The time between Christmas and the New Year can be a great opportunity for self-reflection. However, it can be difficult to have a clear head when your home is still a mess with empty boxes, wrapping paper, Christmas cookies, etc. Decluttering after the holidays can be a bit overwhelming… So, where should you begin? Here’s how you can organize after the holidays and get ready for the New Year ahead:
Not every gift is going to work out, and that’s okay. Decide what items need to be returned, or exchanged, and what items you want to keep, then pick a date to return or exchange these items. Additionally, If you asked for a new pair of hiking boots to replace your old ones, make sure you actually toss the old ones. Trust me, you won’t need them!
Nothing is more aggravating than untangling holiday lights. Do your future self a favor and use a cardboard cutout. Cut it to around the size of a magazine and cut a slit in one end. Slide the end of the strand into the slit and start wrapping around the long edge of cardboard until you run out of lights. Similar to lights, garland can also be extremely frustrating to untangle. To prevent this, carefully place your beads in a plastic water bottle and fill it to the top. An average size water bottle will hold two strings of garland.
Purchasing heavy duty ornament storage is not necessary. Repurposed household items work just as well and are good for the environment! Egg cartons or plastic cups lined with tissue paper, or paper towels will keep your ornaments safe and sound. An egg carton is perfect for protecting your smaller ornaments because of the circular shape of each holder. The same goes for plastic apple containers for your larger ornaments. Decluttering after the holidays doesn’t have to be expensive!
If you have an artificial tree, it can take up an unnecessary amount of storage space throughout the year. Shrink wrapping your tree is a great way to optimize your space because it compresses your tree without damaging it. Also, if you store your tree in the garage, plastic shrink wrap will keep it clean and protected all year long.
Denver Recycles offers a seasonal program called Treecycle that turns Christmas trees into mulch after the holiday season. Then, the mulch is made available to the Denver residents at the Mulch Giveaway and Compost sale in May for free! Here’s how it works: Remove all decorations and lights from your tree. Set your tree out where you normally put your trash cans from January 4th through January 15th, 2021.
“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.” -Abigail Van Burren
New games/toys can consume children after the holidays, and distract them from their learning. The best thing you can do as a parent is help them find a balance. You can do this by setting designated “playtime” hours. Some devices such as Playstation even allow you to set limits on times and duration each child can play. To help with clutter, set a confined, physical space for toys. Once the space is full, there is no room for any more toys, period. Help your little ones understand this principle by setting boundaries. If they want to add a new toy, they’ll have to donate to help another child first. Another way to organize toys/declutter after the holidays is to organize a toy rotation and box up what won’t fit on the shelves in their room. Then, box the rest up in the garage and rotate every season.
Finally, you’ve taken down the tree, stored your decorations and decluttered the toy room. Now, it’s time to deal with the little things like the pine needles from under the tree, or the red wine stain on your carpet. Luckily, a red wine stain isn’t as tough as people think! Don’t ruin your carpet with bleach; white wine has the enzyme that can neutralize a stain caused by red wine and make it easier to remove. Simply pour white wine on the red wine stain and blot using a damp cloth.
Candle wax stains on your nice holiday tablecloth can be a big headache, but they can be removed! First, freeze the wax stain. You can do this by folding the entire tablecloth and putting it in the freezer. Or, you can place a bag of ice on top of the stain. Second, use your fingernail or a dull knife to scrape the frozen wax off the tablecloth. Next, a plain, brown paper bag or paper towels over the stained area. Use a clothing iron, and set to warm or medium and iron over the paper. The heat from the iron will cause any left over wax to melt into the paper. Keep changing the paper and repeat the ironing process until all wax is removed. Note: Do not use steam while ironing.
Coming back to reality and decluttering after the holidays can be overwhelming. If you follow these simple steps you will be well on your way to getting your life back to normal and find that time for self-reflection!
Brought to you by Tara Schumann, Social Media/Marketing Manager for TJC Real Estate and Management Services
Your Neighborhood Realtors® Since 2005