How To: Remove Your Holiday Decorations

remove your holiday decor

This is the first week of the new year, and everyone’s thinking about taking down the holiday decorations. 

Taking down your holiday decorations, however, can cause injury. Ladder falls and other holiday-related accidents are common and can cause death or debilitating injuries, including brain and spinal cord damage. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there are 160 decorating-related injuries every day during the holiday season. About 15,000 people went to the emergency room because of injuries they received while decorating for the holidays in 2019.  

It isn’t just ladders and roofs that can cause holiday falls. It may be tempting to stand on a chair to reach the top of the tree, but even this can cause serious injury. Now let’s examine some simple methods for storing and organizing these decorations, and how to do so as safely as possible.

Make A Plan

You should plan the location and use of your holiday decorations as far in advance as possible, so you can prepare storage options and space. If you have an extensive collection, it may make sense to split it up into different storage areas to make it more manageable. As an example, if your home has more than one floor, it might make sense to store first-floor decorations on the first floor and second-floor decorations on the second floor, so you don’t have to lug everything from floor to floor.

Dedicated Storage Areas

It is best to keep holiday decorations in a dedicated space. An attic corner, spare closet, or even an offsite storage unit for large collections might be an option. Keeping your collection organized will prevent you from losing precious decorations each year or forgetting about timeless pieces that are spread across different storage spaces. A dedicated storage area will also make transporting your decorations easier. Ensure that your storage area is dry, dry, and temperature-controlled with little exposure to direct sunlight so that the items will not deteriorate or weather.

Specialized Storage Boxes

Invest in strong, clear boxes that specialize in protecting wreaths, ornaments, and lights. If at all possible, you should keep the box in which they originally sold the ornaments. You can use them each year to safely store ornament collections and prevent damage during the holiday season. Consider buying a black permanent marker or a label machine so that you can clearly label boxes. Organize ornaments and decorations by room and purpose for ease of use year after year. 

Easy Storage Options


A simple solution is to use segmented cardboard boxes. Paper or tissue paper can cushion fragile ornaments. Bubble wrap can provide additional protection.


Consider getting a plastic wreath storage box. Soft plastic and cardboard wreath boxes are also available.


Each strand should be tested before being stored. Those that don’t function properly should be replaced or discarded. Keep any extra bulbs together with spare fuses in a small package. Place each strand in a 1-gallon freezer bag and then stack them in a storage container. You can tie the strands together using clips or wires. If you have trouble storing lights, you can buy a storage wheel.

Storing Post-Season Bargains

Do you plan on buying a fancy, pre-lit tree or enormous outdoor decorations at a bargain price after the holidays? Before you buy any tree or holiday-themed lawn inflatable, ensure you have the space to store them for about 11 months. Don’t bring them home and then discover that you can only store them in your dining room or bedroom.

Guidelines for Safety

Remove your Christmas decorations safely by following these tips. 

  1. Please do not drink and remove decorations.
  2. Never remove lights alone on a ladder. Always have someone watch or assist you. Unless the ladder is designed to hold two people, only one person should use the ladder at a time. Be sure that your ladder base is on a level surface and that someone is holding it. Invest in a step ladder that can support your weight if you are using one.
  3. Before removing decorations and lights, unplug them.
  4. You should not remove lights or decorations when it is wet or icy.
  5. Don’t rush the process of removing holiday lights and decorations. You are more likely to overlook safety rules if you are going too fast, meaning you are more likely to suffer serious injury. Instead of taking everything down all at once, pace yourself throughout the week.
  6. Be careful not to overreach. Work at shoulder height or lower.
  7. Keep an eye on children. Keep them away from ladders.
  8. Be careful not to slip. Make sure your shoes have non-slip soles. A good choice is running shoes. You should keep the rungs and steps of the ladder dry.
  9. If you plan to hang holiday decorations, be careful not to stand on any furniture. Use the proper step ladder or step stool.
  10. Follow the 3-Point Rule. When on a ladder, you should always have three points of contact: two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. Grab the rungs rather than the rails to climb.
  11. Broken ornaments can cut you very easily if they are not handled carefully. Be cautious when handling your special ornaments. Throw away any ornaments that cannot be repaired. Be sure to keep small children away from these ornaments.

Taking Down Your Tree

Step 1: Remove the ornaments from the bottom of the tree up to prevent breaking them.

Step 2: Take out your tree. Place a large sheet of paper at the base of the tree. Lay the tree on its side and remove the stand. Then carry or drag the tree to the curb and roll it off the sheet.

Step 3: If you have bare floors, sweep and dump tree needles or other debris into the sheet and dispose of them outside when disposing of your tree. You can also vacuum them up. Check for ornament hooks, though, as these can damage vacuums. To remove needles from the carpet, sprinkle baking soda on them and then vacuum the area.


In order to make your holiday decorations preparation process more enjoyable and less stressful you need to plan ahead, have the right storage solutions, and organize your decorations. By carefully planning and executing the removal of your Christmas lights and decorations before they are removed, you ensure they last for a long time and protect the roof and exterior of your home from being damaged. Call us today if you need any post-holiday assistance with your roof at (636) 699-0449.