For many families, part of holiday fun and celebration is in displaying Christmas ornaments inside and outside the home. Icicle lights, sumptuous wreaths, full-sized Nativity scenes, and fragile, glittering bulbs for the tree, hearth, and lawn come out of boxes or arrive fresh from the store.
Once the holidays are over, all these seasonal possessions have a way of ending up in messy piles of boxes in the garage, getting in the way until they are needed again next season. A few easy-to-find storage solutions can keep things organized and safe and help you get the most holiday storage out of your garage space.
Garage Storage Container Solutions
Clear, stacking plastic storage bins come in all sizes and shapes and are one simple solution for stashing away holiday decorations. But there are also some less costly storage containers which may already be lying around the house unused.
Old suitcases are one kind of storage containers that you may already have. If not, suitcases of all sizes and shapes are easily acquired at thrift stores and swap-meets. They are often more rugged than plastic bins, can be stacked, and they have handles. To make them easy to spot when you need them next year, let the kids paint holiday pictures and messages on the front and back of each case.
Hanging garment bags are another storage container you may already have or which you can easily acquire. These work well for storing rolls of wrapping paper so they do not get wrinkled and torn. Clear plastic garment bags make it easy to see exactly what is inside at a glance.
Holiday lights can be rolled up without tangling by using a garden hose reel, or, by winding the cord carefully around a cardboard cylinder. You can find one of these at the end of a roll of wrapping paper. Use a wide rubber band or a zip-lock tie to secure the end of the light cord to the cardboard roll. These rolls can also be stored in a dry and dust-free place inside a hanging garment bag.
Durable Storage Solutions for Holiday Stuff
Storage containers are only one part of the solution for safely and neatly stashing away the holiday decorations. Just as important is having some place handy to put all those containers. If your garage does not have shelves for storage, this is a good place to start.
Shelving can be complicated or simple, costly or cheap. If your budget can handle it, there are many new and advanced shelving and storage systems available, featuring built-in and movable shelving, cabinets and closets, removable containers on sliding racks, and more. If your budget or needs are more modest, simple and low-cost shelves can be made in several ways.
Setting sturdy boards atop masonry bricks and building a shelf up to four feet high is one simple method of making shelves. Another method of getting a fast set of shelves in the garage is by finding a book shelf at a garage sale or thrift store and then attach it securely to the wall securely inside the garage. Attach the back of the shelf to studs inside the wall using 3 inch to 4 inch lag screws and washers.
Other types of inexpensive cabinetry can also be found at second-hand stores and garage sales and then converted to use for holiday storage in the garage. However, the walls of the garage are not the only place to think about when looking for storage solutions.
The garage ceiling is another place where storage containers can be stashed away. Ceiling racks bolt to the framing in the garage ceiling, giving you a way of sliding a storage bin into an overhead location. Another simple option, if the ceiling framing is exposed, is placing boards or plywood on the rafters. Make sure storage like this is away from garage door openers and place it above areas near the wall where it is less likely to fall and easier to access. Overhead storage like this does require a ladder and some upper body strength to use.
Your Garage Door and Holiday Storage
Your garage door might not be the first thing you think about when you start putting away the decorations, but the holidays are a good time for making sure your garage door is in safe and working order. A functional and safe garage door makes using your garage for Holiday storage ñ or anything else ñ safer and more convenient.