Now that January is in full swing, it's time to take down the Christmas tree. But how do you do it properly to keep from making a giant mess? We found these tips, courtesy of Real Simple, to help streamline the process. This year, you can remove your tree with ease.

Tip #1: When you're ready to take the tree down, ladle water out of the stand, using a turkey baster for the last drops.

Tip #2: If you used a tree skirt that doubles as a tree bag, use that to wrap up the tree. Otherwise, buy a Christmas tree bag (like the Giant Christmas Tree Removal Bag, $3.50 at

Tip #3: When the tree is out of the house, sweep up needles rather than vacuuming; they can clog the machine.