Many of us start decorating the house for the holidays the minute the turkey is cleared from the table Thanksgiving Day. I absolutely love how my house looks all dolled up with lights, evergreen and sparkling ornaments … but all good things must come to an end. I think one of the most depressing days of the year is the day we decide to take down all the Christmas decorations and pack them up ‘til next year (although inevitably, there is always a stray decoration or 2 that get missed and seem to hang out with us all year!) And then there’s all the new stuff … it always seems to take us days to find a new home for everything!
Here are a few smarty tips on getting your house back in order after the hustle and bustle of Christmas.
We always take this opportunity to go through all of our old toys (usually a few days before Christmas) to not only make room for the new stuff but also to get rid of toys that aren’t really played with any more, are broken or are no longer age appropriate. We make 3 piles – Toys that are still in good condition and can be donated go into one pile; toys that can be enjoyed with a younger sibling go in another pile; and toys that are broken, missing pieces or just plain worn out go in the trash pile. Don’t forget to get a receipt for any toys that are donated … these are tax deductible!
I also use this time to re-evaluate all my holiday decorations. I love to buy one new thing for my house each year, so combine that with our growing set of ornaments to remember each year by, and my little red and green storage bins are overflowing! So each year, before I put stuff away, I take a good hard look at the stuff that never made it out that year to begin with. Thus the little snowman coffee mugs that have traveled up and down from the attic for 3 years now without even a drop of hot chocolate filling them … well, maybe they might be better suited for someone else (think e-bay).
Save tissue paper from your gifts to wrap up precious ornaments. Or shred used wrapping paper to create a cushion for those fragile items. I like to use color coded bins for each of my holidays – i.e. red and green for Christmas, orange for Halloween, etc. This way, it’s easy to locate everything the following year. And label the outside of each bin so you know exactly what’s in there when you go to pull it out again.
Get the trash out of your house as soon as possible! But be sure to check toy boxes for non-trash items – especially those instruction manuals!
Remember to recycle! Gift boxes, tissue, wrapping paper and the like can go in your curbside bin. Keep out bows, ribbon and any other “shiny” paper or ribbon. Inside the City of Charlotte recycle live Christmas trees curbside from Dec. 26, 2008 until the first full week of Jan. 2009. Outside the City, take your tree to a full service recycling center.
I know all you smarties out there have many more great tips on how you get you house organized after the holidays – please share!!