A Christmas tree is one of the most iconic parts of the season. Filled with decorations, strung with shining garland and glittering lights, nothing makes a room feel Christmassy like a tree. But once the holiday’s over, getting the tree out can be a struggle – not to mention a mess. Not to worry, though – Floor Coverings International Piedmont Triad is here with some advice to help you keep your floors and your home clean.

Part of success is in preparation – before you even start taking the tree out. A tree skirt can catch naturally falling needles and provides a nice buffer between the tree and your floors. As you take the decorations off the tree, work from the top to the bottom. Take off single decorations before longer strands such as lights. Rearrange the room to make sure there’s a clear path to the door. Move furniture and remove any fragile objects that might get accidentally knocked over.

When removing the tree from the stand, place a plastic bag under the stump. This will keep any water or sap from dripping onto the floor. Consider using a tree bag – a larger bag designed to hold an entire tree – for extra ease of carrying. Otherwise, try to move the tree in as straight a bath as possible.

Once the tree is outside, turn your attention to cleaning indoors. Try to sweep up needles before vacuuming, as vacuums sometimes have trouble gathering up all the needles. A trick to pick up stubborn needles from carpet is to hold a strip of tape (such as duct tape) and pat the needles up; they will stick to the tape while your carpet will remain fine. Any sap leaked can be cleaned up with hot water and a bit of soap.

Finally, look into how to get rid of your tree. If you do not have yard waste service, see if your garbage accepts plants if cut up. Many community groups, such as churches or Scout troops, will dispose of your tree in exchange for a small donation.