"Forget building a better mousetrap - design a better ornament storage solution... please"
Okay, so it's only January 4th and here I am posting my first rant of the year. I'm just feeling like such a Scrooge this year, glad the holidays are over but shaking my head in awe at what they managed to do to my house in a few short weeks. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love making ornaments, I love hanging the ornaments on the tree and admiring them throughout the holiday. But I despise putting the ornaments away come January. Throughout the years I have tried so many ornament storage "solutions" and still have yet to find an ornament storage case that I can actually endorse.
Almost every ornament storage chest is designed the same way - a big rectangular box with cardboard grids that divide the layers into identically sized ornament sqaures ostensibly designed for the glass bulb-style ornaments. Whoever designed that first ornament storage chest must have had the worst copyright lawyer of all time, because every other chest that was made after has the exact same design. Why is it that all ornament storage cases are only designed to hold identically sized big glass bulbs? I have yet to meet someone that only has glass bulbs, let alone someone who has identically sized glass bulbs throughout their tree. Most trees are beautiful because the ornaments tell a story - remember that year Freddy was into basketball? Look at Joey's little handprints... Unique ornaments, unique sizes, unique shapes.
Growing up, my mom was an ornament fiend, which apparently I inherited. Every year she would drag out the boxes of store-bought and kiddo designed ornaments and we would open all the individual boxes and hang the ornaments on the tree. And then every January we would put all those little itty bitty ornaments back into their respective boxes to be put in the holiday bin for next year. For decades my mom did this, and she must have had the patience of a saint, because not once did I hear a complaint about decorating or undecorating from her. Although, in my defense, I do think those store bought ornaments have evolved into the most ridiculously packaged items of all time with their huge boxes, plastic trays and bubble wrap, and sometimes all three. And, don't even get me started on the lack of standardization and the fact that every single ornament has a different sized box, which means that the Christmas bins are impossible to pack as nicely as my Tetris-loving self would like.
In addition to all the store-bought ornaments I took with me when I left home and the few we buy each year, we also make ornaments. Come December 1st, hubby, kiddo and I churn out ornaments at an alarming rate, so much so that our tree can only handle a portion of our ornaments each year. Sometimes the ornaments are painted, sometimes they are made of FIMO, but never, ever do they fit in "one size fits all" storage. So, every year January 2nd rolls around and you will find me knee deep in tissue paper and bubble wrap individually wrapping ornaments. Yuck. I think I have one more Christmas in me before I call the whole thing off and we get tasteless glittery glass bulbs that I can toss into an ornament chest with cardboard dividers and snap the whole thing shut in minutes flat. Kidding, kidding. But, I have one more Christmas in me until I teach the kiddo to wrap and then it's her job from here on out. I'll decorate, she'll undecorate. It's only fair.
So, here's my plea to you - create a better ornament storage solution. Please. I will even help you. It must have the following: rubber, plastic or other cleanable outer surface, ornament dividers of different sizes hopefully made of materials that have at least minimal cushioning properties and it must have a few (or a lot, if you're going for bonus points) pouches made of fabric, felt or bubble wrap for the most prized ornaments to spend the other 11 months of the year in. And it should be decently affordable. As incentive, I will guarantee you one loyal customer.