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How to Get a Christmas Tree Back in the Box

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I love to think outside of the box and I always encourage people to be resourceful.

How to store a Christmas tree

How to store a Christmas tree

How to Pack Away a Christmas Tree

The secret is to use soft cloth strips to tie the tree up.


(Choose one of the following)

  • Old t-shirts
  • Bedsheets
  • Or buy soft, smooth, cheap, thin materials


  1. Gently wrap each branch cluster tightly with cloth and tie.
  2. Wrap the tree as to close the stems; no need to 'de-fluff'. This will make things faster for you.
  3. Take the tree apart, unplug it, and place it in box.
  4. Done.

My Journey: Putting the Christmas Tree Back In the Box

When you buy a Christmas tree, the box is perfect. It is not bulging; it is not torn. You can tell that the manufacturer did not have to stuff the tree in the box and then sit on the box to get it to close. You get the tree home, and it slides right out of the box. It goes together so nicely and smoothly. This is great, you think . . .

Then it comes time to get it down. The branches won't fold in, and the pieces feel like they have been welded together. You can't remember where the pieces separate. The tree will not un-fluff. The box must have shrunk because there is just no way that this tree is going in that box. Impossible!

Tackling the Tree Challenge

My friend Brandie and I came up with the reason that this happens. The manufacturer must use a girdle on the trees that they do not include in the purchase. Or they have a vacuum machine for the box and tree problem. Or maybe it's like that machine that sucks the air out of the packaging so that meat can last longer in your freezer.

Last year, I decided to try some way to avoid it. It didn't work out great, but I dragged the naked tree (since I took off all the holiday dressings) out into the garage. It stood there completely assembled in all of its fluffy glory all year long. I actually didn't mind it, except that getting it out there was just as much trouble as fighting the box.

First of all, the tree is heavy. It is not an easy thing to move. The fluff obstructed my line of sight so I did crash into stuff on the way to the garage. My tree was fatter than I thought. The door was too small. I had to push, shove, climb, and pull to get it through two doors.

Here is my Christmas gift for you: a good visual. I battled this over six-foot tree in my barely five-foot-two-inch, 100-pound body. There were small injuries to both me and the tree. I had scratches on my hands and many little pine needles gave their life for the cause.

Finally, we got threw the door to the garage, and we fell over on top of each other before we got to the spot that the tree would own for the year. It was actually not in the way or anything for the year, which was a good thing. I did have to relive the story in reverse order to get it back in the house this year.

How I Was Able to Store My Reusable Christmas Tree

This year I started thinking about some effective anti-tree fluff procedures. It was really important for me to get my big, fat tree into that little, skinny box this year. There are great products out there, but I am on a budget and wanted to test myself. Could I find a solution using some of the stuff I don't use in this house?

I imagine myself jumping on the tree and attacking it with string. I envisioned a mummy. Then I looked around, no string. Ok, well, let's keep thinking. Aha, I have a bunch of old t-shirts in the garage. They were my husband's throw-away t-shirts. We used to recycle them about once a year. I had intended to cut them into rags one day. My mission was to tie down the fluff.

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This was not the most convenient thing to do in terms of time, but it really worked. It took longer but was much easier on me than my past wrestling attempts. I used two old t-shirts cut into different-sized strips. I grabbed a limb, tied a strip, and moved on. The t-shirt was surprisingly gentle on the tree. I think I lost fewer needles putting it away this way than any other way before, which is great. I want to keep the tree as long as possible, after all. (I love the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but I don't want to turn my tree into it.)

Once everything was tied up, I did have to wrestle with the tree. I forgot where the tree separates again. So I lifted and jiggled. Nothing happened. I yanked and tugged. Nothing happened. I flipped it upside down and started jumping up and down to create more force. It took a while, but finally, the tree came apart.

After all of that, I am happy to say that it slid into the box and closed up pretty easily, except that I don't have tape. Am I suggesting that you do all of this? Not really. I mean, I had fun, and I like grappling. Just sharing my accomplishment (Box: 0; Me: 1).

How to Prevent Needle-Loss on Christmas Trees

Getting the tree back in the box last season really paid off since I had to move. The tree made it safe and snug in the new place. The best part of this was how easy it was to take the tree back out of the box. It really was a breeze, and it gets even better. An amazing, unexpected side effect of this method was that it made setup much easier.

