So now that the New Year has passed, you are probably getting ready to take down your Christmas tree. If you're on top of things, you most likely did this yesterday, but if you're like me and keep stalling because of how beautiful it is displayed in your home (and why ruin a good thing, right?) then perhaps a little help in the process will give you the motivation you need to get the job done. And trust me, these tips will help setting up the tree next year that much easier (only 357 more days til Christmas!)
1) Start with the ornaments.
This may seem like a no brainer, but after reading about my friend Kerrie forgetting to put lights on her tree before adding the ornaments, I just thought I'd clarify (I love you, Kerrie!) Remove ornaments from the tree and store them in a small box or container. I usually save the original boxes they came in and even a few leftover Christmas present boxes come in handy too! Mine are shatterproof, so they can be stored together without any problems. But if you have glass ornaments, I recommend using tissue or newspaper to wrap the ornaments up individually before storing.
2) Remove the lights one at a time.
I use two sets of lights on our tree. It is very important to remove the lights one at a time the same way you put them on. Yanking or pulling them off all together will cause the wires to separate inside which results in broken lights (this is why lights stop working even when the bulbs seem to be fine!) After you take care to slowly remove them, you may be wondering how to fold up the scraggly things to store them safely. I found a great tip on YouTube that I'll share below!
1) Begin by holding your arm at a 90 degree angle and placing a plastic bag over your arm and elbow with the bag open and handles facing towards you.
2) Grab the end of one of the lights and start wrapping it around the outside of the bag, under your elbow and into your hand like you would power cords or a garden hose or anything like that. (Watch this video for a better visual)
3) Once you have them wrapped, take the bag slowly off your arm and lie it on a flat surface with handles facing up. Slowly pull the edges and center simultaneously until you have the lights contained (see image below) then tie the two ends of the bag to the center in a knot.
It should end up looking like this:
3) Take down your tree.
If you have an artificial tree, this is the easy part. I start at the top and work my way down until all the branches are removed. Then I lay it in a box. Easy peasy. Now, this year we decided to get a real tree. And thanks to a great tip from my mom, this has proven to be less of a hassle than I imagined it would be! Place an old sheet or blanket on the floor beside your tree, unscrew the tree from the base and lay it down in the center of the sheet. Fold up the blanket around the tree to protect as many thistles as possible from falling all over your floor. Then, here comes the fun part... carry it out your door! Be ready to sweep and/or vacuum as soon as you're done.
That's it! I hope these few tips on how I take down my Christmas decorations were helpful to you. It's always nice to know your ornaments and lights were stored safely and will actually work next time you go to put them on your Christmas tree! :)