Our decorations stay up until after Three King’s Day, a.k.a. Epiphany, a.k.a. There Isn’t a Single Needle Left on This Tree. Why? Because I love Christmas, and I especially love the laid back days after Christmas, so why not celebrate all twelve of them!

I know many people like to get the decor put away tout d’suite, because it feels clean. To each their own.

Here are some tips to make the whole process smoother on the take-down side of things this year, and on the put-back-up side of things next year, because you know you’re going to blink three times and it will be Christmas again.

8 Tips for Taking Down Christmas Deocrations

8 Tips for Taking Down Christmas Decorations

1. Put your decorations in containers that are labeled by location. Pull out the family room decoration box when you want to decorate the family room, the music room when you want to decorate the music room, the pantry when you want to decorate the pantry–doesn’t everyone decorate the pantry? It’s called cookie ingredients and lots and lots of sprinkles! In my opinion, it’s worth buying decent containers to store Christmas decorations, because honestly people, despite what Clement Clark Moore says, there usually is a mouse stirring.

2. Wrap the lights and garland around a piece of cardboard or an extension cord winder-upper (official name) to prevent the strands from getting tangled.

3. Write new ornaments down in a notebook to remember where they came from and what they represent. It’s a fun lifelong Christmas journal. Store it in the ornament box.

4. Purge any decorations you didn’t use or that don’t bring you joy…like the nativity with the green faces where everyone looks like they’re bursting with food poisoning instead of bursting with joy.

5. Wrap decorations in newspaper, tissue paper, shopping bags, paper towels–whatever it takes to keep them safe. Do this as you take them down and place them immediately in the container for that room. We keep the hooks on, because it makes the next year easier.

6. Write a list of anything you need for next year. Place it inside the first box you open.

7. If you really dislike the unfestive nature of undecorating the house, make it a party! The Young family sets out all the leftover Christmas cookies and makes a party of it. (You have to try their Grandma’s fruitcake–oh my! So good!) Play music, put something yummy in the crockpot, chase your littles with the vacuum cleaner, and celebrate the end of the season with some hot cocoa and those jumbo-sized marshmallows. Fun fun fun!

8. Think about recycling your Christmas tree.

Good Housekeeping says this about how to take down a Christmas tree. You know, though, if you plan ahead for next year, try this:

Place a huge black contractor’s bag under the tree–set the tree stand in the middle of the bag. The tree skirt will cover the bag, unless your theme is black–like silent night, you know–in which case you’re all set. After you’ve taken off all the ornaments, lift the tree a bit, remove the tree stand, and pull the bag up around the tree. The needles should stay in there, unless you have a 14-foot tree like my brother. In that case, just get out the vacuum.

Print out this post and place it in your decoration box. Why? Because you’ll forget. You know you will.

When do you take down your Christmas decorations? Have any tips?

Photo credit: Flickr (Words mine)