Once again, I am losing fewer needles compared to past years. I would be tempted to say that I lost almost none. I think I saw maybe 5–10 little needles. I think I lost more the first time I took it out after buying it. Fewer needles = less cleanup. Woo hoo! Plus the tree will last longer!

I know you probably can't tell, but I am sporting my accomplishment kool-aid smile along with the weird 'master plan' giggle . . . hehehehe! The branches were also easier to fluff up because they sprang out when you untied them. The best part is I could see all the wiring and didn't have to hunt for them to plug the tree in. Awesome!

Alternative Storage Method

The box is good for people with limited space. Its shape and size make it easy to stand up and tuck in a corner. Some people find wrestling it into attic storage easier in a box. For those of you that don't want to keep the box or de-fluff, I recommend getting a cheap Christmas tree bag. You can just take the tree apart and put it in the bag.

Thanks to my shed, I was able to move to this. I lay it on top of the tubs that hold my ornaments. There is usually room for garlands and small wreaths or wrapped lights. The cons are you would need the space for it. It doesn't keep a shape; carrying it is cumbersome because it flops all over you. The material is cheap and will tear if you drag it, so lifting is a must. It won't stand vertically. Definitely testosterone friendly. Many of my male friends have it.

Or . . . skip it all! Just do this and laugh!

Or . . . skip it all! Just do this and laugh!


Lissette (author) from Central Florida on July 09, 2015:

LOL... I would have just left it up at this point Frank.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 07, 2015:

i just took down my christmas tree so now I can read this hub..LOL

Lissette (author) from Central Florida on January 07, 2015:

They are not bulleted but are in the text under This year at around the second paragraph with pictures but you are right. I can easily include a bulleted list.

Tiggersmom on January 01, 2015:

So where are the instructions of how to do it?

H Lax on January 08, 2013:

lol...I'm in!

Lissette (author) from Central Florida on January 08, 2013:

Nice to see you Honey BB. I am so glad that you enjoyed it... It was funny while it was happening too. Don't feel so bad, my tree is still up too. Lets both shoot for before feb... That gives us 3 more weeks - ish.

H Lax on January 08, 2013:

No wonder you're only 100 pounds ... lol... I had to go back to the beginning to see if I was reading an exercise! Your suggestions here are fabulous and couldn't come at a better time. You see, it's already Jan. 8th and I still haven't attempted to take down my tree because I haven't felt up to the struggle to get it back in the box. I actually started thinking, "Oh well, it looks pretty; maybe, I'll just leave it up year round." I'm sure my son will appreciate that you set me straight with some good easy directions to follow. He would have been awful embarrassed when his friends came over in May and the tree with all it's trimming was there to greet them. I got a good visual of you and your fight with your tree and I must say that I probably lost a few pounds laughing so hard. Thanks for sharing this very useful advise and for giving me a good laugh in the process.

Lissette (author) from Central Florida on December 28, 2012:

I am glad you enjoyed it Monis. My life is often like a comic strip. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Agnes on December 27, 2012:

This was FUN and FUNNY too!

Lissette (author) from Central Florida on January 16, 2012:

Thank you for reading,voting, and commenting on it MM. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Best Wishes to you too...

Movie Master from United Kingdom on January 16, 2012:

Loved the title and loved the hub!

A big vote up! best wishes.

Lissette (author) from Central Florida on January 14, 2012:

Esmeow12 - Very nice to meet you. Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. I am glad that you enjoyed it. I hope to see more of you and that you have more enjoyable days.

Lissette (author) from Central Florida on January 14, 2012:

Becky, wow! I would not have expected that type of behavior from ornaments. I mean, do they swell? I get the shatterproof so that they last and I don't have to worry about wrapping and compartmental storage. I just use color coded plastic tubs. They fall where they fall.

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on January 14, 2012:

I love the title and LOL at the hub. You are so right. It never goes back in the same way it came out. Thanks for making my day.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on January 13, 2012:

I don't think anything ever fits back into the box. The ornaments that came out of the box that I put them in last year, won't fit back into the box this year. I end up with another box every year. But I don't buy more, so why? ARGHH!!

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