Dreading the post holiday chores?
First let yourself unwind!
Then grab some boxes, a few supplies and this easy guide!
Before you tear everything apart, take some quick pictures of all of your decorations. I did this last year, and these were my reference when I pulled out the boxes this year. I made a few small changes, but this gave me an easy start.
Be sure to take close-ups to see the details.
Separate the non-breakables
This is my biggest time saver and how I start on the tree. I remove the non-breakable ornaments and lay them in their box. I don’t bother removing the hooks, and with a few exceptions they don’t get tangled. I began doing this to save space on the divided boxes but found it saved me so much time. Bonus!
Break it down into categories
In addition to non-breakable and fragile ornaments, I have boxes for trees, books, lights and miscellaneous larger items like snow globes and the Advent calendar.
With the trees I set the large ones on the bottom and carefully stack the others. The glass or pottery trees I wrap in tissue and securely place in the middle.
This is a very nice box, but inexpensive plastic ones work just fine.
Buy the right supplies
In my family growing up, taking down the tree was as much a part of the tradition as setting it up. My siblings and I were responsible for packing up our personal ornaments, and I carefully wrapped each one in tissue. When I had my own tree with hundreds of ornaments, I dreaded putting them away every year until I finally bought a slew of boxes with dividers.
After the non-breakable ornaments, I remove the fragile ones. If an ornament is precious to me, I’ll take time to wrap it in tissue, but most of them I set in their little cardboard cradles. I’ve never had an ornament break in storage.
This is a really good time to cull the ornaments you don’t love or use. If it’s sitting in the bottom of your boxes when you take down the tree, there’s a reason. I always have a bag for Goodwill at hand.
Make a note
This is one of my miscellaneous boxes. Here I’ve created an inventory for this box: nativities, Advent calendar, snow globes, wreaths, luminaries, lights for the tree.
Under that is a second note and a reminder that we needed to buy two more strands of lights. I was glad to have this when we opened the boxes and before I hung the lights on our tree.
What do you need or want to buy before next Christmas? Take note and write it down.
Get help at the end
I work alone stripping the tree. I’m able to move quickly without breaking anything. When all of the ornaments are boxed, I ask one or two members of my family to haul them down to storage.