The lights are dimmed and the gift wrap is tossed. The Post Holiday Clean-up can now be underway. Here are some of our tips for tackling the post holiday madness. Unlike most people, I tend to start my post-Christmas clean-up a couple days after Christmas. I used to wait until after the New Year but found that I preferred starting the new year on a clean slate. I love waking up on New Year’s Day with my house in order, de-cluttered and organized. How long it will stay that way is another story but at least it started on a clean note.
Here are some of my tips for post holiday clean up, with some tips thrown in from our resident home girl, Mellie.
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Post Holiday Clean-up Tips
- Color coded storage bins. I love the ones from Target. During the after Christmas day sales, they’re in plenty of supply at a great price. Red, of course, for Christmas. I also have orange ones (purchased during Halloween) to store my fall decor. The color coded bins make it easy to identify what’s in the bin.
- Labels. If color coded bins aren’t your thing, then clear labels and/or clear bins are also very helpful. Be sure to store them away with the labels facing out for easy identification.
- Ornament bins. I also love the ornament bins sold at Target. The ornament bins come with dividers to safely store your precious ornaments. If you’re anything like me, your ornaments tell a story or have special meaning. Having one of those break would be sad for me so I take special care with my ornaments. Most are also color coded so tip number one is done!
- Fix damaged decor. As I pack away my decor, I also have my glue gun on stand by to handle any damage that may have occurred to the decor in the course of the month. It’s nice to have them fixed and stored away, ready for the next holiday celebration. Take the time to add a new hook or replace an unraveling string.
- For the tree. If you have a real tree, you can clean it up with less mess by using a giant sheet/tarp/drop cloth. Lay the tarp down and spread it out right next to your tree. When you lift your tree out of the stand, immediately lay it down onto the tarp. Grab up the ends of the tarp, and create a kind of sling for the tree. You can more easily carry the tree outside this way, containing the needles and mess.
- For the tree. If you know you are about to get rid of your tree soon, stop watering it at least several days ahead of time. This helps minimize the dripping and moisture from the tree when you pull it out.
- For the tree skirt. Shake out and clean your tree skirt before you put it away. You may be able to wash it on a gentle cycle in a garment bag. If not, you can hand wash it, or spot clean it. Fold it up nicely, and it will be ready to go for next year. If you have an artificial tree, pack it with the tree so you have it handy and aren’t searching through different bins.
- Wash your stockings. Gather up all of the stockings you used. Make sure they are all empty of candy and debris. Clean or wash the stockings. If you can, wash the stockings on a gentle cycle by placing them in a garment bag to protect them. You can also hand wash them. If they’re in pretty good shape after the holiday, you can wipe down/spot clean them. Now, they will go into storage all nice and clean. And when you take them out next year, they’ll be ready to go.
- For the menorah. Clean up the menorah so that it will be ready to go for the next year. I like to remove all of the candle wax bits. I also like to make sure I have candles put away with the menorah, so I have them ready to go when I take it out next year.
- Out with the old. This is also a good time to toss or donate something that is too run down or you’ve simply outgrown. As years pass, I accumulate more decor. Trends and colors change. Ornaments break. I take this time to discard items I no longer use or discard ones that are broken.
Other Post-Holiday tips
- Winter Cleaning. I see this time as the prelude to Spring Cleaning. As I mentioned earlier, I love starting the New Year on a clean slate. As I’m sorting and organizing my way through the holiday decor, the garage is getting an nice clean-up. It’s a great time to discard other items that accumulate through the year. Since I’ve already got a discard pile going, it’s a great time to add to it.
- Deep Cleaning. Once the tree comes down, I get that bin of warm soap and water and get to cleaning the baseboards. I sweep, polish and buff the floors. I clean the couch, inside and out. Don’t forget to wipe down and dust shelves.
- Seasonal Purge. I do this throughout the year and this is one of those times. Not only is it “Out with the Old” with the Christmas decor but it is with clothing, appliances or anything that has seen little to no use over the last year.
- Donate. Once the hard work is over, I take my stash of donation items and head to the local thrift store. Do this right away to avoid putting it off and having it accumulate. It’ll be nice to get it out of sight and open up space in your home.