I have to be honest, this wasn’t my idea, and after 13 years of buying my own Christmas tree, I wish I’d come up with it on my own! Last year when we went to pick up our Christmas tree, the guy at the lot asked me if I knew the best way to not make a mess of the needles. Of course I would’ve liked to have said “yes”, but being honest I said “no, but I’d love to hear it.” And that’s when he proceeded to tell me something that was so smart/simple, that I wanted to smack myself in the head and say “duh!”
Okay, before I tell you this Christmas tree clean up tip, if you’ve already thought of this, and I’m the only person on the planet to not think of this, please be nice. Please don’t leave me a comment and tell me I’m an idiot, just smile nicely, think it in your mind and then feel bad for me that I’m so slow. 😉 However if you’re like me and this is a new idea to you, I’d love for you to come back in January and tell me how it worked for you!
Am I killing you by going on and on…? I’m sorry, I’m just feeling chatty today. Okay, on to the tip.
Go to the Christmas tree lot and pick out your tree. For those of you that are still American enough to cut down your own tree, I applaud you. I honestly LOVE cutting down our tree, and did it for 25 years of my life, but we don’t grow fluffy trees here in NorCal so about 10 years ago I told my husband we had to start buying them from a lot because I wanted a HUGE, fluffy tree, with no spaces.
Most lots will wrap your tree in a net but ask them for a plastic bag instead. Any tree lot that flocks trees will have them, even if you have to pay a few dollars more, trust me, it’s worth it.
Bring your tree home and place it in the stand. DO NOT remove the plastic bag.
Roll the bag all the way down the tree, starting at the top.
Yes, I use books to level out my tree. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid because every year it works like a charm. 🙂
Spread the bag out around the tree and leave it there. Yes, I said leave it there, I know it sounds crazy but trust me. Place your tree skirt and presents over it and forget all about it.
When all the presents have been opened, Christmas is over and it’s time to take down the tree (the saddest time of year) remove your tree skirt by lifting from the outside edges and dump any fallen needles under the tree.
Remember how we left the plastic bag underneath the tree? Yep, it’s going to catch all those fallen needless! And here’s the best part, we’re going to roll that bag right back up the tree to keep it from shedding all the dead needles as you carry it out the house. Yep, genius.
Roll the plastic bag back up to the top of the tree and tie it closed.
Remove the tree from it’s stand and take it outside to the curb.
For this part I seriously wish I had “before” pictures from all the years I didn’t use this trick, and there were 5 million pine needles all over the floor, but I don’t, so this “after” picture will have to do, and you’ll just have to imagine what it looked like in years past. I can’t even tell you how excited I was to not have to vacuum 10 times, clog up the vacuum with pine needles and then find pine needles hiding throughout the house for the rest of the year. I know some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. This Christmas tree clean-up hack will save you from all of that, you will probably have a few needles to clean up, but that’s it.
The only “mass” of needles that were left on my floor were the needles that dropped as Matt was rolling the bag back up the tree, which wasn’t even that bad. I’d take this little pile over the trail of needles to the door, any day!
Be honest, did this tip just blow your mind? I hope it will make you as happy as it made me last year! After Matt took the tree out the door, I seriously wanted to squeal with excitement when I realized how well it worked! I hope you have a Merry Christmas and even even happier New Year, with less clean up than every year preceding it. 🙂
barbara eads says
This is a genius idea. But honestly,, the mess doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I LOVE the sound of sucking up those needles!! I have a central vac system, so maybe that makes a difference. I could see filling a regular vac bag with needles. PS your tree looked just as good when you took it down as when you put it up! Another advantage I see for using this method is that if you have any water leakage while watering the tree, the plastic will catch it. Hmmm, I just may have talked myself into giving this a try!
Ginny @ OrganizingHomelife.com says
Great tip, Anna! We cut a real tree every year and I know what you mean with the needles! I saved an old vinyl tablecloth that I store in the garage with the Christmas tree stand. After Christmas, we lay it on the floor next to the tree and after lifting the tree out of the stand, we lay it on the tablecloth, wrap it around it and drag it out of the house. It catches most of the needles and doesn’t leave a trail out of the house, but there are always a TON of needles at the base of the tree! I have clogged vacuum houses, too, and they are such a pain to unclog – literally! I love that the bag catches all the needles!! I am definitely going to see if our tree farm has bags this year. Or maybe they can be found on Amazon? 😉 Great tip!
Alice @ Mums Make Lists says
Fantastic tip Anna – I have got to try this! I usually still find needles at Easter!