Tips for packing a Christmas tree, ornaments and other holiday décor
What are your favorite Christmas decorations? Is it the reindeer ornament your child made out of craft sticks? What about the snow globe of Santa’s village passed down by your great-grandmother? Maybe it’s the tree, twinkling with little white lights and a sparkling star?
Whatever the case, you pack these things away after the holidays each year, knowing they’ll be safe until next season. But now you’re moving, and your stuff has to travel across the country in the back of a truck. When it comes to fragile items like ornaments, it’s essential to pack with even more care than you would for storage. This helps ensure you’re able to deck the halls with your most treasured keepsakes for many seasons to come! Start by getting the right supplies, then follow these tips and best practices for packing decorations.
Gather these supplies
The décor you’re packing determines the materials to get. Typically, you’ll need:
- Small, medium and large moving boxes (use the original box when possible)
- Box divider inserts
- Moving blankets
- Bubble Wrap®
- Packing paper
How to pack common Christmas decorations
Once you have supplies, it’s time to start packing. Get into the spirit by listening to your favorite Christmas playlist and drinking a cup of hot chocolate (or have iced cocoa if it’s summertime!). Ready? Here’s how to pack:
While plastic tubs are efficient for Christmas tree storage, they usually don’t provide the best protection during a move. Think about it like this: Manufacturers ship things in sturdy corrugated cardboard boxes because they stack well and hold their shape — protecting the items inside. If you still have the box the tree came in (and it’s in good condition), use it. If not, consider purchasing a new box online or at a hardware store. For even more protection, put the tree in a Christmas tree bag before placing it in the box.
Ornaments are typically made of fragile materials like glass or ceramic. To prevent breakage in transit, it’s best to wrap them in Bubble Wrap® or plenty of packing paper, and place them in a box with divided sections (like the boxes used to pack drinking glasses). If you have oversized or unusually shaped baubles, wrap them individually in Bubble Wrap®. Then, line a small-sized box with packing paper and layer the ornaments, filling extra space with more paper to prevent jostling. Wrap non-breakable ornaments and place them together in zip-top bags. Make sure to mark the box “fragile” and avoid stacking other heavy boxes on top.
If Christmas lights are just thrown into a box, the bulbs could break, and the strings can become a tangled nightmare (we’ve all been there). Instead:
- Roll the lights around a storage reel (find these cheap online) or
- Wrap the lights around a sheet of cardboard, using tape to secure the string and finishing with a layer of Bubble Wrap®
These methods also work great for packing garland that’s plain or has lights attached.
A wreath’s faux pine branches often display lights, ornaments, bows, and other decorative pieces, so you’ll need to pack them with care to help prevent damage. For ultimate protection (if it’s a pricier wreath), consider buying a special-made wreath box. Or, place it in a large trash bag, pack it upright in a box, and fill in gaps with Bubble Wrap® or crumpled paper.
Packing those giant inflatable Frosty and wooden nativity scenes is simple (and your new neighbors will be happy you did!). Put inflatables together in one box, and pack their stakes in another to prevent punctures.
Moving blankets are great for wrapping things like nativity scenes and other large outdoor lawn décor. Use one or two blankets (depending on the size) to cover each decoration, and then use the tape to secure the material. Just be sure not to tape to the item — it could damage the finish.
Miscellaneous holiday decor
Pack things like stockings, tree skirts, snow villages, etc., like you would any other household belonging. Use original boxes when possible (sturdy boxes made for moving when it’s not), wrap breakables with Bubble Wrap® or packing paper, and use crumpled packing paper to fill space and keep things from shifting in the box.
3 tips for packing seasonal items
Here are some helpful hints for packing Christmas décor:
- Pack early. Unless you’re moving during the holidays, Christmas décor (and other seasonal decorations) aren’t daily necessities, so they can be some of the first things you pack. During this process, get rid of unwanted décor, and check all light strands to make sure the bulbs still work.
- Box separately. Keep these separate from other household goods and label the boxes so you won’t have to unpack and reorganize everything in your new home. These boxes can go straight to storage without unpacking.
- Label clearly. Use the marker to label each box. When it’s time to decorate, you’ll know exactly where everything is!
Get more holiday packing advice
Are you planning a Christmastime move? This guide offers helpful information for anyone moving during the holidays.
If you have questions about packing holiday decorations, leave us a comment. We’re happy to help!
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