Tips for Un-decking Your Halls
Decking the halls for Christmas is fun for some, arduous for others, but there's likely not many who look forward to the post-holiday aftermath and clean up. Wouldn't it be nice if the enchantment of the season ended with a magically clean house? By January you're tired and are (hopefully) taking advantage of the pause immediately following New Year's Day, not spending hours packing up seasonal swag.
We've put together some low-stress tips to make clean up easier…and possibly next year's round of decorating even more enjoyable!
- Label by location. Place all decorations for a certain area or type into a bin and then label it. This will keep you from digging through multiple containers next year and allow for easier phased decorating the following year.
- Organize ornaments. Ornaments are always the first thing to come off the tree. If you have breakable ornaments, place several towels or blankets around the bottom of the tree (especially if you have "help") just in case something falls. Recycle wrapping paper by using it to wrap ornaments before storing them, keeping the hooks on to save time next year. Be sure to place your most delicate ornaments on top. Egg cartons, leftover Solo cups, and wrapping paper rolls all provide smart and sustainable options for safe ornament storage.
- Storing strands. Wrap lights and garland around a piece of cardboard to prevent the strands from getting tangled. You can also wrap strands around the bottom of your elbow and then use elastics or twist ties to keep each strand tightly wound. Another idea is to use a round bucket to coil your lights up into – easy for storage, access and reuse!
- Wrap wreaths. Slip the frame of the wreath over the neck of a coat hanger, then cover with a plastic bag to prevent a year's worth of dust from building up. Hang in a closet or other dry location.
- Treemendous tips.
- Hopefully you've taken care and watered your tree over the holidays. This will go a long way in reducing the number of needles that fall off the tree while removing lights and ornaments.
- Tree bags are a huge help, but need to be set up in advance, something to keep in mind for next year.
- A more sustainable option is to use an old sheet to wrap the tree. Sap can ruin a sheet, so make sure to use an older one. This task is easier with two people – one holding the sheet in place on each side of the tree. With one person at each end, use the sheet to lift the tree, turn it on its side, and then carry it out.
- Use a vacuum cleaner hose or crevice attachment to suck up needles instead of the power head—or skip the vacuum altogether and use a rubber broom.
- Research local tree recycling options. In most areas, there is either a community drop-off location or curbside recycling.
- There is a plethora of storage bags on the market for artificial trees. Look for an option that will allow a bit of extra room, so the tree branches aren't being crushed in storage for 11 months out of the year.
- Another option is to loosely cover your tree or its pieces with a very lightweight sheet or fabric, taking care to not wrap it too tightly or bend the branches.
- If you have room, store your tree standing up rather than on its side to avoid getting flat spots.
- Store artificial trees in a dry place where the temperature doesn't vary.
Tip: Make next year easier on the wallet, by noting what you may want for next year and peruse Christmas clearance sales. We're a big fan of buying holiday décor for the following year right after the holiday has passed. This keeps you from shopping at the busier time of the year and saves loads of money.