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“Undecorating” Biltmore House

Written By Cathy Barnhardt

Posted 12/29/15

Updated 12/29/15

For the Home

It takes months of planning and preparation to set up Christmas at Biltmore, but our amazing Floral Designers “undecorate” in just two days! They've mastered the art of organizing and packing ornaments, garland and other decorations before loading it into our warehouse, where it is safely stored until next year.

When you're packing up your holiday decor this year, use these tips from Biltmore's expert Floral Designers to keep everything looking beautiful year after year. 

  1. Never store natural materials such as nuts, cones, pods, dried flowers, or greenery with ornaments or decorations. This could invite insects, mice and moisture problems.
  2. Remove all dust and dirt from the individual ornaments before storing. Brush with a soft natural bristle brush. (Make-up brushes work well.)
  3. Always remove any ornament hangers, as they will scratch paint and could possibly rust onto cardboard or cotton ornaments.
  4. Wrap each ornament individually in tissue paper, and if an antique or collectable, be sure to use acid-free tissue to protect your investment or your memento. Also use tissue to pad the ornaments as you pack them in boxes.
  5. Never use newspaper or colored papers, as they will stain and are acidic and may damage materials. 
  6. Place the individually wrapped ornaments in shallow boxes. For everyday ornaments, apple boxes with the cardboard dividers work well for holding ornaments securely. Do not stack too many layers, as the weight of the upper layers could break ornaments on the lower layers. Shallow boxes are best.
  7. For antique ornaments, use shallow acid free cardboard boxes. 
  8. Do not use plastic storage boxes, as they do not allow for good ventilation. The box needs to be breathable, in case condensation should occur.
  9. Never store ornaments in a damp basement or a hot attic.  Temperatures need to be relatively consistent, to keep paints from flaking or spotting. High temperatures found in attics can melt wax ornaments. Humidity needs to be low, to prevent condensation or damp spots. Moisture can cause paint to break loose, or can create tarnished dark spots on glass or metal.  Cardboard and cotton can be ruined by moisture.
  10. Store boxes in a safe, cool, dry spot, away from sunlight or heat. Closet shelves in an air-conditioned and heated home work well.
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