Holiday Cleanup

Holiday Cleanup

Post-holiday blues can hit you quickly, when you realize all the work you have to do to clean up those holiday decorations, on top of the dirty dishes from your holiday feast.
The holidays might be, "The most wonderful time of the year," but after the holidays are over, hosts and hostesses alike are left with dirty dishes, and a plethora of holiday decorations to clean up both inside and outside. It might be tempting to just throw everything in boxes and deal with it next year. But having a plan and keeping everything organized can save you a lot of time and effort, when it’s time to bust out those boxes of decorations again.

Have a Plan

The best thing you can do when cleaning up from the holidays is to have a plan of attack. If you just start by taking one thing down, you may get distracted and move on to something else and leave the first task half-finished. This doesn’t help anyone, especially if you are trying to stay organized. It’s best to start with dirty dishes. These can get really gross if left out for too long, and putting all those clean dishes away can make you feel really accomplished. If the snow hasn’t fallen too badly yet, or if it’s relatively warm outside, move to outdoor decorations next. After that, tackle each room separately. As you are taking down decorations in each room, keep them together so you can put them up easier next year.

Enlist some Help

Just because you had to host the holiday all by yourself doesn’t mean you have to clean it up all by yourself. Have some close friends or family over for leftovers and hot chocolate or mulled wine. If you can entice them to come over for some food and beverages, they will probably help you clean up, as well. Just don’t surprise them with the task when they get there; be sure to be up front about your request when you invite them over. Then, when they get there, have food and drinks out, put on some music, and enjoy each other’s company as you untangle the lights and the garland and pack it away.

Stay Organized

If you keep everything organized, you will have a much easier time setting up next year. Although it may be tempting to toss everything in the nearest box, you want to be sure that you keep rooms of decorations together, because you’ll probably put everything in the same place again in the future. Another way to think about it is to keep all the tree trimmings in one box, the china in another box, the mistletoe in yet another box, and the list goes on. You also want to be sure to pack away those breakable ornaments and statues very carefully. Breaking holiday decorations can be devastating, especially if they have been passed on from generation to generation.

Use Space Wisely

Many people keep their holiday boxes in a shed or a basement. This is fine, as long as the space isn’t damp. Moisture can ruin cherished items if left in that environment all year-long. Wherever you choose to put your decorations, though, be sure to use the same space year after year. Having a set space can help prevent loss and damage throughout the off-season.

Have a Timeline

It would be much easier to put up holiday decorations at Thanksgiving and leave them up, until the snow melts. However, this is not usually a good idea. Leaving things out in the open can cause damage, and no one wants to look at Christmas decorations all year-long. If you set a clear timeline for yourself early on, you will be able to stick to it much easier. Having a concrete goal for when you want to be finished packing everything away is key.
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