We’re always looking for new ways to keep our spaces clean, calm, and collected – especially after the fast-paced frenzy of the holiday season. Between leftover decorations, scraps of wrapping paper from gift exchanges, and general mess from fun winter activities, there’s a lot of cleanup to tackle before the arrival of the new year. Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to help make decluttering a breeze.
Out with the Old, in With the New
A simple principle to follow when decluttering after a holiday is that of “One In, Two Out”. As the name implies, this idea consists of getting rid of two items for every gift you receive during the holidays. After the presents have been unwrapped and thank yous have been expressed, sit down with your family to decide what stays and what goes.
Gather up all of the items you plan on getting rid of and organize them into separate piles for donating, selling, or recycling. If you received custom tarps or patio table covers as gifts, not only can you replace the old ones but use them to help organize and keep your piles contained. Keeping these items separated by category will help make the day of purging a well-organized walk in the park.
Cleaning experts all recommend one habit above all when tackling post-holiday clutter in the home: time it out. Working on a timed cleaning schedule keeps you on track and allows you to properly manage your time so you can work efficiently and effectively no matter how much mess there is to clean.
Set your phone timer to a reasonable limit for each decluttering task. Five minutes will work for clearing any surfaces of trash, while a half-hour will be necessary for larger tasks such as taking down the tree and placing it in your Christmas tree storage bag. No matter which de-clutter duty you decide to tackle first, keeping tabs on time makes cleaning easier.
Taking down your holiday decorations and readying them for storage is the perfect time to take stock of your festive collection. There’s a good chance that your assortment of decorations has grown in size as seasons have come and gone, so consider downsizing as an easy means of clearing out holiday clutter.
Collect any decorations that are showing signs of wear and tear – or even broken – and recycle them accordingly. If there are knick-knacks that are in good shape but you’ve simply grown tired of, donate them to a local thrift store or community co-op so they can find a second life in the holiday seasons to come.
A Family Affair
The holidays are all about family, so there’s no reason the whole crew shouldn’t be involved in cleaning up. While spending the day cleaning may not seem like the most glamorous way to spend a winter’s day, there are plenty of ways to turn tidying up into an afternoon of family fun.
- Get little ones on board to help by promising a small prize or treat once all of the cleaning tasks have been completed. From taking out the trash to breaking out the deluxe gift wrap storage bag, there’s plenty they can do to help.
- Assigning each family member a specific task will help keep them on track for cleanup success. While Mom or Dad uses a large tarp to help haul out trash and debris like pine needles, teens can pull out the wreath storage bag and prepare your wreath for hibernation.
- Plan on spending some much-needed relaxation time together after your decluttering tasks have been tackled. Weather permitting, an evening of leisure spent in the backyard may be in order, complete with a stress-free takeout dinner and a patio table cover to keep post-meal cleanup to a minimum.
Taking the time to properly store your holiday decorations can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your post-festivity decluttering. As you pack up the ornaments, wrap up the garland, and make use of your Christmas tree upright bag, consider using protective measures such as Christmas tree bags, holiday storage bags, or even a tarp as a storage solution.
There are a number of smart storage steps you can take to make next year’s holiday a stress-free affair. Keep decor separated by category and label their containers to avoid confusion when unpacking in 2021. If you store your decor in the garage or attic, consider covering them with a large tarp to protect them from dust, debris, and moisture.