What to Do with That Christmas Tree and How to Safely Store Decorations for Xmas 2021
Save Money and Have Fun by Safely Putting Away This Year’s Decorations.
Christmas is over. Maybe you’ll keep the tree up another week to enjoy, but eventually you’ll have to pack away all those decorations for next year. Whether you spent hundreds of dollars on holiday décor or not, thoughtful organizing this month can save you time and money next year.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans spent an average of $230 on decorations this year. According to Statista.com, Americans spent one third more on decorations than they did last year. How much you spent may also depend on how you define decorations. However you like to deck out the house, if there are decorations you wanted but couldn’t afford; now may be the time to buy for Christmas 2021. This is the week to search the virtual clearance rack.
What to Do with the Tree
The first item to deal with is the Christmas tree itself. Remember, that if you do choose to keep the tree up for another few weeks and it’s a live tree, continue to keep it well watered thereby reducing flammability and needle droppage. If you have a live tree, it can be recycled as yard waste. The trees are chipped into valuable mulch. But first, everything must be removed from the tree and if you have a tall tree, cut it in half so it can fit on to the collection truck. Leave no metal hooks, ornaments or stand on the tree. Natural wreaths and garland can also be recycled, and put out for pick-up once any decorations have been removed. You can bundle items together with twine, but don’t put anything in plastic bags.
Generally, all yard waste should be placed in large paper bags (available for purchase at the hardware store) or set inside metal or plastic bins labeled with a large “X” to designate yard waste.
Artificial trees can be stored for reuse in their original box or inside specially designed bags for their storage. Many different products are on the market . If you’ve invested in a quality artificial tree, you’ll want to protect it for future use.
Storing the Decorations
Stackable plastic bins make great containers for storing lights and decorations. Remember to label everything and if possible store these items in a dry place with consistent temperature. Unheated garages and sheds or damp basements are not recommended storage places. Clean any inflatables such as a blow-up snowman for the front yard, thoroughly with a damp cloth before folding it up and returning it to its original box or to a storage bin. Remove all batteries from electronic decorations. (Otherwise you may find corroded battery acid on your dancing elf.)
As with everything on the tree, all tinsel must be removed. It cannot be recycled. Put it together in a small box or bag for reuse to save for next year. Metal cookie or candy boxes and egg cartons make good storage containers for fragile ornaments. Ornaments you own that you never use should be set them aside to give away to family members or charity. A fine use for excess ornaments is to use them to add glamour to your giftwrapping, in place of a voluminous bow.
Save your beautiful bows. While torn wrapping paper belongs in the trash, ribbon can be reused. Not suitable for recycling at the landfill because of the plastic coating, beautiful bows can be re-used year after year.
Make setting up next year’s light display easier by neatly winding up light strings. A piece of heavy cardboard used as a base to wind the lights and twisty ties to hold them in place will reduce messy tangles.
New Uses for Your Old Cards
This year’s Christmas cards can eventually be recycled with paper, but you can also find other uses for them. If you have children or grandchildren, give them the front section of the cards along with safe scissors and glue to create collages and new cards for Valentine’s Day ( minus the Season’s Greetings). You can also save portions of this year’s cards to use for next year’s gift tags or to make your own unique decorations and crafts.
As we start a New Year, The Peter Crilly Agency — your locally owned Independent Insurance Agency– wishes you a healthy and safe 2021. If you have any insurance questions, give us a call at 410-571-1771. We’re available to serve all your insurance needs.