The new year is a great time to get your home back in order

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For many people, the holidays are chaotic, with the kids home from school, the grown-ups off work and winter weather keeping everyone indoors. New toys and books may be scattered across the living room, and gifts to return piled up under the tree. The new year is a great time to get your home back in order and maybe even in better shape than the season before.

Organize and Store Holiday Decor

1. Outdoor decorations.

Store outdoor items all together. Before packing lights, replace burned-out bulbs and dispose of strands not working properly. Help prevent your lights from tangling by wrapping them around pieces of cardboard (12 inches by 6 inches notched on both ends) or coffee cans and covering them in tissue paper.

To preserve the shape of your wreaths, store them in large stackable containers, making sure to leave room for bows and other attachments. Or, if you have the room, hang them and cover them with a dry-cleaning bag or large trash bag.

Garlands can be wrapped and tied with twine and stored in large containers. Any holiday lawn decor that is too large to fit in a box can be covered with garbage bags.

2. Christmas Tree

In most areas, Christmas trees are collected during the first two weeks in January, usually on your normal trash day. Be sure to remove all lights, tinsel, ornaments and the stand. Sometimes larger trees need to be cut in half to be accepted by your garbage company, so make sure to check with them first.

If you have an artificial tree, the original cardboard box it came in might not protect the tree from mold, moisture and pests. It is best to store the different parts inside a large plastic bag and hang them upside down if possible. It helps to keep the shape of the limbs.

3. Indoor decoration

Before you store your decor, assess what’s already in your boxes. If you haven’t used an ornament or tabletop decoration for several years, consider donating it. Let go of items that you don’t really like, and toss anything broken or damaged. Store ornaments in containers, wrapping delicate ornaments in tissue paper. Special ornament storage containers are often discounted in January and help prevent ornaments from being broken.

If you are a person who loves decorating for the holidays and you have many, many decorations, consider labeling boxes and place them in storage in the order they will be needed next year. Large, airtight, stackable containers are a great investment for keeping moisture, dust and pests away.

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