After the last gift is opened and the final cookie consumed, you’re left with a bunch of new presents and a ton of decorations to take down. Post-holiday cleanup can feel like a little bit of a drag because many of us look forward to the season each year. But instead of sulking while you undecorate and clean up from the holidays, take the opportunity to declutter, organize, simplify and make the task of decorating easier next year.
If your tree was decorated just right, and you thought the mantle looked picture-perfect this year, document it now so you can recreate it next year! The best way to ensure your house looks just as festive next holiday season is to take pictures of everything before you pack up the first wreath.
It’s so easy to go overboard on decorations. A day after the holiday, everything is 50-70% off, which means it’s easier to justify buying that five-foot Santa figure you dreamed of displaying just inside your front door. But like many things, just because you can, does not mean you should. Instead of buying new decorations, assess what you have and take steps to declutter what you no longer use.
Review what you’ve displayed throughout your house for the holiday and what remains in boxes in your attic, closet or basement. If you haven’t used a decoration in a season or two, give it away to another family member or donate it to a charity organization.
To make decorating next year a little bit less arduous, use some smart solutions to store decorations, ornaments, wrapping paper and other essentials. First, store your essential decorations and tools in one box marked “Open First.”
Organizing and storing decorations, ornaments, holiday wrapping paper and other essentials can be tough because you’re dealing with oddly-shaped and fragile items. Consider some storage containers made specifically for your decorations. Wreath storage boxes protect the decoration and allow you to more easily stack them on a closet or attic shelf. The same goes for ornament storage—there’s nothing worse than opening a shoebox full of your favorite ornaments to find that some of them have been damaged or broken. Instead, use a box designed just for storing ornaments or try using an egg carton to protect glass ornaments.
And to store your lights so they’re easy to unwind next year, wrap them around a piece of cardboard or a canister. You can also buy a special light winder to keep everything neatly organized. Be sure to check all stands to ensure they are in working order before putting them away.
Another hard-to-store holiday staple is your wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper and ribbon. Not everyone has a permanent wrapping station set up in a craft room or home office. To store and organize wrapping paper and other items, buy a storage container made just for tall rolls of paper. A storeWALL system utilizes the wall space and has special hooks for housing and easily accessing all types of wrapping supplies. You’ll find the task of wrapping gifts a little less bothersome if each roll is free from creases and tears.
After Christmas it’s also essential to go through the cards you’ve received throughout the season. If you’re sentimental, you might want to keep everything. However, collecting cards year after year will only contribute to clutter. Review your cards from previous years and opt to keep those with an extra note or pictures. But know that it’s okay to get rid of the rest.
Post-Christmas organization should also involve making room for new toys, clothes and other gifts. One way to drastically cut down on Christmas clutter is to remove two old items for every one new item. This works well for kids’ toys and clothes that they may have outgrown or no longer use. Got a new LEGO set? Donate two older ones. It’s not only a way to make organizing your kids’ toys a little easier, it’s also a good opportunity to teach them about giving back.
Now is also an excellent time to manage toy clutter by implementing the bin rotation system, which puts a set number of toys into rotation and lets you store the others for later.
If after all of your decluttering and organizing you’re still short on space, or you want to use the space you’ve got more efficiently, consider a custom solution. A professional Designer can take a look at what you need to store and create a custom solution just for you. To learn more, reach out to us for a free, in-home consultation.
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