As the holiday season has come and gone, I know most of us have been dealing with the painstaking task of taking down and storing our Christmas trees. I thought it may be helpful for this week’s home tip to walk you through the way I do it and share some ideas that you may find helpful! To see the tree when it was up and decorated, check out this post from December!
I like to start out by taking all of the glitter picks and the ribbons out of the tree. I throw away ribbons that are crinkled and picks that have lost too much glitter, so that the following year nothing but the best makes it to the tree. When I’m at the craft store after Christmas and the decorations are on clearance, I buy replacements for what was tossed out. To store the picks, I take a plastic pouch with a zipper that is actually the packaging for some sheets that we have. This keeps the glitter contained, it prevents the picks from getting bent and they stay pristine until the following year. I lay the ribbons one on top of another and store them in a gallon-sized plastic bag.
Next I take the smaller ornaments (the glitter icicles, the jingle bells and the smaller balls) and put them in their own separate sandwich-sized plastic bags. If the strings are broken on the icicles or the jingle bells, replace them before putting them away. Check the wire hooks on the balls and make sure they’re secure. If they’re missing a hook, put a new one on.
All of the other ornaments are next to come off the tree and get packed away. We only get newspaper delivery on Sundays, so a couple week’s before Christmas we start stockpiling our newspaper. Wrap each ornament individually in a piece of newspaper… always use new newspaper each year to ensure your ornaments will stay protected. I keep all of these in a 58 quart plastic container with a snap-on top. Once all the ornaments are wrapped, I add the bags with the other decorations and label the outside of the box.
Take the lights off of the tree (if you don’t have a pre-lit tree, of course) and separate them into their own individual strands. Plug in each strand and make sure there are no blown bulbs… if there are, replace them. Wind the strands, one at a time, around your arm and secure in the middle with the ends. Separating them out helps ensure they won’t get tangled and also helps fit them in a smaller box.
Pack up the lights into another box and label on the outside. Take down the actual tree and pack back into the original box (if you still have it) or pack into a zippered plastic bag that can be found at home improvement or craft stores. By replacing anything that got damaged over the holiday season and packaging everything up with care, you ensure that when you go to set up next year everything will be ready to go. If you take the little bit of time to stay organized and pack everything with care you will be surprised at how quickly you can get your decorating done the following year!