Home & Garden

A few items can help you store tree, ornaments

If you haven't already taken down your holiday decorations, chances are you soon will. Here are some recommendations for keeping things neat.

Trees: Storing your artificial tree upright and fully assembled is the ideal.

The Container Store's Wheeled Holiday Storage Bag ($39.99) from its Santa's Bag Collection can accommodate a tree 6 to 9 feet tall. It's made of durable polyester and has a handle and in-line skating wheels to help you maneuver in and out of the house. There's also a hook on top to secure it and keep it from tipping over during the off-season.

If you lack space, go for a duffle-style Rolling Tree Storage Bag from The Home Depot. The bag (starting at $19.98) can be laid on top of stacked boxes. In some cases, dismantling the tree might be required if it exceeds the bag's dimensions.

Ornaments: The window boxes or clear plastic tubes that your ornaments came in were not made to be stored year after year. Go with a sturdy container with dividers. At Target, you can find the Households Essentials 30-piece Holiday Ornament Chest ($39.99). It features a red canvas exterior with a see-through window. You'll find a similar case at The Home Depot.

For extra protection, experts recommend that you individually wrap the ornaments with tissue paper or bubble wrap.

Lights: Never loop strings of light by hand. It twists and tangles the wire, and the bulbs could break. The way to store lights is to wrap them around a cord or spool. The Container Store sells two sizes of Wing-Lid Light Storage Boxes (starting at $14.99) complete with four Light Cord Wraps ($1.99 each) that also are sold separately.

Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design at The Home Depot, suggests using tubes from rolls of toilet paper, aluminum foil or plastic wrap, paper towels or gift wrap and then storing the spooled lights in a hard plastic container.

Sandra Barrera, Los Angeles Daily News