Cleaning up the Aftermath
The massive holiday we plan for in excess of a month or so, has come and gone. We can all breathe deeply and kick our feet up. Or can we? Now the house is a mess. Decorations are still up. Opened Christmas gifts sit under the tree or piled in the corners. Tins of cookies and chocolates are stacked on the kitchen countertops and all of us, including myself, just want to rest and enjoy our time off with family. So what’s the strategy or plan of attack? That’s a good question. We don’t need to go crazy but we do need a smart plan to take the right steps in regaining organization. Here are some tips to consider as you deal with the aftermath of Christmas.
Here’s How to Tackle the Mess
- Empty gift boxes and gift bags and gather up all presents. Return the boxes and bags back to your gift wrap storage area in your home.
- If gifts are piled up under the tree or lying around the house, have each family member take their new gifts to their rooms. If it’s a family gift like a game, toy, or video, put those where they belong with the rest of the games and toys.
- Take as much trash out as possible. Don’t keep every empty box. Keep receipts and boxes of items that you’re convinced you’ll return. Keeping any more than that wastes space and creates more work for you later.
- Gather all returns to one area of the house. Load the car and block off one night or one afternoon in your calendar to run around and make the returns.
- Resist re-gifting. The more gifts you keep to give to someone else “later on” in the year is more space you’re giving away to store this “stuff”.
- Vacuuming, sweeping, and making beds goes a long way. Cleaning large surfaces like that makes you feel better instantly and make a visual impact right away. Save the deep cleaning for later.
- It’s okay to create a deadline to pitch holiday cookies, candy and chocolates. You don’t have to eat them all and you can set a date to toss them if they haven’t been eaten so you can start the New Year detoxing from all the sugar.
- When putting away decorations, I recommend doing the tree one day and the household decorations on a different day. Pick two days and get the job done. Don’t spread it out over weeks. All the tubs and bins of decorations lying around will just drive you nuts.
- Double check each room in the house for any Christmas knick knacks or decorations before putting all the bins of decorations away.
- I always recommend putting Christmas bath towels, kitchen towels and tablecloths away. Cluttering up your linen closet or dining room with these isn’t worth it for the rest of the year.