It is a week into January and you don’t have your tree down yet. For some this is normal, and for others – like myself – panic is starting to set in.
Taking down the tree can be a source of stress and anxiety. Who wants to deal with tangled lights, the possibility of breaking ornaments, and figuring out where to put it all. After all of your holiday celebrating is over, sometimes the last thing we want to do is take down the tree. We don’t want it to end, we just don’t have the time, or we plainly don’t want to do it!
We hope to share some of our favorite tips and tricks for taking down the tree and storing everything for another year.
Some general tips that I always love to impart on people are:
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you only have time to take the lights down, know that and be ok with it. Not everything has to happen all at once in a single session.
- Utilize what you already have. For more things (unfortunately not all) you can get away with using the stuff you already have to pack, organize, store, etc.
- Have fun! Putting up the tree is a joyous time, there is no reason taking it down cannot be the same. You are capturing new memories to share, you can reminisce about the joy that was had around the tree this year and in the past, get ready for the New Year by talking about goals, wishes and dreams.
Let’s get to it!
Before I start taking down the tree I always try to have my supplies handy. Some good ones to have handy.
- Sturdy Cardboard
- Markers or something to label
- Tree skirt
- Shirt boxes
- Empty egg cartons
- Liquor boxes
- Plastic tub/bin
- Wine bags
- Used Tissue Paper (decorative kind not the kind for your nose)
- Cut your pieces of cardboard to a manageable size. I personally like to have a couple different sizes 12in X 6in and 18in X 12in — these numbers are NOT exact… just work with what you have – ei. the side of a box. Dimensions are really not that important.
- Cut little triangles wide side on the edge across from each other on each end. If you have a wide piece you can make two separate sets of triangle indentations. These are going to hold what you end up wrapping around them in place.
- Use these cardboard cutouts to wrap your garland, ribbon, and even lights around. This will keep these things from getting tangled.
- Feel free to use some tape for your ribbon to secure it.
- Or if it is garland a quick staple works really well.
- For lights be sure to start wrapping your female end on the board first. This is because the male end of the lights generally do not have lights for a distance up the string allowing us to wrap the cord a little easier if it is not a perfect match to plug into the open end.
- Ornaments come in so many shapes, sizes, styles, textures, etc sometimes it can be utterly exhausting trying to figure out what to do with them all.
- We love to use wine gift bags for all of the non-breakables or so cheap and non-memorable we do not care about ornaments. Think plush ones, the dollar store ball ornaments to fill up space, we had little drums this year, etc. Just toss them in there, tie it up and good to go.
- For smaller breakable ornaments, utilize your shirt boxes and tissue paper, which there always seems to be excess off this time of you. If you tossed a lot of this stuff this year, don’t forget to remember this trick for next year. Or you can get 35 sheets of plain white tissue paper at the dollar store. Lay some crinkled up sheets down on the bottom of the shirt box. Wrap up each one individually and put in the the shirt box. Then add in some extra crinkled up sheets around them for added protection. Be sure to tape the box closed. Always nice to label the box with which ornaments are in there
- Alternate option for smaller ornaments wrap them and put them in an egg carton. They hold a good amount of pieces, you can label them right on the carton, you can tape them shut, and stack them nicely.
- For large breakable ornaments consider utilizing liquor boxes with the dividers. You can wrap items in your stockings, in tissue paper, and even your tree skirt. These are great because they are usually pretty sturdy and are ok to stack a few on top of each other.
- Tree toppers
- For the really delicate tree toppers, we generally suggest keeping that box and the packing materials. It is it something that is flat consider using another shirt box. Additionally, do not forget to utilize the other boxes that you probably got over the holidays – you can even pack up some of your more precious ornaments with the topper if there is room in the bigger box.
- The tree itself
- Always the biggest pain of packing up Christmas, this is one of the few things we will suggest making a special purchase for. If you plan on trying to keep your tree for the long haul, consider purchasing a tree bag. They have large canvas bags that you can put your tree into without having to undo a lot of your fluffing and sprucing that takes so long to recreate. Usually totally worth the investment.
- Putting it all away
- We cannot stress enough the use of plastic bins for storing your holiday decor. They are easy to label, stack, transport, and provide extra protection from climate and your items being crushed. Buy multiples of the same kind – you can usually get different sizes to fulfill your needs. Home Depot loves to run the storage sales at the beginning of the year, so you may still be able to cash in on that.
This is a LOT of information, so please do not feel overwhelmed. Nothing is mandatory — pick and choose what you want to use and find systems that work best for you, your family, and your lifestyle.
We would love to hear some of your favorite tips and tricks for taking down your tree and other holiday decorations.