Safely store and preserve your holiday decorations

As seasons change, so do the holidays being celebrated. Pumpkins and gourds make way for twinkling lights and snowmen, and the big question is: What is the best way to store this year’s decorations so I am more organized next year? There is nothing more upsetting than pulling out Grandma’s vintage tree-topper to find that it has succumb to dust and mold.

Often, the only place to store holiday decorations is in the garage or attic, according to organizing expert, Barry Izsak, author of “Organize Your Garage in No Time.” “The problem is that these storage locations leave your precious holiday decorations and family heirlooms vulnerable to excessive heat and moisture, as well as a cavalry of insects and rodents,” he says.

Here are some easy ways to properly store your holiday items:

* Store holiday decorations in enclosed plastic containers to guard against water and moisture damage. Check the storage area to ensure there are no water leaks due to the roof or a wet basement, potentially causing damaging mold and mildew to occur.

* Clearly label the contents of each container on the outside to ensure that items are easy to locate. Most large retail stores sell plastic bins in varying sizes and colors; color-coding boxes can help in identifying the contents quickly and easily. Valentine’s Day  decorations can be in red bins, Halloween in orange, etc. This will save you time and energy in the long-run. For example, a red box labeled “Holiday lights” is easier to identify and locate than one labeled “Holiday.”

* To cut down on frustration next year, take the time to check all light strands, and throw out or repair the strands that don’t light properly. This is also a great time to replace any worn out lights with LED lights that conserve energy, omit less heat and last longer.

* Organize as you pack your decorations away. Neatly wrap up cords to prevent that dreaded tangle next year. Wrap breakables in bubble wrap or tissue to prevent damage. Keep linens, such as napkins, table cloths and tree skirts away from anything containing wood pulp or dyes which can bleed onto them, and avoid using paper, cardboard or tissues that aren’t labeled “acid-free.” Launder and press linens now to save time next year and prevent damage to fibers.

* Warm, cozy boxes full of tissue paper, linens and decorations are perfect places for unwanted pests to hide and nest. “I have seen extensive collections of holiday decorations destroyed by insects and mice because simple precautions were not taken to guard against it,” Izsak says. He recommends using Ortho Home Defense Max products for pest protection because these products are effective and easy to use. Using Ortho Home Defense Max Perimeter & Indoor Insect Killer keeps out unwanted bugs that can nest in and destroy your precious decorations. Simply spray around the inside perimeter of your basement, crawl space, attic or garage to provide protection against listed insects for up to 12 months indoors.

* Place Ortho Home Defense Max No Touch Bait Stations along the walls of your storage area to take care of mice. Not only is this product easy to use, but you never touch the bait– mice just enter and feed inside the station. After use, simply dispose of the entire station.

“With little added effort, you can ensure that your holiday decorations will endure season after season for future generations to enjoy,” says Izsak. “Isn’t it worth taking the time now to preserve your holiday traditions?”


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