Holiday Clean Up

Tis the season for taking down the tinsel and the tree, packing up the bins and hauling it all to storage!  Oh what fun it is! 🙂  It seems so short lived some years.  This year I am on a clean out.  Nothing is safe.  We have taken 7 garbage bags full of items to be donated and we are still working on filling more.  I love it when so many “things” leave my house.  I suddenly fill lighter and my husband is thrilled because he sees a BIG tax deduction!  This is a great time to evaluate what you have in your closets and toy bins.  As you are putting away Christmas this week, let the kids play with some of their new toys and take advantage of the time you have while they are engrossed in their video games, games, toys and snow play.

First of all, go through each child’s closet.  Clean out all the items that don’t fit or they never wear (remember something that your child refuses to wear may become another child’s favorite item).  Then carefully organize and put things back in the closet.  I recommend pulling aside one child at a time and having them help you.  This is not only for your benefit but for theirs.  It is important that they be part of the process or the “system” that you put into place in their closet will never last.  This really doesn’t take as much time as you think.  I devoted one day to closets.  I managed to get through all of my bedroom closets (including my own – like I said nothing is safe!) in between meals, diaper changes, naps, fights, etc….

Next, prepare to put away Christmas.  If you have your totes nice and organized, good for you!  If not, take the time to do this.  Before you begin taking anything down, take pictures of everything (i.e., your mantel, your tree, your tables, etc).  You may think you remember but trust me, you won’t.  These pictures can be taped to the inside of your tote lid for easy reference or put into a 4X6 photo holder and put into your Holiday Organizer (refer to previous posts for details on the Holiday Organizer).  Also, make a list of items you may want to purchase for next year.  For example, our tree lights are half burned out, so we are on the lookout for replacement lights or a new tree.   This list can be kept in your holiday organizer  for safe keeping until you are ready to shop.  If you are really organized, you already made this list and hit all the after Christmas sales. 🙂

Once you have taken photos and made lists, you are ready to begin the demolition.  I have a tote just for tree decorations.  I have clearly marked the outside of the tote so that I know exactly what is in it.  This helps when I go to decorate next year.  If it is all in one place, it is much easier to find and less of a task to pull it all out.  I have marked another tote with advent calendar, kids ornaments, stockings and Santas.  I have done the same with each individual tote. Inside each tote every item is in a separate container.  Wrap each strand of lights around an empty paper towel roll or roll them up carefully and store them in individual baggies.  This will avoid the tangled mess next year!

I made sure that everything was separately wrapped this year.  Last year I wasn’t as meticulous and we had some issues.  One of our Santa’s beards may never recover from coming in contact with our nativity stable. 🙂   This is also a great time to get rid of old decorations that you are not using anymore.  Remember that LESS IS MORE!  The less excess you have, the better.  If you store some of your decorations in the garage or a dusty storage area, make sure everything is in a tote or covered in some way.  I keep all my wreaths and small trees in my garage with a black garbage bag over the top.  It is also a good idea to label each bag so you know what is inside.

These are just a few tips as you clean up after the holidays.  There are so many more.  We are happy to answer any questions you have.  I may have missed a few things in my post. 🙂  Happy Holidays and good luck organizing this week.

Posted on December 30, 2010, in December, Everything Family, Family Responsibilities, Organizing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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