Faux evergreens must be put away properly and stored in a cool, dry area.
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artificial christmas tree
Credit: Lucas Allen

While some appreciate the tradition of a real Christmas tree, many prefer the convenience and timeless beauty of an artificial tannenbaum. Even our founder prefers the fake variety—she sets up a faux tree in almost every room of her home during the holiday season.

Unlike real evergreens, faux trees don't shed needles and don't need frequent watering; some even come pre-lit. However, while your standard conifer is taken out to the curb after the holidays, an artificial tree requires year-round storage. "One of the things you should ask before buying an artificial tree is, 'Do I have the space to store this?'" says Monica Friel, president and founder of Chaos To Order, a Chicago-based professional organizing service. "A full-size tree is going to take up space in your home all year, every year."

If you're willing to sacrifice some square-footage, storing these ageless evergreens is a cinch.

1. Remove All Decorations

Before disassembling your tree, make sure to remove all ornaments, as these can become crushed as branches pile on top of each other in storage. You'll also want to remove any string lights if your tree isn't pre-lit.

2. Clean the Branches

Like many pieces of décor in our home, artificial trees collect dust while on display during the holiday season. During your post-holiday cleaning session, go ahead and give the branches a good dusting using a vacuum cleaner with a duster attachment or a damp cloth. You'll thank yourself when you unpack a clean, ready-to-go tree next year.

3. Disassemble Your Tree

Before disassembling your tree, make sure it's unplugged. If you wiped it down, allow ample time for the needles to fully dry. Smaller artificial trees are usually one piece and fold up similar to an umbrella. Full-size trees, however, are composed of several parts. For these, you may need to disassemble each branch before packing it up for the year. Refer to your instruction manual for full details on how to take apart your specific model.

4. Bag Your Tree

Don't bother saving your tree's original box. Just like real Christmas trees, an artificial tree's branches fluff out considerably over the course of the holiday, and stuffing them back into the original packaging could cause damage. "What you want is a good quality Christmas tree bag," says Friel. "If you're going to spend the money on a nice tree, you want to protect it."

How to Choose a Tree Bag

Upright tree bags allow you to store your tree completely intact, base and all. They're typically offered at a higher price point than other storage bags and they're certainly not space savers, but if you have extra room, setting up your tree next year will be as easy as unzipping a bag.

The type of bag you opt for is completely up to you and your storage needs. Some come with wheels for easier transport, while others are sold in a set, which can be easier than storing one oversized bag. Regardless of the style you choose, make sure the bag is water-resistant.

5. Store It in a Safe Place

You'll want to store your artificial tree in a safe place, so it'll stay in displayable shape for next year. Stow your bag away in a cool, dry area. Heat can cause artificial trees to become discolored or even melt, so depending on your location, the attic or garage may not be your best option.

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