Packing Holiday Décor Like a Pro

Christmas Ornaments by Accretion Disc (CC BY 2.0)

The holiday festivities are coming to a merry close. Next, is the joyful task of packing your holiday décor away.  Hopefully, every figurine, glass ornament and holiday dish will stay in one piece! To ensure they do, we have simple solutions to easily pack away your fragile décor like a pro to protect them for next year’s celebrations.  The jolly news is you can actually put your festive trash to good use! Much of your trash is actually a treasure when it comes to stowing away your holiday décor safely. Follow these six simple steps to reuse Christmas past and pack it like a pro (as seen on the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog)!

1. Use Proper Boxes

FACE AVANT - IN FRONT OFF by Metro Centric (CC BY 2.0)
FACE AVANT – IN FRONT OFF by Metro Centric (CC BY 2.0)

The best way to keep your fragile holiday décor safe is to pack them as if you were preparing for a cross-country move. To properly pack your décor & dishes, start with a sturdy cardboard box called a dishpak. Dishpak boxes are specially designed to protect fragile items such as glass, china, and plates. You can find dishpaks at moving companies, box stores and home improvement stores. If you can’t find dishpaks use double corrugated boxes.

2. Cushion & More Cushion

Before placing any décor items and seasonal dishes in your dishpak, cover the bottom with crumpled paper. Reuse old wrapping paper!  You will be adding more cushioning on the sides and top. Just for the cushioning on the bottom, sides and top you can be super green and reuse your old wrapping paper from the holidays! The crumpled wrapping paper will provide cushioning for your décor & dishes and prevent breakage. If you don’t have used wrapping paper, you should use plain white packing paper instead of newspaper. Newspaper will leave ink all over your dishes.

3. Pack Holiday Dishes Vertical, not Horizontal

Stack of large plates by One Wintry Night Pottery (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Stack of large plates by One Wintry Night Pottery (CC BY-ND 2.0)

To prevent breakage, always pack dishes vertically, as if you were loading up the dishwasher after a big holiday dinner (only make sure the dishes are clean). When it comes to your reindeer mugs, pack them in a horizontal row across the box, but be sure to place the mugs on their sides, with the handles facing sideways, not down.

4. Wrap and Repeat

After you’ve placed a layer of crumpled paper for cushioning, start packing your largest and sturdiest

Wrapping plates in bubble-wrap by dumbledad (CC BY 2.0)
Wrapping plates in bubble-wrap by dumbledad (CC BY 2.0)

décor or dishes first. Wrap each item and dish completely with two layers of packing paper, tucking in the sides. For the dishes, place each one vertically on top of the layer of crumpled paper; make sure the dish is secure. Continue placing individually wrapped dishes vertically. After you’ve finished a row of dishes, place crumpled packing paper in open spaces in the dishpak. Once a row of vertical dishes or carefully placed décor items is complete, place a few sheets of crumpled paper on top of the row for cushioning. Then repeat, saving your lightest and most fragile décor & dishes for the top layer.

5. No Space Left Unfilled

fragile by hsingy (CC BY 2.0)
fragile by hsingy (CC BY 2.0)

The rule of thumb is there should be no gaps that could allow your décor to shift. Cushion the top and sides with paper to prevent shifting. The steadier the contents, the less chance of damage. Next, tape your dishpak box with two layers of tape and label it. Be sure to mark which side is up and draw big arrows pointing up, then  write “FRAGILE” on each side of the box.

6. Packing Holiday Lights

Christmas lights by Wilson Rivera (CC BY 2.0)
Christmas lights by Wilson Rivera (CC BY 2.0)

Never again spend hours untangling holiday lights or hunting for

that one broken bulb. Use empty wrapping paper tubes to store your holiday lights and wrap the lights around the outside of the tube. This way, you can easily check for broken bulbs without having to untangle the string of lights and it also makes it easy for stringing along the tree or house next year! Make sure you put the plugs at either end of the tubes for easy access.