Summer is one of the most anticipated seasons of the year, but not for Christmas decorations. Heat can take a toll on your holiday treasures, including your artificial tree. Some states are also sunny and warm all year long. Here’s advice from Treetopia on Christmas decoration storage. We also asked decorating expert Jennifer Perkins to share her heat damage prevention tips.
- 1. Use proper Christmas decoration storage containers.
- 2. Use dividers when storing decorations in one container.
- 3. Wrap ornaments and trim with a protective layer.
- 4. Keep Christmas decoration storage boxes in a cool and dry area.
- 5. Avoid storing white and vintage pieces in the attic, garage, or shed.
- 6. Take extra care with fragile or vintage pieces.
- 7. Store pre-lit greenery and other lighted decorations in a cool and dry place.
- 8. If you’re keeping your decorations up all year, position them away from heat or direct light sources.
“As someone with over 100 Christmas trees, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about storing Christmas decorations the right way. There are more than a few nemeses of holiday décor. And number one on the list of this holiday-obsessed Texan is heat.”Jennifer Perkins
1. Use proper Christmas decoration storage containers.
There are many storage solutions available. Pick ones made from cardboard, plastic, or fabric, depending on which option protects your decorations best.
One way to store your artificial tree or greenery is in its original box. This is cost-effective at first, but it’s not ideal. Heat, moisture, and pests easily destroy cardboard. In the long run, you’ll end up needing to replace your decorations before you’ve used them to the fullest.
However, if you choose cardboard boxes, it’s best to store them in a dry space with stable room temperature.
File boxes and Christmas storage bins made from thick plastic are great alternatives. They’re also affordable, available in several sizes, and stackable.
If you go this route, know that plastic is vulnerable to humidity. Keep the contents dry by using silica gel packets or other drying agents.
Fabric Christmas Decoration Storage
We recommend choosing a container that’s made specifically for storing Christmas decorations. Dark-toned ones and those reinforced with polyester fabric effectively block sunlight. Plus, they don’t easily tear or melt, unlike cardboard. Some also come with wheels, which makes moving your greenery around easy.
Alternatively, you can repurpose other bags or bins. For instance, use a hanger to retain the form of your garland and cover it with a garment bag. A hat box also serves as a wreath storage container.
2. Use dividers when storing decorations in one container.
Dividers are essential, especially when it comes to vintage ornaments. They’re more fragile than regular décor, so take extra precautions when storing them.
If you’re one to embellish your wreaths using hot glue like me, keep those babies out of the attic or garage. When the temperatures rise, the glue on your wreath will melt. You’ll end up losing ornaments and décor this way. Store your wreaths in a box inside your home instead of hanging them up, as this can lead to breakage of fragile bits and pieces.Jennifer Perkins
If storing decorations individually isn’t an option, use containers with compartments. Otherwise, make dividers out of cardboard or wood to keep them separated.
It’s okay to store undecorated greenery of the same type and color in one bag or box to save space. However, storing them in different containers prevents tangles and stains. It also keeps foliage and light bulbs intact.
Don’t add special holiday candles to a storage bin with other Christmas decorations. The candles can liquify and ruin other items.Jennifer Perkins
3. Wrap ornaments and trim with a protective layer.
Take time to cushion your decorative pieces, especially those made of fragile materials. Glass and ceramic, for example, need extra care. Acid-free paper, cardboard, and even plain white fabric or towels are options. Egg trays and plastic cups also work.
For candles, cover them individually in bubble wrap. Then, put them in an air-tight metal container or tin can. This method blocks light, keeps the temperature consistent, and even maintains scents. Store them in a cool and dark place.
Never use newspapers, magazines, and other colored paper to wrap Christmas decorations. Heat can cause ink or dye to transfer onto your ornaments. Use plain wrapping materials, especially for beribboned or light-colored ornaments and holiday linens.
Another option for non-breakable ornaments is to organize them into large freezer bags. Plush, plastic, and foam ornaments can all be grouped into bags that are put into large tubs and bins. It seems like a pain now, but come fall, you will thank yourself for taking the time.Jennifer Perkins
4. Keep Christmas decoration storage boxes in a cool and dry area.
Now that you’ve wrapped your collection, store the containers in a spare room, closet, or walk-in pantry. However, if you don’t have extra space, here are helpful tips:
How to Store Christmas Decorations in an Attic
If your attic is your only option for storing Christmas decorations, there are preventive measures you can take. For instance, make sure your attic fan is up to snuff to keep it ventilated during summer.Jennifer Perkins
Attics typically have average or poor insulation. This means the room gets hot fast on warmer days. Also, moisture buildup damages decorations. As a workaround, use sturdy containers made from heat and water-resistant materials. Even better, go for stackable ones so that you save space. Meanwhile, containers with durable straps and wheels are convenient to transport.
