If you a Florida homeowner chances are you don’t have a basement to store those holiday decorations. Which means that you are likely using your garage and few overpacked closets. Before you even unplug that strand of lights or pack up those ornaments you will want to follow these steps to ensure that you prevent any hazards and store those holiday decorations for safekeeping next year in your Florida home. 

Here are some tips for storing Christmas and holiday decorations in Florida. 

—Invest in plastic storage containers that can better weather the heat in Florida’s temperatures. There is certainly nothing wrong with a good, sturdy cardboard box but it’s no match for Florida’s humidity. In fact, if you plan on storing your artificial Christmas tree in the garage you will also want to keep it in a plastic bin as well. If you plan on storing Christmas lights in a plastic storage bin—go with a solid color versus the clear bins because light exposure dulls those bright bulbs. And LABEL those boxes. 

—Maximize storage. Overhead storage racks or storage shelves mean you still get to use your garage for a mancave or its original intended purpose…to park your vehicles. If you decide to pack away those decorations above your garage be sure to pack away lighter items such as wreaths, or inflatable blow-up decorations. If you are physically unable to climb a ladder and get those storage containers over your garage, wall shelves are a great option and heavier items such as strands of lights are a better option on those wall shelves. 

—What to store indoors. Anything that is fabric-based such as tree skirts, stockings, tablecloths, holiday napkins, etc should be stored in a Florida home or in a cool or temperature-controlled environment. Remember, you want these items to survive the heat of Florida’s summers. Speaking of melting in the heat, candles should always be stored inside your home along with those ornaments your kids fashioned from macaroni or cookies. Yes, they are inedible but cockroaches and other pests find them a delectable treat. 

—Packing away delicate decorations. Skip the newspaper and wrap those breakable ornaments in bubble wrap. It’s not only better protected but you don’t want any newspaper ink to rub off on Santa’s face. Boxes with built-in cardboard dividers or an egg crates provide ample protection for antiques and those glass ornaments. Again, it’s best to store breakables like these indoors. 

—Declutter. Now is a great time to clean out those decorations that you never use and donate them. As for those little lights that are no longer twinkling, or strands of lights with broken bulbs either repair or toss them out. 

With these tips, you don’t have to sweat storing your Christmas decorations in Florida’s heat and humidity.