Cleaning up after Christmas is over is always a bittersweet event for me. 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 the space that the Christmas tree takes up! Whatever your feelings on the matter are, it’s a task that inevitably needs to get done. But rather than thinking of it as a chore, you can choose to see it as an opportunity! There are several things you can do to not only make your cleanup more enjoyable, but you can also set yourself up for success when the holidays come back around next year. Check out these tips to making the most out of your holiday cleanup.
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Make It Fun!
Dreading the cleanup only makes it worse. There’s a great line in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where Newt Scamander said, “My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” So true! So put on some music, get the family together, and knock out the cleaning with a smile.
Take A Picture
Before you start your cleanup, use your phone to snap a few photos. If you loved how you arranged everything on your mantle, having a photo to reference will help you recreate it next year!
Decide Where You Need Help
Make a list of tasks that need to get done, and decide which ones you’ll want help with. This can be based on the difficulty of each task, or which tasks aren’t kid-friendly (like storing ornaments.) That way you can call people in as you need them, rather than have several people just standing around.
Make An Ornament Storage Box
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.
Wrap Your Lights
Wrap your lights around a piece of cardboard to make them easy to identify and unwrap next year. No more tangled mess of lights to contend with!
Store Wrapping Paper
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.
Keep A Box For Donations
Keep a box where you can corral things that got replaced over the holidays (like decorations, toys, clothes, etc.) It can be helpful to institute a “get one, toss one” rule, or even a “get one, toss two” rule, if you could use some general decluttering. For instance, if you got a new pair of shoes for Christmas, look through your shoes to find a pair you don’t wear much any more, and put it in the donation box.
Leave A Note
Write reminder notes for next year to store with your decorations. Maybe you want to remind yourself of decorations that were broken and need to be replaced. (Although you could just replace them in the coming days, since most holiday decor will be significantly discounted pretty much everywhere!)
Recycle The Tree
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. Composting trees is environmentally friendly, creates great compost for gardeners, and doesn’t take up space at the landfill.
Store Gifts For Next Year
Let me just say that I am not supporting OR condoning the practice of re-gifting! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you got a gift this year that you plan on re-gifting next year, put together a box where you can store them. Make sure it’s labeled, put it in the closet, and you won’t have to struggle to remember where you put it next year.
Double Check The Tree
It’s easy to make sure you got all the ornaments out of a fake tree, 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! Make sure you got everything by rolling your tree around on your lawn. Any hidden ornaments will fall right out!
Check For Stains
Do a sweep of your carpet, upholstery, and tablecloths for stains. The longer a stain sits, the harder it will be to remove, so you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort by addressing those stains now!
Clean Out The Fridge
Take a good look at the contents of your fridge. Toss out expired foods, and things you know you won’t use. Now take a look at all those leftovers. Which ones are you REALLY going to eat, and which ones are you just saying you’ll eat? Toss out the ones you won’t eat, so they don’t get pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten about.
Do Your Dry Cleaning
Take any holiday sweaters, dresses, and linens that need cleaning to the dry cleaners. You’ll be glad you got it out of the way when the holiday’s come back around again next year!
Christmas Card Inventory
Take an inventory of the Christmas cards you received this year. Make a spreadsheet of who you got cards from, and their addresses from the envelopes. (Or check over your existing address book to make any necessary updates.) You’ll have a great head start for sending out Christmas cards next year!