After Christmas it can be a bit of a rush to get the decorations down and return to normal, leading us to shove artificial trees back in boxes and into the corner of the attic for another year.
However, this is one of the worst ways to organize Christmas decorations for storage and could damage your tree without you realizing it.
Instead, there are some prime storage spots in your home that are perfect for keeping your tree looking realistic year after year – here’s what the professionals do.
How to store a Christmas tree
There are more than just Christmas tree decorating mistakes you need to avoid if you want your tree to look its best year after year. Storing it in the right location with fewer temperature fluctuations and in the right container is paramount to making a Christmas tree look fuller after use.
Here’s how to store your Christmas trees correctly:
1. Use the right container
If you have ever tried to wrestle a Christmas tree back into the box it came in, then you will know how it is almost impossible. To save yourself some time and energy, Amélie Saint-Jacques, professional organizer and founder of Amelie Organizes, strongly recommends investing in a specialized Christmas tree bag, such as this from Amazon:
‘They are sturdy, have large handles, and wheels so it is easier to maneuver your tree in and out of home storage each year,’ she explains. 'The hooks also allow you to hang it on the wall if you don't want it on the floor. I love a bag because not only does it keep the whole thing contained (so you don't have to go looking for half your tree if you're missing pieces), but it also keeps out dust and the elements.’
Amélie Saint-Jacques is a certified KonMari Consultant and professional organizer based in San Antonio with years of experience in professional tidying.
There are some additional benefits to reboxing your Christmas tree than just practicality, Brenda Scott, professional organizer and founder of Tidy My Space, adds:
‘Cardboard absorbs water and moisture thus ruining its contents with mold,’ she warns.
‘If stored in a cardboard box, make sure that it's off the basement floor in case of a flood. I like to store my disassembled faux Christmas tree in a tree bag that hangs from a sturdy hook in my utility room.
When storing in a bag, Brenda also recommends not stacking anything on the 'bag' unless it has hard solid sides. ‘The soft sides on most faux Christmas tree bags will collapse with any weight on them.’
Brenda Scott is passionate about home organizing, decluttering, and creating a safe home. At Tidy My Space, she helps people to keep their homes tidy when life gets busy. Brenda shares useful tips and gives practical help with sorting and editing her clients' spaces, leading them to feel less stressed and bringing the luxury of time to be spent with family, friends, or on themselves.
2. Always take your tree apart before storing
To make your home organizing simpler, it helps to take your Christmas tree apart before sowing it away, Amélie Saint-Jacques, professional organizer, continues.
‘Before storing an artificial tree, make sure to take it apart (it is often in three sections) and fold down the branches before storing it in the bag, pole ends toward the middle. This helps keep the bag in good condition and will ensure that the branches aren't bent next year.’
3. Keep trees out of basements and attics
Although attics and basements are some of the most common places to store a Christmas tree in the off-season, these are some of the spaces you should never use for home storage if you want your tree to last you for years to come, professional organizers warn.
‘Although it's tempting to store a Christmas tree in the attic, basement, or garage, unfortunately, these are not optimal areas due to pests, temperature changes, and moisture, all of which can damage your faux Christmas tree,’ Lauren Saltman, home organizer and founder of Living. Simplified. explains.
‘If possible, find space in a closet within your home, preferably on a top shelf,’ Lauren suggests, making under-the-stairs organization a great place to start when looking for a new home for your tree.
Lauren Saltman is a professional organizer and owner of Living. Simplified., a professional organizing company serving the greater seacoast of New Hampshire, southern Maine, and Massachusetts areas.
That being said, if you really have nowhere else to store your tree, some accommodations can be made to protect your tree in unfavorable storage spots, assures Amélie Saint-Jacques, professional organizer:
‘As long as it's in a sturdy bag like the one I mentioned, it is protected just fine. Just note that this is not always the case with trees that have white limbs or fake snow, but for a green tree, I haven't seen any issues. The most important thing is to store the bag in a way that it won't come into contact with water or direct sunlight; having a bag also helps protect the tree against dust or insects that might want to nest in it.’
Gemma Abraham and Hayley Harrison, professional organizers and co-founders of Organis-d, go so far as to suggest investing in sturdy, well-insulated outdoor storage if you are running low on indoor storage space: ‘Bulky, seasonal items should always be stored away from the main living/used spaces of the home,' they say.
'If you don’t have space in the home to store these items, some amazing heavy-duty metal outdoor storage containers do an equally amazing job. They are damp-free and come in a range of sizes – we always recommend these to clients with limited indoor storage.’
Gemma and Hayley believe an organized home is not only good on a practical level, it is good for the mind. We bring expertise and a passion for organizing into your home, leaving you with beautiful and functional living spaces.
How can I store my Christmas tree without a box?
If you do not have the original box to put your Christmas tree back into, consider replacing it with a dedicated Christmas tree storage bin or bag to help protect it from damage between uses. These are easily found online. If you can't get a box or bag, your next best bet is to take your tree apart and wrap each section carefully in saran wrap to prevent the branches from getting snagged in storage, but this should be a last resort.
Should you wrap an artificial Christmas tree for storage?
If you don't want to take all of the decorations off of your Christmas tree before storing it to save time next year, you can leave the tree in one piece and wrap it from top to bottom in saran wrap before putting it into a large tree bag. One thing to note about this method, however, is it leaves your decorations more susceptible to damage, and your tree will need some serious fluffing up and readjusting the following year – so it might be worth taking it all apart anyway.
Once you have your tree safely stowed away, then you can consider what other kit you need to clear your home of Christmas and keep your other prized decorations safe in storage.
Just remember to consider some of the post-Christmas decluttering rules professionals always follow so you don't end up over-filling your storage and making your decorating job more difficult next year.
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Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
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