So you decided this year would be a good time to try a real tree for Christmas but as hard as it was putting up you know its going to be just as hard or worse taking it down.
Well really its not that difficult and with a few easy steps you can get all of your decorations safely packed away and your tree outside ready for recycling.
The first thing we should talk about is a serious mistake some home owners make. They decide that they can simply burn their tree in their fireplace or wood burning stove. This is a really bad idea because pine has resins in it that will cause buildup in your chimney and it could lead to a fire in the flue that is impossible for you to put out. Although you won’t be burning a ton of pine its still not a good idea and by the time you break up all the branches and have needles all over the place its just not going to be nice. So just get it outside and if you have an outdoor fire pit that would be fine.
Taking down your Christmas Tree Decorations
When you attempt to take your decorations off your tree it is best to do it in reverse order of how you put them up. However the most important things like your glass antique ornaments that grandma gave you should be taken off first and put away in a safe box with paper stuffing.
Some people like to store their ornaments in the box they came in and thats probably a good idea if you kept them but for the rest of us we will just have to do our best to store things so they are easy to get to next year.
Normally people won’t save tinsel if you use it but if you can get it off easy enough you can throw it in a large zipper freezer bag. Save what you can just in case you forget to pick it up next year.
Tree lights are easy to store once you get them off the tree but the best thing to do is take all your ornaments of first then pull the tree out from the wall a couple feet so you can easily unwind the string of lights.
A piece of cardboard is the best way to store them. Cut a slot about an inch long in a flat piece of cardboard you save from a box. Then insert the cord end in that slot and you can wrap the lights around the cardboard. If you can get the other end back in that same slot great if not give it a wrap in the opposite direction and tuck in the end and it should be good.
Once everything is off the tree I suggest that you use a heavy plastic painters tarp to wrap the tree. Simply throw it over the top of the tree and then you can lay the whole tree on the floor so you can take off the base.
Once the base is removed you should use some heavy twine or rope to pull the branches in on the tree so it will fit out your door and through your hallways without causing problems. If you don’t have any rope or cord then tie the ends of some heavy trash bags together and make your own. It doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty just tie the knots tight and secure the branches. Duct Tape also would work well but many trash companies don’t like them in plastic so what ever you do .. do it so you can remove it once you get it to the curb.
Christmas Tree Trash Pickup
Once you get the tree outside you have the choice of recycling it with your trash pickup and most companies will pickup for one day about 2 weeks after Christmas so ask a neighbor or call your company or local gov office to see when that free tree pickup day is.
Store the tree by the side of your house until that day if you take it down early. Make sure its in a place that winter winds won’t blow it around.
Cleaning up everything else
You will definitely have a pile of pine needles and I don’t suggest that you use your vacuum cleaner to get most of them unless you have a wet dry vac. You should dust pan them up or sweep them in to a box and then get the final ones with your vacuum if you need to. You don’t want to clog your filters with needles and they will get embedded in the filter material.
Remember that saving lights is a good idea to save you money but if you have a set that is over 10 years old you should probably just get a set of LED bulbs that will work better and save you money. Save the older set for decorating something else if you want but you are really better off upgrading to LED lights.
And if you think you might be upgrading your decorations remember that the couple days right after Christmas are great days to get discounts on everything you will need for next season. That is if you have the place to store it all.
Good luck and keep calm and remember wear safety glasses and a good set of gloves when working.