Store holiday decorations with ease

Written by Claire Schneider and Nicole Harrison

Does the thought of tearing down your holiday decorations stress you out? Consider this a pay-it-forward pursuit, and set yourself up for success for next year’s decorating efforts by packing up properly now. This goal alone will keep you motivated and prevent you from hastily and randomly stowing your things in bins and boxes. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has some helpful tips and tricks to make storing your holiday decorations easier.

IMG_9579Get organized – Before commencing the pack-up process, take some extra time to sort your items. Once your holiday décor and related materials are sorted, boxing them up will go much more quickly. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your packing needs. Some unique boxes include a dish pack box with inserts for your Christmas tree ornaments. You can adjust the inserts to the desired size making it perfect for the large and small ornaments. We also recommend using the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dish pack box to store gift-wrapping supplies. The full instructions to utilize the box are here.

Manage lights and garlands — As you coil delicate lights and garlands, take extra care since they tend to tangle easily. Repurpose an old paper towel roll or a piece of cardboard and wrap the lights around it.

Protect the bows – Christmas ribbons and bows are commonly the items which get damaged the most in storage. To prevent them from warping and wrinkling, cut cardboard tubes and wrap them with paper towels so they fit snugly inside. Then place all the bows flat in a box together to ensure they lay flat and smooth amongst heavier items.

Label everything – Nothing is more frustrating than searching through box after box looking for one specific item. Make this process less frustrating and time-consuming by labeling items found in each box. To make the unpacking effort a breeze the following year, consider labeling the boxes in the order they should be opened. Choose the order that makes the most sense for your natural holiday set-up plan (e.g., room by room).

Protect Christmas linens – Christmas linens are commonly forgotten items when considering your Christmas storage plan, but if you take a little extra time to store them, it will prevent nasty surprises next year. First it’s important to pack them in a proper storage container like a suitcase or a waterproofed box to protect them from moisture. Then, place your favorite scented dryer sheet in-between the linens. This will repel moths while keeping them fresh and smelling wonderful for next year. This process only takes a couple minutes, and your guests will love the extra care.

Breakable Items — Christmas plates, platters, ornaments, and other breakables need to be handled with care. No one wants to open their Christmas decorations next year and find half of their ornaments broken, so it’s imperative you pack them well. The most important tip to remember is to wrap the breakables with a few layers of newspaper, paper towel or whatever padding in which you choose to wrap your items. It’s never a bad idea to put layers of extra cushion between your items to ensure more padding.

Hire moving muscle – Are you not looking forward to moving the heavier items back to their spots? Give us a call to schedule your internal move. We are happy to rearrange any heavy furniture as our movers are professionally trained and will move the same piece until you are happy with its final resting place.

Do you have any packing tips which have saved you from the hassle and time-consuming storing process? If so, please comment below to share your ideas with us; we’ll incorporate your best practices into future blogs. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is here to move you forward with any packing tips and challenges you may have.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Pack and Protect Christmas Decorations

Written by Cait Quinn

The holidays are over just as fast as they arrive, and we can all agree cleaning up and tearing down after the festivities, food, and family gatherings is one of the last things you want to tackle. Make the packing process a breeze this year with these decoration packing and organizing tips. You can return to relaxing in no time.

1.    Get everyone involved – Packing up Christmas goes by much quicker with some helping hands! Choose a time when your family can get involved, and incentivize the crew with dinner or a movie afterwards. Post-packing plans will also give everyone something fun to look forward to!

2.    Organize – Start by separating your decorations. This can be by category, such as outside and inside decorations, by room (living room, kitchen, and childrens’ rooms), or by the order in which you bring out the decorations. For instance, if your family usually strings lights right after Thanksgiving with the tree the following week, you can sort the decorations in that order and number each box for maximum time-saving. Choose the order that makes the most sense for your holiday habits.

Christmas lights organization3.    Storage – Once your holiday décor and related materials are sorted, boxing them up should be quick. We recommend using the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dishpack box to store gift-wrapping supplies. The full instructions to utilize the box are here.

When packing lights and garlands, take extra care since they tend to tangle easily. Try using an old paper towel roll or a piece of cardboard and wrap the lights around it, then label the shelf where the lights are placed. And speaking of reusing wrapping scraps …

Christmas ornment organization4.    Recycle! – There are many ways to use all the leftover wrapping paper and boxes from the year. One simple way to pack Christmas tree ornaments is to wrap them in used wrapping paper or bubble wrap and nestle them in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dishpack box. The paper will protect ornaments and the special dividers keep them separated. Did anyone in your household get new shoes for Christmas? Use the silica gel packets that come inside shoe boxes to place inside your Christmas decoration boxes. They keep the humidity out and allow your decorations to last even longer.

5.    Label, label, label – Nothing is more frustrating than searching through box after box looking for one specific item. Make this process less stressful and save yourself some time next holiday season labeling items found in each box!

Do you have any great decoration packing tips to share? Leave a comment below and let us know. Have more to pack? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is here to move you forward with tips and answers to your packing challenges.

We hope you enjoyed this holiday season with your family. Blessings to you in the New Year!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Reject These Common Reasons for Keeping Clutter

Janine Adams

Janine Adams is the founder of Peace of Mind Organizing®

Written by guest blogger Janine Adams

As a professional organizer, I often help guide clients’ decisions about whether or not to keep or part with items. For some people, letting go is really tough. When they have more stuff than they can store, it can lead to some interesting conversations about why they want to hang on to things.

There are three common reasons I hear for wanting to keep items that are no longer used or loved. these reasons don’t hold water with me. If you hear yourself saying any of these things about items you don’t use or love, I encourage you to think twice about keeping them.

 1. I paid a lot for that! You know what? You may have paid a lot, but the money’s gone. And the only way you might get any of it back is to sell the item or donate it and take a tax deduction. What’s more, there are hidden costs to keeping it: you probably beat yourself up when you see it, so there’s an emotional cost. If you trip over it, you could hurt yourself and pay a physical and monetary price. And if you pay to store it just because you paid a lot for it, things are starting to get ridiculous.

2.  I might need it some day. You’re right, you might. But then again you might not. And if you can’t find it when you need it, then keeping it doesn’t do you much good. I think we all live in fear of discarding something and then discovering that we need it. It makes us feel stupid. But realistically, what’s the worse-case scenario? You get another one. In my opinion, if you have more stuff than you can store, the actual benefit of parting with an item you don’t need now (i.e. creating space) outweighs the potential benefit of having it on hand should you ever need it.

3. It was a gift. Gifts are tough. You hate to disappoint the gift giver by getting rid of something given in love. But, again, if you have more stuff than you can store, wouldn’t the gift giver prefer that you let it go? Regift it. Donate it. Just get it into the hands of someone who will actually use or love it. It gets even more tricky when the gift giver has passed away. But that unloved and unused gift won’t bring them back. Perhaps you have a mutual friend or family member who would treasure that item. If so, pass it along. It boils down to this: Just because someone gave you something doesn’t mean you have to hold on to it forever.

When you’re trying to conquer clutter, try not to fall into the trap of these excuses for keeping stuff you really don’t need. Once you let the excess go, I bet you’ll feel liberated.

Janine Adams is a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, Missouri, and the founder of Peace of Mind Organizing®. She helps clients create order, harmony and, yes, peace of mind, by helping them declutter and create new systems and routines. The co-creator of Declutter Happy Hour, she is a blogger for Rubbermaid and has appeared on both A&E’s Hoarders and TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive documentary TV series.