Christmas decorations can be quite expensive, so the last thing you want is to create a whole new collection every year.
Instead, Ben Wightman, of Christmas tree world reveals to Fabulous how to store them properly so you can keep using them year after year.
Every time you take your tree apart and put your Christmas baubles away, these tips will not only preserve your festive tree, but also save you time and space.
Christmas tree storage
If you buy a real tree every year, you don’t have to worry.
But if you prefer a fake Christmas tree, it is better to store it properly.
“The easiest and cheapest option to store your Christmas tree is to put it back in the original box or buy a Christmas tree storage bag, which will ensure that your tree stays clean, dry and in good condition, ready for next year, ”says Ben.
“A storage bag will also fit your tree skirt, allowing you to keep the two tidy together.”
But rather than pouring cash on the storage bag, perhaps consider keeping the tree’s original box instead.
Ben recommends wrapping your tree in an old sheet or blanket before putting it in the box.
He explains, “Make sure all decorations have been removed from the tree, take the tree apart (if it has come in several parts) and carefully pin the branches against the stem.
“One economical way to wrap your Christmas tree is to make your own fabric ‘bags’ out of old sheets, mattress bags or blankets to create an extra protective layer around your Christmas tree.
“Place the sections of your tree in their own wrapping and cover them until you can’t see the branches sticking out anymore. Then carefully start stacking the tree parts with the packaging in the box or storage bag.
Finally, find the best spot for your tree and don’t throw it just anywhere.
Ben finds an attic, cellar, or cupboard to be ideal storage spaces, but make sure it is protected from heat, humidity, or animals to keep it as long as possible.
Christmas tree lights
We all know the feeling of unboxing your lights only when they’ve got tangled up in a dozen or so knots.
Ideally, you can release them fairly quickly, but at worst, you’ll give up entirely.
But Ben has a few nifty tricks up his sleeve that will help you keep the tree lights from tangling – and the best part is, they won’t cost a thing.
Using a Pringle tube
The first method is to use a Pringles container, which can also be used for other accessories, such as clips or extra bulbs.
But there seems to be a way to do it, as Ben explains, “First, cut an ‘X’ from the top of the clear plastic top and insert one end of the light cable.
“Wrap the lights carefully around the tube, starting at the top and working down, so the lights don’t shatter.
“Then put the other end of the cable inside the hole you cut in the tube cover. Use masking tape and a marker to accurately label where each roll of light goes after the season.
For longer string lights, Ben says to reuse the cardboard roll from your empty wrapping paper.
Simply wrap the fairy lights around the cardboard roll and tuck the ends inside the tube, securing it with duct tape.
Use a hanger
This cost-effective method works best for shorter strands of light, according to Ben, and it’s easy for anyone to do.
“Any hanger will work, but it’s even better if you have a plastic hanger with hooks,” Ben says, as the hooks come in handy for wrapping and storing Christmas lights.
He explains, “Wrap one end of the light cable around the hanger hook. If you are using a hanger without hooks, you can secure the end with tape or tie the end of the cable and secure it with tape.
“Then wrap the light strands tightly around the hanger. Continue to wrap the lights from side to side and vice versa.
“When you’ve reached the last few inches of the strand, wrap the end around the hook of the hanger.
“After wrapping the lights around, gently wrap the hanger in bubble wrap or tissue paper to prevent the bulbs from breaking.”
You can then store it in a box or hang it on the wall somewhere in your storage space.
Group the lights
An easy way to store Christmas lights is to group them together and secure them with a cable tie or rubber band.
“This means you can keep them in their original packaging without having to worry about tangles,” says Ben.
Added: “You’ll know exactly what’s in the box when you unbox your decorations next year.” “
Whichever way you prefer, there is one thing you need to check before putting your lights away.
“When you take your Christmas lights apart, check for frayed wires, broken bulbs, or loose connections to save time next year – that way you’ll know if they can be fixed or broken. they must be replaced. “
When you first buy a set of new balls, many people throw away the packaging.
But Ben thinks we should all hang on to them because they’re great for storing your balls.
“Storing your balls in their original box is a nifty way to keep them safe, because storage boxes sometimes have trays you can place your balls on,” he says.
“The balls break very easily, so it’s best to wrap them in bubble wrap or used Christmas wrapping paper. “
Once packed, you can neatly store your balls in a storage box or cardboard box ready to go for next year.
But to avoid damage, make sure the box is kept in a safe place that is “sturdy” as “dropping the box could break any ornamental items.”
For small, delicate balls, a good tip is to use an egg carton once you are done with the eggs.
Then store them with your other boxes to keep them safe.
This story originally appeared on The sun and has been reproduced here with permission.