I began writing this as I still had presents left to wrap, which makes sense, because in my family we start recycling and cleaning up as we open presents. (This sounds like a drag, but it’s not, I swear!) The recycled Christmas card gift tags, the coordinated newspapers, the recycling bin exploding with paper and the impulse to pop bubble wrap made me think of the way I was going to have everything put out and ready to go for second year. Here are a few hints for good ways to recycle, repurpose, get organized, decrease the disarray and get the whole holiday mess cleaned up fast for the new calendar year.
Take Down and Shop Holiday Decorations
Approximate time: 4 to 5 hoursthis task can be completed in distinct sections — organizing and storing wrapping supplies, taking the tree down, putting decorations away.
Materials required: Storage boxes for decorations, lights and wrapping supplies; cleaning provides for wrapping station, broom, dustpan, vacuum, scissors, hole punch.
1. Recycle wrapping provides. Take the wrapping paper and tissue paper which you won’t reuse to the recycling bin. The same goes for almost any torn cardboard boxes which you can’t use again as well as cardboard wrapping paper cores. Most recycling programs will take wrapping paper and cardboard boxes along with the paper.
Custom Made Spaces, Inc..
2. Organize and save reusable wrapping supplies. Take the reusable wrapping supplies and have them organized for next year straight away. Flatten and fold gift bags so that they all fit together in the biggest one, collect wrapping ribbons and fabrics, roll or fold up the bubble wrap and then gather up gift boxes for another year. In my family we take present-opening breaks and take turns schlepping this stuff up into the attic as we move along. It’s so much simpler than having to take 10 trips in a row when it’s all over.
Martha O’Hara Interiors
3. Leave your gift station in good working order. If you’re lucky enough to have a gift station, you’ve probably left it a mess after doing so much wrapping. Toss old ribbon reels to the recycling bin, then throw out unusable scraps, put away your scissors, tape and other supplies, and tighten up the newspapers. Give the surfaces a good cleaning and feel good knowing it will be all ready the next time you require it.
Standard Modern Mailbox by Austin Outdoor Studio – $245
4. Get these gifts mailed. If you have adults visiting from out of those who need their gifts sent back to their houses, exit mailing cartons, shipping tape, bubble wrap and labels for them and let them do up their own boxes — you’ve been working hard enough. If you have a printer, then you can print labels out at USPS.com and leave the boxes out in your own mailbox for pickup by your postal carrier.
Fig. 2 Design
5. Reuse those holiday cards. As you take off your holiday cards, then enjoy the notes out of long-lost buddies and loved ones one last time, then get out the scissors. Check to be certain that there isn’t any writing supporting it, then cut out a fun vacation scene from the card. Punch a hole at the corner and you have a exceptional gift tag for a present for following year. This is a really old-fashioned thing to do, and I just enjoy it. I keep mine accumulated in a clear zip-top bag and store them together with my gift wrapping supplies.
It’s The Little Things…
6. Take down live greens. These can become really dry and become a fire hazard, so it’s ideal to take them down as soon after the holidays as possible. Some towns may allow you to place them out together with all the Christmas tree; you can also add them into your own mulch pile outside.
Prelit Pretty at Pink Fir Artificial Christmas Tree – $401.99
7. Take the tree down. This is the biggest postholiday bummer of all. My mom tells me that when I was a small girl, once they shot down the Christmas tree, I would cry and move lie next to it on the curb.
Anyway, if your tree is fake, you can take it down if you feel like it. When I had this pink tree, I would just leave this up till July. If your tree is still live, check and see when your city will be supplying tree pickup. A great deal of towns turn the trees into mulch or utilize them for erosion control. Your tree must not miss out on those exciting post-Christmas chances.
Holiday Party Glass Ornament Set, Medium – $12
7a. Remove ornaments. First go get all your ornament wrapping and storage things. Original boxes, such as the one of these balls came in, can be perfect for storing for several years.
Go slowly and carefully. Insert all essential bubble wrap or tissue for delicate decorations and be certain that they are nestled firmly away.
Ornament Keeper Ornament Storage Box – $61.99
Specialized ornament storage containers such as these seem sort of silly until you really use these on December 26. That is when you realize they are the best invention in the world.
Iris Christmas Light Storage Box – $18.99
7b. Eliminate the lights. This is not nearly as unpleasant as putting up the lights. There are also nifty storage components for lighting similar to this one which will make putting up them infinitely more agreeable next calendar year. Some people like to wrap them about paper towel cardboard cores. Do whatever works best for you personally.
Golden Rotating Tree Stand – $39
7c. Clean and store the tree rack. Wipe sap and be certain the tree stand is clean and dry before putting it away.
Suzanne Kasler Linen and Velvet Tree Skirt – $149
7d. Wash your own Christmas tree skirt. Sap is tough; I recommend a trip to the dry cleaner to the Chistmas tree skirt.
7e. Clean up needles. Do as much as you can with the broom and dustpan so as to not clog the vacuum up. Afterward, when everything is set away, give the floor a good vacuuming.
Cookies For Santa Plate – $10
8. Store the rest of it. After the previous vacation dish has come out of the dishwasher, make all your decorations put away. I highly recommend keeping all this stuff in 1 location, whether that means a wire rack shelf in your attic or a dedicated section of a linen cupboard. If you have a deep cabinet or cupboard, or one which moves up high, save your decorations in these hard-to-reach places. You will have to reach them just once a year, and they’ll make decent use of the extra space.
Now that you’ve cleaned up, you’ve got some space to get started thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. Tell us What types of jobs do you like any assistance with in 2013? We are going to try to help.
More ways to declutter after the holidays