Post-Christmas Organizing Tips
Post-Christmas Organizing Gives You a Jump Start on the New Year and a Chance to Get Rid of Some Stuff
Post-Christmas organizing may not sound appealing, especially after you’ve enjoyed a full-on holiday with friends and loved ones. However, if you think of it as an opportunity to make next year’s holiday easier, and a way to establish more order in your life in the coming months, you’ll likely find a bit of satisfaction in the tasks.
If you’re like many Americans, you just added more belongings to your inventory of possessions. If you’ve never considered the one-in-one-out rule, this is a great time to get your Goodwill box going and thin out your belongings. If you are an “experiences, not things” gift recipient, you can skip this part, but you still may need to clean and reorganize, especially if you’ve had a full house for Christmas (or Chanukah, or Yule or your chosen holiday).
Post-Christmas Kitchen Organizing
Washing and storing your dishes is a top-priority task as the kitchen is likely a family and social hub and you want to get it in order. Did you know that there are commercially-made dedicated china storage products available for the good china that only gets occasional use? Most come with padding to use between plates and carrying handles. If you haven't invested in any, why not splurge on a post-holiday gift to help you organize your future holidays?
Did you receive any new gadgets as presents? This is a perfect opportunity to survey your kitchen belongings and donate what you don’t need or seldom use. Be honest with yourself. Do you really need a high-end blender, a food processor, and a blending stick? Or could you get by with a blender and a good sharp knife? Speaking of cutlery, do you have duplicates? You know what to do...
Now is a good time to throw away worn kitchen towels and hot pads, chipped cups, and the 20 gift cups amassed from previous holidays you don’t have room for. Keep the really sentimental things but know that you aren’t required to keep all gifts forever. No one has storage space for a lifetime of gifts, and if you donate, someone else might enjoy them more.
Thinning your kitchen gadgets and utensils doesn’t have to be a drawn-out process. Just get a box and have an honest moment with yourself and “Let it go, let it go, let it go.”
Post-Christmas Clothes Organizing
Chances are you have some new sweaters, new jeans or new something. Now, I’m going to be real honest here—if you have a new something you don’t like, you aren’t required to keep it or store it. If you don’t like it, give it away or return it or it will be clogging your valuable closet real estate for the next year or ten. You may not want to spend your vacation doing a complete overhaul of your closet, but if you are jammed for space while trying to add new inventory, consider thinning now. You know the rule—if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. If it hasn’t fit in five years, get rid of it. There’s a point where too-small clothes cease to be motivational for dieting and too-large clothes aren’t the permission you need to gain weight.
Post-Christmas Decoration Storage
You may not know that this exists but there are manufactured, dedicated storage boxes for ornaments and other Christmas decorations, including dedicated bags for artificial trees and wreaths. They are surprisingly inexpensive and usually look somewhat festive (i.e. red and green trim), which makes them easy to identify when holiday decorating time comes around again. Tree bags help keep the tree clean and provide a convenient way to transport the tree. They generally come with carrying handles and/or wheels.
Ornament boxes (like these trays from Container Store) protect ornaments from breakage, as their individual compartments prevent the ornaments from knocking against each other. While these are not super-pricey, if you are on a budget, you can buy inexpensive storage containers from any department store to keep your ornaments. If you don’t have compartments, use tissue paper to individually wrap them and clearly mark each container with a label so you can find it next year. Tip: You can reuse tissue from holiday gifts to wrap your ornaments.
If you have removable Christmas light strings, one way to prevent them from tangling is to thread them through wrapping paper tubes and then wrap the entire assembly in tissue paper (followed by a garbage bag). You can also combine tissue paper or bubble wrap with an inexpensive electrical cord wrapper.
Storing all of your decorations in one location in the basement or garage makes them easy to find next year. If you are an apartment dweller or have limited storage, consider a. reducing your decoration collection and b. purchasing fabric-covered storage bins, as they conceal the contents while providing a decorative accent to your storage area.
Lastly, your home is likely not as organized as usual because of visitors who are unaccustomed to your “rules,” habits, and home. Pick up magazines and other items that have been displaced and put them in their usual homes. If there isn’t a “usual” place, make one. Check your carpet for stains and clean them before they sit too long. Sweep and give your floors a mop too and then wipe down your stovetop and kitchen counters. Bathrooms are another space that probably saw plenty of use, so give your fixtures a clean and enlist your family members in these tasks. Starting kids out organizing young is a great way to groom them to be organized grownups. Post-Christmas organizing gives you (and your family) a jump start on your new year and will make you feel more settled, grounded, and comfortable in your home.