Guide: How to Take Down and Store Your Indoor Christmas Tree
Your tree is at the heart of Christmas tradition. It graces your home with a magic of the season every year. Whether it spreads cheer in your living room, stands triumphantly near the staircase, or cozies up in your bedroom. But like all holiday decorations, you still need to take down and store your indoor Christmas tree.
And we’re here to walk you through each step on how to do it—because the key to caring for your tree is in the take-down and storage. Follow this guide to ensure that your indoor artificial Christmas tree stays magnificent every Christmas.
Storing Your Indoor Artificial Christmas Tree
Box or Bag?
The cardboard box that your tree came in might seem like a good way to store it. After all, that’s how it was packaged, and that’s how it came into your home. But it’s not the best storage solution if you want to keep your tree well-maintained year-round.
Cardboard boxes don’t provide sufficient protection from moisture or mold—or pesky critters like rodents and bugs. They don’t seal well, and tend to allow dirt, dust, and other damaging corrosives inside. A plastic bag offers more protection than a cardboard box.
An indoor artificial tree’s cardboard box also doesn’t protect adequately from the level of moisture that’s prevalent in places where trees are typically stored, such as garages, attics, basements, and outdoor storage areas. Cardboard boxes have more entry points, including the corners when breakdown occurs. Because over time, cardboard naturally weakens.
Store your tree the right way
Find a high quality storage bag that protects the components of your tree. Take note of your tree’s measurements around (circumference) and from top to bottom (height), because Christmas tree storage bags come in a range of sizes.
A high quality storage bag is designed to preserve your indoor artificial Christmas tree with enough space to fit comfortably. Just be careful not to go overboard and stuff the storage bag too full. Use your storage bag for a reasonable number of indoor tree components so that each piece has enough room to breathe. This will help you avoid the heartbreak of broken branches or pine needles, as well as snapped wires or broken bulbs on pre-lit tree designs. Damage to any electrical components that are attached to your artificial tree can void the electrical warranties.
Christmas can be a messy time of year, full of glitter, flock (fake snow), and fur if you have pets. So be sure to clean your tree before you tuck it away for next holiday season. For non-flocked trees, wipe the tips of your tree’s branches using a microfiber cloth. This avoids any messy residue that paper towels, tissues, and other disposable wipes can leave behind.
Lastly, take the full measure in preserving your tree by keeping it in a nice spot. The best place for storing an indoor artificial Christmas tree is a cool dark place out of direct sunlight. Avoid storage in any place that can get up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
Disassembling Your Artificial Indoor Tree
A big part of breaking down your tree isn’t the breakdown, but the take down. And we’re talking take-down of the Christmas ornaments that speckle your tree with color and wonder.
Unlike your indoor Christmas tree, the original packaging that ornaments come in can sometimes make for prime storage. If you’re lucky enough to have ornaments that were packaged in segmented boxes shaped with molded spots for each decoration, then the hard part of your ornament storage is already handled! Simply slip your ornaments off the tree and into their shaped dwellings.
If your ornaments weren’t cradled in any special packaging, then DIY solutions can work too. A set of plastic cups is a cost-effective way of storing your ornaments. Or egg cartons for small and cute ornaments.
But the best storage solution for your ornaments? An ornament storage bag. It’s the most effective solution for ornaments of uniform shape and size, with some bags boasting the space to store all of your ornaments in one well-designed container.
Stars and Toppers
Your star or tree topper sits proudly and specially above the rest of your ornaments. It should be stored specially too.
Did your star or tree topper come in a package of strong construction? If yes, then it’s perfect for storing in too. But if the packaging is flimsy, don’t bet on it protecting your tree’s crown jewel! And this is particularly true when storing your star or tree topper in a box with other Christmas decorations.
For a specialized storage solution, look no further than a hat box or wreath bag. Measure your star or topper from its socket to the opposite end, and then select an appropriately sized hat box or wreath bag. And line the box or bag with tissue paper as needed to keep your tip-top decoration from sliding around.
Or, you can improvise for quick storage. Bubble wrap your star or tree topper and place it in a paper or plastic bag. But be sure to use enough bubble wrap so that your star or tree topper gets the protection it needs.
Naturally, ribbon is for wrapping. And so it makes sense to wrap it up for storage as well. Use a spool or piece of cardboard as a base to wrap around. Bring the ribbon around gently without letting it twist or fold over itself. Use tape or a safety pin to secure the ribbon at the end of the wrap.
Whether they’re on your tree or your house, lights need to be taken down and stored with care so that you get the most life out of them.
Gently unwrap your lights from the tree, starting at either the top or bottom. Unplug each segment of string from each other along the way. Once your light string is removed, you can either ball it up or wrap it around cardboard.
Here’s how to ball up your lights the right way: hold the female end between your thumb and the base of your index finger, then wind the light string around your fingers. When it feels like enough lines have come around, slip the string from your fingers and continue winding the remaining line around your fingers. Keep the light string straight during winding to prevent twisting. When you reach the male plug at the end, finish by tucking it end under a length of wiring to fasten in place.
You can also wrap your lights around a rectangle-shaped section of cardboard. Simply wrap near one end of the cardboard to the other. Just use a piece of cardboard with enough length so the string doesn’t wrap over itself, as this can cause twisting and damage.
How you put away your tree skirt depends on its style. Simple tree skirts can be folded or rolled up neatly to prevent creasing. But embroidered and embellished tree skirts call for different care: put a snag-friendly covering over the top such as tissue paper. Then gently fold the tree skirt and put it in a box to protect the beads, thread, or sequins that are attached.
If you have a tree storage bag with some room to spare, you can pack the tree skirt in there as well. But be careful with how you pack the skirt so that it doesn’t crease.
While your Christmas decorations can’t always stay up, you can still repurpose that tree collar for the rest of the year. The size and shape of tree collars makes them suitable as open-bottom storage baskets. Wooden and wicker tree collars make better baskets thanks to their soft edges.
A Word on Warranty
Proper storage is key to ensuring your indoor Christmas tree, and all of your Christmas products for that matter, enjoy a long and wonderful life in your care. But correct storage does more than maintain your products—it maintains your warranties on certain product, too. Identify and keep track of which products you own that have warranties so you know which ones to treat and store with extra care.
If your indoor Christmas tree could talk, it would thank you for following this guide all the way through! And if you’d like to talk to us about all manner of Christmas decorations, our lines are open! Don’t let that decorating mystery go unsolved: reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-391-5280.