In our household, like many others, the fervor to have the privilege of adorning the christmas tree, decorating the house and gardens somehow dissipates very quickly after the 25th.
Once the gifts have all been opened, the parties are done and New Year has passed, the sight of drooping ornaments and an abandoned tree often lasts well into January – while my family has discovered more important things to do than pack up the remains of the season for next year.
Let’s face it, trying to pack a christmas tree back into a box can be like trying to get back into your bathing suit after eating your way through turkey and chocolates – it just doesn’t fit the way it did…
Here is a step-by-step guide to making the process of packing up after this years festivities, a little less painful…
Stocking up on durable, sturdy and stackable storage containers is the biggest piece of the puzzle – large enough to store the dismantled tree, decorations, lights and the myriad of other seasonal decorations. Purchase multiple colors to make it easy to differentiate the contents without having to open each container.
Ensure they have secure lids to keep out moisture and dirt and look for those with wheels, to save your back and enable easier mobility of heavier items.
Baubles, balls and breakables
Ideally stockpile plastic food containers throughout the year or purchase some cheaply from the local supermarket. These are ideal for storing delicate or fragile ornaments and can be stacked. Try to keep them all together in their storage tub and mark FRAGILE.
Place the container with fragile pieces on the top of the stackable tub pile. This will avoid jostling the contents any more than necessary when accessing them.
For those dealing with an artificial tree, I suggest you throw away the box and use one of the plastic storage containers mentioned above. Having the ability to seal the lid closed and stack it, lessens its storage footprint.
Before placing it into storage, dismantle the tree and fold the branches back into place. Large elastic bands may assist in keeping the ‘foliage’ neat and compact.
For real trees, grab a substantial drop cloth or sheet from the hardware store and spread it out on the floor. Lower the tree gently into it and wrap securely. This prevents the mess normally associated with dropped pine needles.
If you have an open fire, place the tree in a dry spot outside ready for winter. For those with no open fire, either cut the tree down to a size which will fit in a green waste bin or arrange for a council green waste collection.
Icicle and string lights can end up a tangled mess unless carefully packed. Using long flat pieces of cardboard, gently wrap the strings around taking car to avoid overlapping the strands. This way the lights can be safely stored and easily unwound next year.
For larger lengths, try repurposing a hose reel to make ravelling and unravelling the lights a snap.
Wraps and Ribbons
If you are a seasoned christmas organizer then you need to set aside a dedicated cupboard for wraps and ribbons. In a cupboard, use lengths of pole or dowling with brackets to sit them in, for an easy way to store paper, ribbons and string.
By the time christmas 2018 rolls around you should have perfected your holiday pack up plan. Setting in place some simple and affordable strategies now can mean you will enjoy a relaxing boxing day without the stress and mess of previous years.