You’ve probably taken your party decorations out of storage only to find them broken or tangled one more than one occasion. Don’t let packing woes put a damper on your festivities, however. Maintain the quality of your party decor by substituting your current storage techniques for new, tried-and-true methods. All you need is creativity and motivation to earn the title of Best Party Host Ever.
1. Declutter Your Space
The first thing you need to do is declutter what’s already in your space before stuffing more into it. Many people use their household nooks and crannies as catchalls, but this stuff eventually piles up and leaves you no room for necessities. Once a year — or every six months if you’re proactive — clean out your basement, garage or any other storage places.
It may be hard to part with certain things, but let’s be honest — you don’t need to keep that Halloween makeup kit you haven’t used since middle school. Keep stuff you can use year-round and scrap or donate everything else. Life changes, and so does your taste in decor. Allow yourself to stop holding on to old, unused things.
2. Organize and Make Lists
Shopping for special events can be hectic. Sometimes you end up buying a 50-pack of balloons when you already have an unopened one hiding deep in a closet. Avoid overbuying or purchasing duplicates by creating an organizational structure. Sort everything by holiday or occasion and pack these things in separate containers to prevent mix-ups.
Shoot for an extra level of organization by creating a digital spreadsheet of what you have. Avoid rummaging through your garage for hours by running a search through your list instead.
3. Store Everything in Cool, Dry Areas
Basements and garages breed mold, and you won’t be able to check every day for moisture. With the preoccupation of your day-to-day tasks, you may even forget you have a basement. This is why you should put your decorations in cool, dry places where you know the risk for mold growth is low.
You may be adamant about using your garage as storage space — especially when it’s such a flexible option — so always keep it dry. Use a dehumidifier or a moisture absorber, and fix any leaks immediately. Elevate containers with pallets or shelves as an added precaution.
4. Use a Shoe Organizer
If you own a shoe organizer you’ve forgotten about, now is the time to dig it out. They’re great for storing small supplies, and most of them come in clear or mesh designs for easy viewing. Label each pocket with a cute sticker or shipping label to make it uniquely yours. This organization tool is especially fitting for objects like streamers that can come unraveled and make a mess.
5. Buy Plastic Containers for Bigger Objects
Things like fake Christmas trees are too large to throw on a shelf or in a shoe organizer. You’ll want to utilize plastic bins for these — thankfully, they’re relatively cheap and durable enough to last long. Pick clear containers for straightforward storage or add visual interest with colorful ones. Colored bins work well for sorting your supplies by specific categories.
6. Wrap Up Your Lights
Spare yourself the frustration of wrestling with a box of tangled fairy lights by wrapping them up instead. You’ll want to use a cylindrical object like a tin can or an old wrapping paper tube for this tip. As you take the lights down, wrap them around the cylinder so they don’t get crossed up. You’ll be able to break them out next year with peace of mind and one less task to stress over.
7. Place Gift Bags in Magazine Racks
Have gift bags left over from a birthday party? Save these for next year by putting them in labeled magazine racks. Many racks allow for wall mounting, which frees up your shelving and floor space. Stack them on top of each other for extra consolidation.
8. Cushion Your Fragile Pieces
Store any breakable decor like glass and porcelain with a layer of protection. Wrap them in newspaper or bubble wrap, and line the container with the same material to prevent your belongings from shifting or cracking. There should be little room for movement — the more material you add, the less shock your belongings will absorb if you drop them.
Eliminate the Stress of Storage
Put these tips to the test and marvel at how well they work for reducing stress. You’ll never have to sweat over broken decor and ruined party plans again.
A special thanks to Kacey Mya, a lifestyle blogger who wrote this awesome article. You can find more of her work at http://www.thedriftercollective.com