4 Things to do Immediately Following the Holidays

It’s sometimes funny how quick we are to want to get rid of the decorations immediately following the holidays. On the day after Christmas, one year when we were traveling, I couldn't help but notice the number of Christmas trees already thrown out by the side of the road, just in time for that week’s trash pickup. 

In the aftermath of a holiday, it’s common to be overwhelmed with trash, toys, ornaments, gifts, trees and other decorations. So here are a few of my favorite tips on how to handle the chaos and clutter, once the extended family leaves and the New Year is ready to begin. Having a more organized home may lead to a happier and more peaceful family.

The Must Have Essential Holiday Collection

Take Care to Repack. Some of us get so anxious to get past the sometimes stressful holiday, that we immediately begin shoving decorations away into closets, the attic or the basement. Using care in putting things back how you found them will minimize the stress of broken ornaments, tangled lights and lost keepsakes. Using masking tape and markers to mark light connections and special boxes will make the prep and setup for next year’s holiday much easier.

Purge What You Won’t Reuse. Take a second look at each item as you pick it up and prepare to pack it away. Ask yourself if you’re really going to use it next year. Consider donating it to a thrift store so that someone else can enjoy it. Use all those empty packing boxes that this year’s gifts arrived in and fill them up with the decorations (or unusable gifts) that others can use. Consider checking your local thrift store next year for unique holiday decorations to add to your décor.


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Save the Gift Tags. If you’re someone like me who believes in the power of gratitude, and likes to write thank you notes for the gifts you received, save the tags off of the gifts and mark them with the name of the gift that was found inside. This is especially important if you have children and want to teach them to write thank you notes after the holidays. Ask the person who passes out the gifts, to pull the tag and hand it to you to make notes about the gift. Place them in a cup or small box to keep them all in one place for easy access when the time comes to write the notes.

Create a Gift Closet. Cynthia Ewer, author of the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized suggests taking all the gifts you and your family received that you can’t make use of and place them in a ‘gift closet’ for gift giving next year. She suggests making notes on each item, jotting down the name of the person who gave it to minimize the occurrence of any regifting faux pas. These items may also be useful for other gift-giving purposes throughout the year, such as housewarming, retirement, or other celebration parties.

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