Here's The Best Way To Store Your Artificial Christmas Tree

While employing clever ways to make your artificial Christmas tree look realistic is a fun endeavor, taking down the decorations is rarely enjoyable. However, it's crucial to store your fake tree properly to ensure it's in good shape (with all its branches intact!) for the following Christmas. That means you want it to stay free of dust and mold, avoid discoloration, and get the highest possible return on the employed capital. But the road to storage doesn't have to be boring or effort-intensive if you use a cling film to wrap the tree and let it rest in a cool, dry spot for the remaining 11 months of the year.

It might be tempting to default to your go-to method of stashing the fake conifer back into its cardboard existence, but refrain from giving in since these boxes can hardly accommodate the fluffed-up branches. Further, they're highly susceptible to moisture, dust, and mold. They'll also serve as the ideal spot for pests like rats to nest and multiply, putting your expensive tree in danger. That's why it's so important to prep and store the tree properly. 

Prep the tree before storage

Before we get to the cling film part, it's necessary to prep your artificial Christmas tree for storage. Begin by wiping and removing the ornaments from the tree and storing them in separate boxes. This will ensure the baubles stay intact after you wrap them up tight and won't get crushed. Don't forget to unplug the lights from the electrical outlet and unwind the ones that aren't pre-installed.

After you're done, grab your trusty vacuum cleaner with a duster attachment (a clean microfiber cloth or soft-bristled brush will work, too) to suck up the accumulated dust. In case your tree doesn't have any lights on it, combine warm water with liquid soap and spritz the solution onto the branches to rub them clean with a cloth. Once the tree is clean, give it some time to air dry. Though this step might seem unnecessary or too much hassle, it'll ensure the conifer lasts longer and gives new Christmas trees some tough competition. Plus, it will save you loads of time when you pull it out of storage next year. 

Wrap cling film around your artificial Christmas tree

Kickstart the process by removing the detachable sections for separate storage, though you can leave it as is if you've got the required horizontal space in your garage, attic, or storage room. Next, buy a pack of industrial strength shrink film used by packers and movers like this 15-inch, 1200-foot stretch film by International Plastics Co for under $12 from Amazon since the one in your kitchen might not provide satisfactory results. Try roping in one of your family members or friends to help you out. Move the tree to the center of the room, cinch the topmost branches of the tree, and bind them tightly together with the plastic wrap to ensure it stays in place.

Next, position the film at the top of the conifer and ask your partner-in-crime to squish the branches and press them against the center of the conifer to make it easier for you to wrap the tree in cling film. Take care not to exert too much pressure on the branches and the pre-installed lights, as they might crumble otherwise. Shrink wrap the tree with four to five layers of plastic film to keep moisture, unwanted pesky intruders, and dust out. Once you're done, store your fake tree horizontally and simply cut off the cling film layers next Christmas before decking it up. You can also place a container filled with baking soda or unused coffee grounds nearby to keep the tree from developing foul odors.