This article comes from Good Housekeeping.
Here’s how to turn Christmas present into Christmas past — fast.
Pull off the tree skirt, and toss some towels around the base of the trunk to cushion fragile ornaments that might drop — you don’t want to be cleaning up broken glass, too. Get out the storage boxes (or use empty cartons or sturdy gift boxes headed for the trash), and start removing the decorations from the bottom of the tree up to keep from knocking off lower ornaments as you reach for those on top. Leave the hooks on (if they won’t damage the ornaments) so they’re ready to go next year; quickly wrap ones that don’t have their own boxes or slots in tissue paper, crumpled gift wrap, or newspaper. Last step: Remove lights, one string at a time, looping them around your forearm as you would extension cords. Secure in the middle with a rubber band, pipe cleaner, or twist tie. Pack.
Place a large bedsheet or drop cloth on the floor. Remove the skirt (if it’s still there) or the towels you placed at the base; shake the mess onto the sheet. Grab a turkey baster and siphon out the water remaining in the stand. Enlist an assistant, and set the tree down on its side, stand and all. Then remove the stand. Hold the sheet like a giant sling and, with your buddy’s help, carry (or drag) the tree to the curb. Roll it out from the sheet. Walk away. Don’t look back.
For bare floors, sweep and dump debris into the sheet and dispose of it outside. Otherwise, break out the vacuum. Do a fast scan for ornament hooks so they don’t clog the machine. Turn on the rotating brush and position the nozzle on its lowest setting. For the most stubborn stuff — needles on the carpet — sprinkle the area with a little baking soda to coat needles, and suck them up. Relax, you won’t have to do this again for another year.
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