December 26, 2016, Epoch Times
I absolutely love the holidays. The gathering, the giving, the music, the reflection, the tinsel, the lights, the rejoicing, the magic, and the biggest smiles on the littlest faces.
The clean-up, though; that requires a special kind of magic.
After the holidays and after you’ve enjoyed a day or two of holiday after-glow, eating cookies for breakfast and watching the kids enjoy their new toys, it’s time to figure out where in the world you’re going to put all of this stuff.
Here are a few strategies to employ when you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and set the house for the new year ahead.
Set up a Donation Station
With the aim of getting a fresh start in the new year and finding a new home for all of those holiday gifts, put those empty Amazon boxes and festive gift bags to good use by setting up an area of your home to collect items for donation. Encourage the whole family to fill those containers with items they no longer use or enjoy.
One in, Two out Rule
As you take stock of the new items that you’ve been gifted and begin to put them away, apply the one in, two out rule as you go. If you have a new shirt, find two old shirts you no longer wear and set them aside for donation. If you’ve been given a new book, replace two old book you know you won’t pick up again. Teach your children this rule with their toys as well.
Rather than adding to the clutter with new items, you’ll actually be reducing clutter and making room to appreciate the new things you’ve been given.
Evaluate the Toys
Oh, the toys! Even with the most valiant efforts to curb the influx of toys this time of year, you can find yourself with quite a pile once the glitter settles.
Consider carefully those you choose to introduce to your space, those you put away for later, and those you find another home for.
While surely every gift was given in good cheer, it truly is the thought that counts. If items won’t be useful or enjoyed in your home, donate them to someone who will find value in them.
Take Care in the Take Down
When taking down the holiday decor, rather than fast as you can, pack things away neatly in ways that will make things easier next year. Discard broken items. Sort pieces by category. Use a cardboard tube to keep lights from tangling. Label your boxes. Only keep the things you love and donate the rest.
If you really want to start the new year fresh, after the decluttering and the donating, deep clean your home. This is a great task to outsource if possible and a wonderful way to ensure a clean start to a new year.
Happy New Year!