By Hailey Konnath, Storage.com

The gifts have been delivered and unwrapped. The cookies have been eaten. The carols have ceased. It’s that dreaded time again—taking down the Christmas decorations.

For many Christmas enthusiasts, taking down and storing decorations until next year can be a depressing, arduous task. The post-Christmas “depression” may be unavoidable, but properly storing your holiday decorations until next year doesn’t have to be a negative experience.

A self storage unit is the perfect place to keep your decorations until it’s once again socially acceptable for you to publicly display them (after Labor Day, right?). We talked to Christmas decoration and self storage experts and got their tips on what to do with trees, lights, ornaments, etc., until next year.

ORGANIZE AND PACK CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

A common mistake people make when organizing and packing their holiday decorations is they tend to throw everything into a large container and call it a day. In order to protect each item for future use, however, Christmas decorations need to be wrapped and placed in a box or storage container.

Many containers, like those specifically for ornaments, come with dividers to keep items separate. These are best when storing holiday decorations since they prevent damage. If you’re storing an artificial Christmas tree, you can either break down the sections of the tree and store them in separate boxes, or you can store the tree in one piece in a box (preferably the original box) to help it keep its shape during storage.

When packing everything up, be sure to use acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap, explains Sarah Schlegel, Tree Decorating Coordinator for Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, Mich. This will protect each decoration from fading, rubbing other items, or being exposed to moisture while in storage.

As for organizing, Michael Tung, Managing Director of Christmas Tree Palace T&T, recommends color-coding. This is helpful if you have a color theme that changes every year. “By color-coding, you won’t have to unpack all the decorations, just the color you need, which helps increase the lifespan of the other colors.”

Schlegel also suggests to label boxes or containers to detail what contents are inside as well. That way, when you need to find a decoration,  you won’t have to sift through each box.

STORE HOLIDAY DECORATIONS IN A STORAGE UNIT

When you move Christmas decorations to a storage unit, you’ll probably only need a 5×5 or 5×10. These unit sizes are similar to a walk-in closet, so they should provide plenty of space for boxes, storage containers, trees, wreaths, and other items you want to put away until next Christmas.

If you live in a region that sees high temperatures and humidity, you may want a storage unit that comes equipped with climate control. While in storage, decorations can discolor, melt, or shatter when exposed to heat and humidity, according to Tung. Worse, trees and wreaths can develop mold and mildew.

A climate-controlled storage unit can help prevent weather-related damages. Since this storage feature acts as an air conditioner and dehumidifier inside the unit, it helps to keep all of your items safe from external conditions.

Another thing to keep in mind when storing decorations in self storage is to not stack boxes or containers too high. Fabian Campos, manager of Secure Storage of Cool Springs in Franklin, Tenn., says he never stacks items more than chest height. This ensures boxes don’t crumble under the weight of other boxes or fall from the stack, which could easily damage the items inside.

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