Your holiday ornaments provide your home with a festive feel. It would be a shame to see them fade! We've covered how to protect and care for your holiday ornaments while on display, but here's what to do when you put them away.
Use Quality Storage Materials
Remember that damage is more easily avoided than reversed. When storing fragile ornaments, proper storage is critical. The storage materials you use should be of high quality, but what exactly does "high quality" entail? By following these storage guidelines you can keep your ornaments looking beautiful so that they can be cherished for generations to come!
You May Want to Avoid Cardboard Containers
If you're looking for a place to stash tinsel or plastic decorations, then cardboard containers will do the trick. However, if you're storing anything fragile like silver or porcelain, strongly consider another means of storage. The primary reason you'll want to avoid carboard is for its lack of durability and strength, but that's not the only reason...
Wrap Ornaments in Acid-free Tissue or Use Ornament Containers
Your holiday ornaments may be subjected to acidic conditions depending on the storage container being used. Over time - even at miniscule amounts - this acid can eat away at a variety of materials. Considering how holiday ornaments are only brought out once a year, this can lead to unsightly staining upon retreival. Unfortunately, cardboard is one of the primary acid culprits.
You May Want to Avoid Plastic Containers
"Avoid cardboard AND plastic?! What the heck AM I supposed to use?!" Once again, avoiding plastic is highly dependent on what you're going to store. In the case of vintage decorations, plastic containers are a big no-no. This is because plasitc containers seal moisture, especially those with snap-down or sealable lids. Over time, this can lead to mold, mildew on different fabrics, or tarnish and corrosion on metals.
Avoid the Attic, Basement and Garage (If Possible)
We know that space is scarce, but it's recommended to store your valuable holiday ornaments somewhere other than the attic or the basement. This is due to the relative levels of humidity in these areas of your home. Increased moisture and humidity will mean faster degradation, especially for precious metals.
Secure Decorations in a Waterproof Box
So you're going to ignore us and store your holiday decorations in the attic, basement or garage. It's okay, we don't take it personally. If you do go this route, strongly consider using a waterproof container. Placing your ornaments in a waterproof box preserves them from the humid conditions that can destroy them. It can also keep them safe from major accidents like flooding or leaks due to natural disasters. You may want to consider placing items in elevated storage so they are out of harm's way.
Use Sandwich Bags as Air Cushions
Regardless of the container you decide to use, it's always a good idea to add a little extra cushion to fragile decorations. Don't feel like using packing peanuts and can't find bubble wrap? Sandwich baggies should do the trick! A few air pockets can make a world of difference when it comes to avoiding scrapes, scratches and small impact.
Consider Using Anti Tarnish Tabs
If you're storing silver ornaments or any other decorations, consider using an anti tarnish tab in your container. Under normal conditions, a single 1"x1" tab should be sufficient to provide protection for the inside of a container measuring 30 cubic inches! This keeps your decorations safe from tarnish, regardless of humidity or moisture and provides you with peace of mind.