How to Put Your (Fake) Christmas Tree Away For the Season

How to Put Your (Fake) Christmas Tree Away For the Season

You’re going to need a box or a bag, and some extra space in the garage.

The beauty of a fake tree is its endurance: if you spent the right amount of money and made a good choice, the fake tree you bought five years ago will still be vibrant and bristling with good intentions for many Christmases to come. Part of maintaining Mrs. Tannenbaum’s good vibes, however, is proper storage. A good fake Christmas tree can be expensive and you want to protect your investment. Here’s how you can extend your tree’s lifespan for many seasons to come.

Undress the tree first

I’m not the boss of you, so I won’t issue any directives about how long you should keep the tree up. That’s a personal decision, and I respect other people’s choices in this matter, even if they are not my own. Removing the decorations, lights, garland, and other furbelows from the tree and storing them properly, however, is a great first step. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to break down the tree—a process that is just as annoying as fluffing each individual branch when you were putting it up, but just as necessary. You might also want to give the tree a good dusting before you break it down for parts and tuck it away.

Don’t bother with the box

If this is your first time with a fake tree, chances are you saved the box and congratulated yourself for doing so. This impulse is sweet but a little misguided—once the tree has been sprung from its cardboard prison, there is no way you will be able to compress it down into a shape that will fit back inside the box. (Note that this is a lesson I learned the hard way, after buying a fake tree, saving the box, and then trying in vain to stuff the thing back from whence it came.) You cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube. Break the box down, set it out on the curb for recycling, and consider some other options, like storage bags or bins.

Find a good off-season home (for the tree)

The best place to keep your fake tree is somewhere cool and dark, accessible enough so that you can fetch it next year, but not so accessible that you’re constantly moving it out of the way to get to the stuff you really need. A garage is a great place for a fake Christmas tree to live in the off-season, as is under the bed, in an attic, or in the back of a closet next to stuff you don’t actually need all the time. My fake tree lives under my bed, which in hindsight is a terrible place for it for me, as that’s where my linens and things also live, but I do not have the luxury of storage space, as I live in an apartment with just one closet that is currently home to every jacket I own. Do not as I do: Do not store the tree next to your vacuum cleaner or where the garbage bags live, because you will curse the day you bought it every time you wrestle with it.

Consider your options 

If you have the space, you can certainly store the tree as is, but honestly, you shouldn’t. The tree should be kept away from dust and debris and should also be stored in something that’s waterproof, if you’re interested in preserving its longevity beyond just one season. Because you’ve already thrown away the box, there are a variety of options that are far better. Various companies sell bags designed specifically for this purpose, but this one here seems particularly useful, as it also comes with wheels, for ease of movement.

Red Rolling Tree Storage Bag for Trees
If you love your artificial Christmas tree, you want to keep it safe in storage. This Rolling Tree Storage Bag for trees up to 9-ft. tall does just that. The bag is durable with polyethylene fabric and it's easy to maneuver around your home with wheels and a carrying handle.

Another decent approach is a bag that wraps around the entire tree upright—perfect if you don’t want to break the tree down or if you have a very specific storage spot in mind that has more vertical space.

Large Upright Christmas Tree Storage Bag
The upright Christmas tree storage bag with wheels is perfect for artificial Christmas trees that up to 9ft. tall. Vertical storage for Christmas trees allows you to keep your tree assembled, already cutting your setup and take down time in half.

And, if a bag is not your bag at all, and you’d rather a box, then there are plastic bins designed specifically for this very purpose.

Tree Storage Box w/ Wheels
Made for stress-free Christmas tree storage, this box includes smooth-rolling wheels for easy moving. Super-durable construction includes a lid that buckles securely to protect contents. Sized for trees up to 7' tall, this box can also store 4' sections, garland or other hard-to-fit decorations.

This box is also on wheels, which will make it easy to move, and if you’re so inclined (and there’s still room left over), you can also store other seasonal decorations in it like garlands, tabletop trees, and whatever else you might have that needs to go away after Christmas is (gasp!) over.

Top image via Natalia Lebedinskaia /Getty Images

Related Reading:

How to Buy a Fake Christmas Tree that Will Actually Bring You Joy

Megan Reynolds
Senior Home Guides Editor
Megan Reynolds is Dwell's Senior Home Guides Editor. She's previously worked at Jezebel, The Billfold, and many others. She feels strongly about neon as a neutral and loves a good lamp. Holler: megan.reynolds @ dwell dot com.