Christmas Ornament Storage: Protect Your Heirlooms

Holiday Storage and Seasonal

vintage glass Christmas ornaments in their original box

Storing fragile glass Christmas ornaments isn’t complicated. But do it wrong and you could damage your favorite holiday heirlooms so that spots and peeling occur, like in the photos below.

Two vintage Christmas ornaments damaged by moisture

Often these days, our instinct is to put anything special in a plastic box before throwing it out of the house. We assume that will keep our stuff safe. But for fragile vintage ornaments and many other items, plastic is not a good idea because it can actually trap small amounts of existing moisture inside the box.

When temperatures change, as they do to an extreme degree in many basements, attics and garages, condensation settles on the ornaments, inside and out. When the moisture dries again it can cause the paint to flake off or to spot.

vintage Christmas ornament damaged by moisture

Instead, consider moving something else out of the house to make room for at least a few of your favorite, fragile ornaments in your home. Store the ornaments in cardboard or fabric boxes that are strong enough to protect them from pressure, if you are stacking the boxes. Note that modern plastic balls, wreaths, lights and other items require less care and can easily be stored where most convenient.

We talked to the folks at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, located in suburban Michigan, aka “ The World’s Largest Christmas Store”, for advice and some information on the types of boxes out there that these experts felt would preserve ornaments. Like major container storage chains, Bronner’s offers cardboard boxes. You could even go with something made of acid-free cardboard or a fancier fabric box. Or you could store in the original box, perhaps inserted into a stronger box. Both images below are from Bronner’s.

Christmas ornament storage box cardboard green exterior white interior

red fabric Christmas ornament storage box

Wrap the ornaments in tissue to pad and protect them. Or use divided boxes. Place ornaments with the opening and cap down. Some people recommend removing the metal hooks every year to prevent scratching, but it might be easier to just quickly separate the hooks and the ornaments when you wrap them. You can add packets of silica, but replace every few months or bake in the oven at a low temperature to dry them out, if the packs aren’t plastic.

Then store in a dry, dark spot in your house. Place the ornaments where the temperature in your home is most consistent. If you do have ornaments that are damaged already, don’t fret or get rid of them, unless you send them our way. Remember that signs of aging can be part of the charm of something that’s old, especially on a traditional tree. Enjoy. Happy holidays!

vintage Christmas ornaments laid out on a table

How do you store ornaments? What are your favorites? Please share!

Facebook, Pinterest, Google , or Twitter!

by Ann Griffith Google



Photo upload terms and conditions

  1. Maximum file size accepted is 5 MB.
  2. Public Storage reserves the right in its sole discretion to decline to use any photo submitted.
  3. Images must be your own.
  4. You must have permission of anyone featured in the photo before uploading for use by Public Storage.
  5. Photos must not infringe upon the copyrights or trademarks of any person or entity.
  6. By submitting, you agree that Public Storage can use and shall own the photos and all rights therein.
  7. You understand and acknowledge that you are receiving no compensation in exchange for submitting images, though some images may also be used as part of a giveaway if announced on social media for that time period.
  8. Submitting the photo does not automatically enter you to participate in any contest or sweepstakes.
  9. By submitting a photo, you agree that Public Storage may use your image (and the likeness of anyone featured in that image) for advertising or the like and in any media of any kind, including any social media channel, without compensation of any kind. The photo may be used in this matter at any time and without further notification or release. The photo will be kept by Public Storage and not returned to you.
  10. By submitting a photo, you agree that Public Storage may contact you with questions about you and other people and activities represented in the image.
  11. By submitting a photo, you agree to defend, hold harmless and indemnify Public Storage and each and all of the agents, representatives, insurers, employees, attorneys, successors, subsidiaries, parent companies, affiliated companies, assigns, officers, directors, and shareholders of Public Storage, both present and past (collectively referred to herein as “Public Storage”) and the like against any and all claims, including claims of infringement of any intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, rights or privacy and publicity, moral rights and rights of attribution raise by third parties in connection with any photo submitted.
  12. Public Storage is not responsible for any injury, losses or damages of any kind resulting from the submission of your photo.
  13. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for letting you know whether the photo was or was not used.
  14. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for notifying you of why your photo is or is not used.
  15. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, deletion, defect, theft, destruction or alteration of any photo.
  16. You release Public Storage and each and all of the agents, representatives, insurers, employees, attorneys, successors, subsidiaries, parent companies, affiliated companies, assigns, officers, directors, and shareholders of Public Storage, both present and past from and against any and all claims which you have now or may have in the future for invasion of privacy, defamation, violations of rights of publicity or any other cause of action arising out of distribution, copying, display or other use of the photo in any way.
  17. Your submission shall be exclusively governed by the laws of the State of California, without regard to conflicts of law provisions. You (or your parent/legal guardian if you are a minor) submit to the jurisdiction of California and agree that any dispute shall be resolved by binding arbitration to be held in Los Angeles, CA via the Rules for Commercial Arbitration of the American Arbitration Association. In the event that arbitration is prohibited by law, you agree that any lawsuit or legal action with respect to any submitted materials must be brought in the state and federal courts in Los Angeles County, Los Angeles. You and Public Storage agree that claims may only be brought in an individual capacity and in the name of an individual person or entity and that claims must proceed on an individual and non-class and non-representative basis.
X