Holiday Linens 🍽
Before you store your tablecloths, napkins, tea towels, runners, etc be sure to launder and iron these items. Pay attention to stains, they will oxidize over time and look worse. If you aren't handy at stain removal and pressing, hand them over to a professional to be cleaned. Store your clean linens in a closet or even a suitcase until the holiday season. Avoid using tissue paper, newspaper, or storing the in cardboard that can turn them yellow over time.
Dishes and Silverware 🍴
Our family silver and china provides us with special memories of holidays past around the family dinner table. Be mindful of dishes with gold and silver leaf and hand painted details that can not go in the dishwasher. Wash them with a non-abrasive sponge as soon as possible to avoid having to muscle off dried on food. Towel dry to eliminate water spots and streaks. The same goes for crystal stemware. Consider investing in storage cases and felt dividers to keep your dishes from chipping. Polish your silver and store it in tarnish resistant bags or chests so it's ready to go for your next holiday or celebratory dinner.
After Christmas is a great time to invest in ornament storage systems available at big retailers and container stores that are on sale. You can also recycle a variety of items to help keep your keepsake ornaments safe and sound in storage tubs. Choose plastic tubs that will help keep moisture out and can be stacked without risk of collapsing like cardboard boxes. Use the sectioned boxes the ornaments came in for storage, or recycle egg cartons and cardboard beverage trays that can be easily stacked to prevent ornaments from knocking into each other.
Label the storage bins with the contents and arrange them in a way that the first needed are most accessible.
Artificial Trees, Wreaths, Garland, and Lights 🎄
If you have a spare closet or a rolling clothing rack, wrap garlands and strands of lights over hangers to keep them from getting tangled. This will also help making testing lights easier for the next Christmas. You can also hang artificial wreaths on hangers or over the rod in the closet or on the rolling rack. These items are usually the first on the tree and will be easy to get to.
If you don't have the extra closet space or rolling rack, store individual light strands in gallon size food storage bags or recycle shipping boxes into spools for lights.
For artificial trees, there is a wide variety of storage bags and boxes available; some allow the tree to remain standing, some are wheeled duffel bags, others are rigid plastic boxes. You can even shrink wrap your tree, ornaments and all! Choose the method that best fits your storage space and needs.