Tips On ‘Undecorating’ Your House |

Tips On ‘Undecorating’ Your House

MATT FOXHGTVGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The holidays are the greatest time of year. There are so many things to enjoy – holiday music, parties, family get-togethers and great desserts. It would be difficult to pick a favorite.My co-host Shari Hiller and I also love the holiday season because of the decorations. Regardless of your usual color palette, red and green are the holiday colors of choice. Holiday lights abound and a beautifully decorated tree dominates many living rooms.Putting up the holiday decorations is always so enjoyable. The same cannot be said for taking them down.”Undecorating” the house after the holidays just seems like plain old work! Unfortunately, I don’t have any suggestions for making the task any easier, but I’ve learned that left-over Christmas cookies do make the work a bit less painful. And I’ve also learned a few tips to help protect and store your holiday treasures.When I begin the process of “undecorating,” I like to start with the tree. Since it is the largest and most complex decoration, packing away the tree gives me a real sense of accomplishment.Begin by removing the ornaments. I prefer to use clear plastic containers for my ornaments. Containers with dividers are available at most local home stores, but I’ve found that carefully wrapping each ornament with tissue provides sufficient protection.If you live in a very humid climate, you might want to include small packs of silica gel with your ornaments. The gel will protect your holiday treasures from excess moisture.To conserve space, I try to package the tree garland and lights in another clear plastic container. You may have several strands of garland on your tree. To avoid getting them tangled, lay each strand flat, separated by paper or cardboard dividers.If you have an artificial tree and you’re lucky enough to have a large storage area, consider leaving the lights on the tree. It will save time and effort, both this year and next.If you must remove the lights from your tree, do so with care. Strings of lights can be a nightmare if they become tangled.To avoid this problem, wind each string around an empty paper towel roll. Start by cutting a small slit in the top and bottom of the roll. Wedge each end of the string into the slit to prevent the lights from unwinding.Now it’s time to take out the tree. If you have a real tree, be careful to protect your flooring from accidental spills. And if you don’t want to be vacuuming pine needles from your carpeting next August, consider wrapping your tree in an old sheet or tablecloth as you remove it from your home.Some people with artificial trees like to store their trees in the original box, but this can present problems. Cardboard boxes tend to deteriorate with age and moisture exposure, making them prone to insect infestation.I prefer storing my tree in a zippered plastic bag available at most home stores. The bag is large enough so that branches do not become crushed and misshapen. Once the tree is down, move on to the wreaths. The safest way to save your wreaths is in plastic wreath boxes. These can be somewhat costly, however, so I simply wrap my wreaths in a large plastic bag and hang them on a hook in the garage. This not only keeps them clean, but also prevents the ribbons and bows from getting squashed.Now that the big items are put away, walk through the house and gather the knick-knacks and other holiday accessories. Again, a plastic storage container is a great way to keep these items safe and sound. Wrap each item carefully, placing the heaviest items on the bottom. Layering sheets of cardboard between the items will offer further protection.Place the plastic containers in your storage area. Be careful not to stack more than three containers. It would be a disaster if one fell and your beautiful holiday ornaments were broken.Take one last look around the house. You’ve probably overlooked at least one item. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you may still find a holiday accessory hiding out in your family room well into March!Doesn’t it feel great to get the house back together? Packing and organizing your holiday treasures may take a bit of time to complete, but your efforts will really pay off the first week of December next year. Want a more immediate reward? Help yourself to few more cookies.Matt Fox and Shari Hiller, authors of “Matt and Shari’s Great Weekend Projects (DRG Publishers), also appear together frequently on HGTV. For more on Matt Fox & Shari Hiller, visit or Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User