Christmas Tree Cleanup 101

Christmas trees piled on a sidewalk

The holidays are upon us. Homeowners are decorating to provide a festive atmosphere for all the family gatherings. While decorating for the holidays is fun for the whole family, many face the daunting task of removing said decorations once the holidays have ended. As far as holiday decorations go, none can be messier than taking down a Christmas tree, especially if you opted for a real one. Here's some tips for real Christmas tree removal that will make the task much easier with less of a mess.

Remove the Breakable Ornaments

Christmas ornaments wrapped in tissue paper for storage

Start by removing all of your Christmas ornaments and any fragile decorations that could break easily. Take the time to pack your breakables in an applicable fashion that keeps them protected until next year before moving on to the next step. Wrapping your delicate ornaments in tissue paper and storing them in a durable container will help to prevent breakage. After placing your ornaments in the container, fill voids within the box with extra tissue paper or packing material to prevent movement.

Remove the Garland and Tinsel

Carefully remove your garland and pack accordingly. If you used tinsel, remove as much as you can and discard it in an environmentally safe fashion.

Remove the String Lights

A dog wrapped in Christmas lights

When removing the strands of lights, you want to work carefully and slowly to minimize the chance of spreading loose pine needles all over your living room floor. A great tip for storing Christmas lights is to wrap them around a rectangular piece of cardboard. Cut a slit on one side of the cardboard and thread one end of the light strand into the slit to hold it in place. Wrap the light around the cardboard and secure the remaining loose end into another cardboard slit. Finish the packing by wrapping the lights in tissue paper and place in a durable storage container.

Removing the Christmas Tree

There are a couple of methods for doing this without an explosion of pine needles. First, if you planned ahead, you purchased a Christmas tree bag. These bags are designed to be installed before you decorate your tree. It lies in wait under the tree skirt until you are ready to remove the tree. Simply pull the bag up and over the tree and tie it off at the top. Remove the tree from the stand and carry it outside.

For those unfortunates who did not use a bag, rest easy, there is another way you can avoid a pine needle explosion. Place a large sheet on the floor next to the tree. Next, remove any remaining water from the tree stand. A turkey baster works great for this. Now, carefully lay the tree over on its side on top of the sheet. Remove the stand and wrap the sheet around the tree.

Proper Tree Disposal

Don’t simply set your tree out by the curb unless it is on a designated day for yard waste. Many communities have yard waste collection centers where you can drop off your tree where it will be converted into mulch or compost.