not this way. I decided I could not continue this crazy cycle of sifting through dozens of pieces of cardboard and weird scraps and odd bags and agonizing over which bauble belongs to which box year after year.
So I tossed all of that and started fresh with sane Christmas storage solutions. I decided I would build the perfect little container system from the ground up.
First on my list were the nutcrackers. Nana and Papa get these for the boys each year and we have built up QUITE an impressive little collection. They're really precious to me, so I needed them stored properly and not in the old crumbling totes that they were sold in. I got a big Hefty container (it came with handy dividers in-store at Target) and squished the household items into four separate areas: stockings and linens at the far end, followed by a little section for our Elf on the Shelf and his assortment of outfits, followed by unbreakable displays and garlands, followed by delicate displays and nutcrackers on the far right.
I cut perfectly-sized foam pieces to place in between the nutcrackers from an old, thin mattress pad I had laying around. If you don't happen to have a spare mattress pad, acoustic foam would be your cheapest bet. A layer of that was followed by a layer comprised of several nutcrackers side-by-side, then another layer of foam followed by another layer of nutcrackers, until the whole thing was packed tight to the very top.
In a smaller Hefty container, I placed the projection lights with the inflatable Santas squished down on top of them. I was trying to keep similar items together, being mindful of what I'd want to unpack and setup at the same time.
The other outdoor lights were gently placed in an identical container, which actually fit them quite perfectly!
I believe it was some viral Facebook video where I first saw this trick for storing breakable ornaments in individual, glued-down disposable cups. It couldn't hurt to give it a shot. I trimmed a piece of cardboard to match the bottom of another big Hefty bin and got to gluing. My collection of breakables is rather small (the boys tend to break ALL the things) but what we're left with is special to me, so I was happy to see it all packed away safely.
On top of that went another perfectly-trimmed piece of foam, followed by the tree topper and a few remaining, larger ornaments.
Yet another piece of foam separates that layer from the top level in the ornament box. In the middle, I stashed a bunch of tiny ornaments in an egg carton. Next to that, a small Sterilite container holds ornaments that the kids have made over the years, while the more delicate crafts were layered in individual clear pencil pouches so they wouldn't all be rubbing against each other.
Another foam layer went on top for good measure and VOILA! The bits and baubles were all boxed up.
The fake tree got a dedicated Christmas tree storage bag. It wasn't very structured, so I added the smaller Hefty storage containers on either end to keep it from crumpling. The Christmas tree lights went in here in an old popcorn tin, and I stuffed the tree skirt in there too.
The wreaths both fit into a dedicated wreath storage bag and the seasonal stuffed animals got plopped in a cloth storage bag. And that's it! Out the door it went where it all fit on a single utility rack in our storage space. There it shall remain all snug and cozy and tightly packed-away until next year. I'm actually looking forward to the ease of unboxing all this Christmas storage in twelve months!
What does your Christmas storage situation look like?