Last year we wrote an article on how to pack up and store your holiday decorations. We spoke briefly about caring for and storing your Christmas tree, but we wanted to return to that topic a little more in depth. As you begin to pack everything up this year, here are a couple tips to help you keep your tree in tip top shape for years to come:

Find and Replace Burned-out or Broken Lights

Before you store your tree, it is important to examine it for any broken or burned-out lights. Broken or burned-out lights will cause more energy to pass through the remaining lights. This can weaken the remaining lights and cause them to burn out. If you come across a broken or burned-out light, replace the bulb. Generally, a tree will come with several replacement bulbs. If you run out of replacement bulbs, simply mark the light with tape so you can come back to it after you buy more bulbs.

Clean & Un-Fluff Tree

Most people just put their tree back in storage without giving it a second thought. If you want your tree to look its best and last longer, you should spend a little time cleaning and un-fluffing it. Cleaning it is pretty straight forward, but you should check the instructions that came with the tree before you get started. This usually entails dusting off the branches and wiping it down quickly with soap and water.
When you are finished cleaning, it is important to un-fluff the tree. This is done by folding the small branches back toward the main branches, so that the tree fits into a smaller space and the branches and lights do not get damaged. Start from the top of the tree and work your way down until you are done.

Disassemble and Place it in a storage container

Disassembling your tree should also be fairly straight forward. Start by removing the top section of the tree. Place the top section upside down and push the branches toward the center. Then lay the top section on its side out of the way and repeat the process for each section. When you get to the bottom section, just loosen the tree stand to remove it.
When the tree is completely disassembled, tie up the sections gently with twine or bungee cables. Make sure not to tie the tree up too tightly, it just needs to be tight enough to make it easier to put it into a container.
You can protect the tree from dust and dirt by placing it inside a special Christmas tree bag. Make sure to hold on to the instructions that came with the tree, so you can refresh your memory on how to care for and assemble it next year. Finally, place the tree bag inside of the original box. A plastic bin also works very well for protecting the tree from damage and making it easier to put away and store.

Store Your Tree

The last thing you need to do, to keep your Christmas tree in tip top shape is to store it in a suitable location. Attics, basements, and garages all work well for this, however, remember that colored or frosted trees are sensitive to fluctuations in humidity or temperature. If your holiday decorations take up too much space in your house, it may be much easier to rent a storage unit and keep them there, so you can easily access them when you want and they aren’t taking up precious space in your house the rest of the year.