How to Store Christmas Decorations in a Garage
It’s not the best place to store Christmas ornaments. Your seasonal decorations will have to share a space with vehicles and tools. But if the garage is the only spare room, install wall-mounted racks on both sides. This creates more space and allows for better organization. For instance, use one side for all things Christmas and the other for miscellaneous stuff.
Also, keep Christmas decoration storage as far away as possible from your vehicle. Starting up your engine will cause a quick rise in temperature, exposing your décor to heat. Never store an artificial Christmas tree, wreath, or garland uncovered in a garage. This exposes them directly to dust, dirt, moisture, and small animals.
How to Store Christmas Decorations in an Apartment
A small home doesn’t mean you need to compromise on proper storage. Consider overhead racks to make the most of your space and avoid floor clutter. Another option is to keep storage boxes in upper cabinets. Use containers of the same color and label them appropriately. Darker colors are easier to spot.
How to Store Christmas Decorations in a Loft
For wide and open storage areas, the challenge is keeping your collection organized. Piling your Christmas tree storage containers is an eyesore! Keep them in a storage cabinet or shelf. Also, position your containers away from direct sunlight and other heat sources.
Can You Store Christmas Decorations in a Shed?
If possible, avoid outdoor storage areas unless they have a temperature controller. If you don’t have that option, at least keep fragile ornaments indoors. Invest in sturdy covered containers (preferably waterproof) if storing in the shed. If the outdoor storage space has windows, don’t keep your decorations near direct sunlight. The same goes for other storage rooms.
5. Avoid storing white and vintage pieces in the attic, garage, or shed.
Again, that’s if you have spare storage space, of course. White décor is prone to yellowing when a room’s temperature changes. One sign of extreme heat damage is permanent discoloration. Prevent this with proper storage, as well as regular cleaning.
White Christmas trees and a hot room don’t mix. The same goes for white wreaths, garlands, and holiday linens. There aren’t many storage bags out there that can stop the heat from turning your Christmas whites yellow. If your attic is temperature-controlled, then hooray for you. Otherwise, store your whites somewhere inside your house like a closet.Jennifer Perkins
6. Take extra care with fragile or vintage pieces.
Store your heirloom pieces away from heat. It damages glass ornaments and fine embellishments. Sometimes, even mild heat without direct sunlight can tarnish your precious collection.
Modern-day plastics take a licking from the heat a bit better. But if you’re like me and collect vintage ornaments, remember that intense attic or garage heat can wreak havoc.
There’s nothing worse than unwrapping ornaments in December to see chipped paint, warped shapes, or worse yet, cracks and breakage. Your best bet is a storage box made especially for ornaments.Jennifer Perkins
7. Store pre-lit greenery and other lighted decorations in a cool and dry place.
Stable room temperature is essential when storing pre-lit Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands. Never assume that your Christmas lights can withstand heat. If you bought your lights separately, wind them around sturdy pieces of cardboard. Then, stow them in a cooler area of your house.
If your lighted decorations are battery-operated, make sure to take out the batteries. Keep them in a plastic box without coins or anything metallic. Contact with metals might cause a short-circuit.
Intense heat from an attic with little to no ventilation can melt the wiring on holiday lighting. That’s a fire hazard you definitely want to avoid. Every holiday season, you need to check your lights for damage. A durable storage bag is the way to go for a pre-lit tree.Jennifer Perkins
Tip: Before any DIY repair on lights or pre-lit Christmas trees, consult the manufacturer to avoid warranty issues. Get in-depth advice in our step-by-step guide on how to fix Christmas tree lights.
8. If you’re keeping your decorations up all year, position them away from heat or direct light sources.
At Treetopia, we’re all for leaving your artificial Christmas tree and decorations up all year long. It’s a unique way to celebrate other holidays. All you need to do is update your decorating theme, according to the occasion.
Maintain the vibrancy of decorations by keeping them away from heat or light sources. That includes windows, fireplaces, radiators, and lamps. Handle your décor with care whenever you move them around. Don’t forget to clean them as needed, too.
Last but not least, protect your decorations from other elements. Heat isn’t the only enemy. Moisture leads to the growth of molds while dust and debris accumulate and harden. Pests and other animals are also a consideration. This is especially true if you used edible ornaments on your foliage. You don’t want your pets eating the décor.
Also, knowing how to clean your artificial greenery helps in prolonging its life. Check out the post below for a step by step guide.
Were these Christmas decoration storage tips helpful? Share them with friends who love decorating as much as you.
If you got any storage hacks of your own, tell us in the comments section below.