The gifts have been opened, wrapping paper is crammed into the trash, and we’re looking forward to 2015. If next year’s plans include a possible PCS, taking a little time now to PCS prep your holiday decorations will mean one less worry in the midst of moving chaos.
Over the years, my family has amassed a considerable collection of rather random Christmas decorations – the after-effects of decorating very differently shaped homes (7 in 10 years). During the first few years we would pull out the boxes labeled Christmas and basically dump them in the living room, hanging and decking whatever we uncovered in each bag or box. But after a winter PCS resulted in considerable damage to our temporarily stored household goods, including holiday decor, it seemed a better system was needed.
If a little more organization is one of your goals for 2016, take a look at my favorite holiday storage solutions and get a jump start on your next PCS prep!
DIY ornament storage
Since the kids always like to play with boxes anyway, this is a great why-aren’t-you-back-at-school-yet craft to keep them busy. Many stores will have holiday themed disposable cups on sale just before and right after Christmas. Simply cut cardboard from all those packages to fit your hard sided tub and glue the cups to the cardboard. A hot glue gun works best – so either handle that part yourself unless you have older children.
I find this to be an easy and durable solution, especially with a thicker layer of cardboard placed on the top before the lid is on. Pick up the tubs on sale throughout the year, looking for the ones with straight sides instead of sloped. The straight sided tubs stack in more stable piles.
For the smallest of your decorations, save up some egg cartons to keep bulbs, hooks and the other small pieces from floating around your boxes.
Ornaments aren’t the only holiday item that benefit from some DIY storage. Untangling light strands can be the bane of holiday decorating. Protect your lights (and your sanity) with these easy tip from Real Simple magazine. After the cutting the edges of a shoebox lid, use it to wrap the strand of lights before fitting it back into the shoebox and storing the box itself inside a hard sided tub.
Worth The Investment
There are two storage solutions that I haven’t found a viable DIY option for: wrapping paper storage and wreath storage. Granted, these are two of my favorite parts of the holiday season – I have a serious wrapping paper obsession and I make my own seasonal wreathes, so we have a lot of both. Both items need hard sided containers to avoid being squished and wrapping paper needs to be accessible throughout the year for other gift giving occasions like weddings, birthdays, etc.
I made space in a hall closet for the wrapping paper container and use it to corral all wrapping supplies in addition to paper – ribbons, tape and scissors. I found the hard sided container paid for itself in one year because I didn’t have to run out and buy more to replace torn and wrinkled supplies from the year before. One word of warning for your PCS: the movers will want to wrap packing tape around the container itself to keep it closed in transit. The tape damages the plastic and is very difficult to get off. Instead, ask them to wrap the container with a moving pad/blanket and tape the blanket – easier removal and no damage to your storage!
The wreath case was another investment that I put off for years. I picked one up a couple years ago during After-Christmas sales and immediately wondered while I’d waited so long! Most of my wreaths will fit 4-6 in each case. There is simply nothing else I’ve found that stores them as conveniently and safely. After losing several in different PC moves, the hard case earned it’s cost by not having to replace my wreaths annually.
Another “worth the investment” storage solution might be for your tree if you opt for artificial. If you move at any time of the year other than late Fall, you might not even realize those your tree has suffered in transit until the time comes to put it up. Home Storage Solutions 101 offers a comprehensive run through of the various options available for tree storage and the pros and cons of each.
Like with every other part of our household goods, it is vital that we keep in mind that every item adds to your household goods weight – and there is a maximum! As you pack your holiday decorations away, take a moment to dispose of anything that is extra, unwanted, broken or has gone unused for years. If there are items that you want to replace, take advantage of post-Christmas sales for good deals on replacements.
We want to know:
What holiday item have you had broken or lost during a PCS?
Expecting a move in 2016? Get organized now with the AHRN.com PCS Toolkit!