Cleaning up after Christmas is over is always a bittersweet event.
On the one hand, it’s sad to say goodbye to the magic of the holidays. But on the other hand, it always feels really good to reclaim our space, although it can be a daunting task. Whatever your feelings are, it’s a task that inevitably needs to get done. All the decorations were hung with care, but putting them away, especially after cleaning up all the other stuff that comes with the holiday often just means stuffing everything back into boxes as quickly as possible. Let’s not think of it as a chore, but as a way to be better prepared for a successful decorating season for next Christmas. Check out these tips to making the most out of your holiday cleanup.
Keep a box where you can put things that got replaced over the holidays (like decorations, toys, clothes, etc.) Use the “get one, toss one” rule, if you could use some decluttering. Be realistic about what you want to keep. Don’t put away unnecessary items you won’t need next year. Donate anything you didn’t love this year and toss anything that is chipped or broken.
Do Your Dry Cleaning
Take any holiday sweaters, dresses, and linens that need cleaning to the dry cleaners. Hang tablecloths, quilts, napkins and placemats from pants hanger,s covered in clear plastic bags, in a closet. You’ll be glad you did next year when you’re setting the table.
Go through the cards and make a list of who sent/gave them to you. Use this as your thank-you list or the start to your Christmas card list for next year. This is also a great time to update your address book. Then recycle cute cards by cutting the images, attaching string and using them as free gift tags.
Ornament storage boxes are great for keeping your ornaments safe during the year, but you don’t need to go out and buy one! If you have a regular storage tote, you can easily turn it into a storage box for your ornaments. Line the bottom of the box with plush stockings and your tree skirt, then wrap ornaments in tissue paper or wrapping paper.
Wrapping Paper, Ribbons & Gift Tags
A long and shallow storage bin makes a great storage solution for your holiday-themed gift wrap. The wrapping paper will stay safe and dry for next year, and you can slide the bin right under your bed or wherever you have a bit of extra room. Ribbon spools can be stored in a row in a clear plastic shoe bin. File gift tags, greeting cards, tissue paper and wrapping paper remnants in baseball card holders and sheet protectors in a three-ring binder.
Wrap each string around a separate paper towel roll or empty wrapping paper tube, placing the plug ends inside the rolls. Spare bulbs and parts can go in sandwich bags stored in the same box as the lights.
Double check to make sure you got all the ornaments out of the tree. Artificial trees are a little easier because the tree usually gets disassembled and packed away, but it can be tricky to be sure you got everything down from a real tree! Rolling your tree around on your lawn can help any hidden ornaments fall right out!
If you’ll be disposing of a real tree after the holidays, hit the web to find out when and how your city collects trees to be composted.
Slip the wreath’s hoop over the neck of a coat hanger, then cover with a plastic dry cleaning bag to prevent dust from building up. Hang in a closet or from a beam in your attic.
Putting tights or old socks on candles can protect them from getting damaged. Then, wrap them in tissue paper to prevent dents or scratches, and stow away from heat or pressure, which can melt or warp the wax.