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Sump pump and wall barrier in basement

Smart Holiday Decorating Storage Tips for Mold-free and Dry Items

Moving your holiday decorations to the basement requires some organization and preparation so they won’t get damaged by water or infested by mold.

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When it comes to taking care of your holiday decorations, the last advice you’d probably think about taking is from a local basement contractor in Washington, D.C. After all, what do they know about home accents or string lights, or blinkers? If you store your holiday decorations in the basement, and you don’t know its condition, wait for a big surprise come Thanksgiving or Christmas! 

That’s the time you’ll know that what happens in the basement doesn’t stay in the basement. Move up your decoration items and boxes and you’ll see the mess awaiting you. From soggy decorations to water damaged lights, everything that could go wrong will go wrong. Take steps now to waterproof the basement and protect your treasured holiday decoration items. 

waterproofing for storage

Decoration Storage Tips 

Your seasonal decorations or holiday decor probably stays stored away the whole year in the attic or basement where moisture and drastic temperature changes are common. Here’s what you need to do so they will last longer and remain free of mildew, dust, and mold

Garland. Fir garland is delicate, so gently drape it on your arms so it remains untangled. Store them garland coils in a zip-top bag or storage bin. 

Glass ball ornaments. If you can’t store these in their original boxes, buy a divided storage box and use it. Wrap up the ornaments in tissue paper and cushion them to prevent them from getting bumped. 

Seasonal lights. Wind them loosely around your arm so they remain untangled for the next holiday. To keep them organized, use wire clips or plastic light holders. Put them in a large plastic tub and label it. 

Individual ornaments. Like glass ornaments, it’s best to place them in their original boxes. Wrap ornaments that don’t have boxes carefully. Cushion delicate items that have unusual shapes with white tissue paper. You can also buy archival storage boxes and pack items with silica packets to regulate dampness. 

Dishes. If you can’t store special holiday dishes in a cabinet or hutch, store them in a box. Line a bin with newspaper, then stack the plates. As you do so, place bubble wrap between them. Fill gaps with crumpled newspapers. 

Wreaths. Store pine or faux fir wreaths in hat boxes. Large hat boxes can store multiple pine wreaths. Alternatively, you can attach them to hangers then hang them. Be sure to cover the wreaths in plastic bags until the next holiday. 

Candles. Make sure you store them in a cool place. But first, wrap them in cellophane and pack them in labeled boxes before you move them to the basement. 

Waterproofing the Basement 

It’s pointless to organize your holiday decorations and store them in a wet or moist basement. You know what excess moisture does to cardboard boxes and items with metallic parts. It will cause them to decay, develop mold, and rust. We’re not sure if this is the fate you’ll want to befall your treasured decorations. If not, do the following: 

  • Reseal doors and basement windows with caulk so outside air doesn’t come in. 
  • Have foundation wall cracks repaired by a professional. 
  • Install an energy-efficient, self-draining dehumidifier to dry out the basement air. 
  • Install an interior drainage system to collect any water that enters the basement. 
  • Service your sump pump to protect your basement from leaking pipes and snow melts. 
  • Clear the guttering system and point the downspouts away from your home. 
  • Clear external drains so water can flow out to the streets. 

When it’s time to take down lights, garlands, ornaments, tinsel, and artificial trees, storage may be the least of your concerns if you have a sprawling home. But not so for someone who has to scuttle down their seasonal decorations to the basement and pull it up next holiday season. 

Be sure to contact JES Foundation Repair for free basement waterproofing inspection and quote this season. We’re happy to discuss your waterproofing needs with you and recommend lasting solutions that will keep the basement area dry, clean, and mold-free all year round.

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