Easy ways to store your Christmas decorations so they'll last year after year – and save you time & space too

CHRISTMAS decorations can be pretty expensive, so the last thing you want is to splash out on a whole new collection every single year.

Instead, Ben Wightman, from Christmas Tree World reveals to Fabulous how to store them all correctly so you can keep on using them year after year.

Whenever it is you take down your tree and put your baubles back in storage, these tips will not only preserve your festive fir but you'll save both time and space too.

Packing away the Christmas tree 

If you buy a real tree every year then you don't have to worry.

But if a fake fir is your go to at Christmas then it's best to store it correctly.

“The easiest and cheapest option for storing your Christmas tree is to put it back in the box it came in or purchase a Christmas tree storage bag, which will ensure your tree stays clean, dry, and undamaged ready for next year,"says Ben.

"A storage bag will also fit your tree skirt in, allowing you to keep the two stored together."

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But rather than splashing cash on the storage bag, perhaps consider keeping the tree's original box instead.

Ben recommends wrapping your tree in an old sheet or blanket before popping it inside the box.

He explains: "Ensure all the decorations have been taken off the tree, take apart the tree (if it came in different parts) and pin the branches down carefully against the stem.

"To wrap your Christmas tree, a cost-effective method is to make your own fabric 'bags' with old sheets, mattress bags, or blankets to create an extra protective layer around your Christmas tree.

"Place the sections of your tree into their own wrapping and cover until you can’t see the branches poking out. Then, carefully start stacking the parts of the tree with the wrapping into the box or storage bag."

Finally, find the best place for your tree and don't just chuck it anywhere.

Ben reckons and attic, cellar, or cupboard are ideal storage space but make sure it's away from heat, moisture, or animals to preserve it for as long as possible.

Christmas Tree Lights 

We all know the feeling after unpacking your lights only to they've been tangle in a dozen knots.

Best case scenario you're able to free them quickly enough, but worst case will have you giving up entirely.

But Ben has a few nifty tricks up his sleeve which will help keep you tree lights tangle free – and the best part is that they won't cost a thing.

Use a Pringle Tube 

The first method is to use a Pringles container, which can also be used for other accessories, such as clips or extra bulbs.

But there seems to be a way to do it as Ben explains: "First, cut an 'X' in the top of the clear plastic top and insert one end of the light cable.

"Carefully roll the lights around the tube, starting at the top and working towards the bottom, so the lights do not break.

"Next, place the other end of the cable inside the hole you cut in the tube's lid. Use masking tape and a marker to precisely label where each roll of lights goes following the season."

Wrapping paper

For lengthier strings of lights, Ben says to reuse the cardboard roll from your empty wrapping paper.

Just wind the string of lights around the cardboard roll and tuck the ends inside the tube, securing it with tape.

Use a clothes hanger

This cost-effective method works best for shorter strands of lights, according to Ben, and it's easy for anyone to do.

"Any hanger will work, but it's even better if you have a plastic hanger with hooks," Ben says, as the hooks come in handy for wrapping and storing Christmas lights.

He explains: "Wrap one end of the light cable around the hook of the hanger. If you're using a hanger without hooks, you can secure the end with tape or tie the end of the cable and secure it with tape.

"Next, wrap the light strands tightly around the hanger. Continue wrapping the lights around from one side to another and back again.

"When you've reached the last few cms of the strand, loop the end around the hanger's hook.

"After wrapping the lights around it, gently wrap the hanger in bubble wrap or tissue paper to prevent the bulbs from breaking."

You can then store it in a box or hang it on a wall somewhere in your storage area.

Bunch lights together 

An easy way to store Christmas lights is by bunching them together and securing them with a cable tie or elastic band.

"Doing this means you can keep them in their original packaging without needing to worry about tangles," Ben says.

Adding: "You'll know precisely what the box contains when you are unpacking your decorations next year."

Whichever way you prefer though, there's one thing you must check before packing away your lights.

"As you take your Christmas lights down, check for any frayed wires, broken bulbs, or loose connections to save you time next year – this way you’ll know whether they can be repaired or if they need replacing."

Christmas baubles 

When you first buy a set of new baubles, many people chuck away the packaging.

But Ben reckons we should all be hanging on to it as they're perfect to store your baubles.

"Storing your baubles back in their original box is a nifty way to keep them safe – as the storage boxes sometimes have trays which you can place your baubles on," he says.

"Baubles break very easily, so it’s best practice to wrap them in either bubble wrap or used Christmas wrapping paper."

Once they’ve been wrapped, you can store your baubles carefully in a storage box or a cardboard box ready to go for next year.

But to avoid any damage, ensure the box is kept in a safe place which is "sturdy," as "dropping the box could break anything ornamental.” 

For smaller, dainty baubles, a good tip is to use an egg carton once you've finish with the eggs.

Then store these along with your other boxes for safe keeping.

Meanwhile, we shared the best time & places to sell your unwanted Christmas presents – and the key items that always make cash.

And can’t face the thought of that leftover booze? Savvy mum shows how to savour every drop of wine and save money.

Plus this mum reveals surprising reason she takes down all Christmas decorations at 11pm on December 25 & people think it’s cute.

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