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Cleaning up after the holidays

The holidays are a joyous time with family and friends.  But that glow can fade quickly when you’re faced with the aftermath: a house to clean up once all the guests have left. Getting your place back into shape can be a daunting task, but here’s a few smart tips to help you do it in time for 2019.

Have a good attitude. It’s easy to slip into a posture of grumbling as one removes ornaments, or puts away presents, or sweeps up pine needles, and reclaims the kitchen. Yes, it’s work. But, honestly, it’s work that one must remember to be grateful for — so many blessings that could be overlooked. So as overwhelming as it is, try  to keep perspective. And being thankful for all the new movies, games, and Netflix that can keep you occupied while you work..

Cleaning up after the holidays

 

Create mini-goals. When one views the entire clean up process it’s easy to get a bit frazzled by the scope of what to do. Create smaller objectives and goals. Gather the ornaments. Bring in the tote boxes and sort. Take Christmas lights off outside. Wash Christmas dishes. And gradually it will all get done. It helps to have mini-rewards as well. Like, for instance, a Starbucks latte when the tree is all done. 

Donate. Say goodbye to unwanted gifts. It’s the thought that counts, but don’t let good intentions add additional clutter to your post-holiday house. Make a clean break, and re-package gifts that didn’t work out. If appropriate, consider giving those gifts to the charity of your choice. Holiday cleaning will be easier without those extra items. Bring a big balikbayan box down and fill it with items that can be donated. Games that got played only a couple times, toys that we’ve outgrown and more. Bring a big black contractor garbage bag down and work to fill it with stuff that is broken, or doesn’t fit the “donate” category.

Cleaning up after the holidays

 

Clean the guest bedroom. Wash the bed sheets in warm or hot water with a capful of white vinegar to ensure they are fresh. While sheets are in the dryer, use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to clean the mattress thoroughly, paying special attention to the seams. Replace the bedding, and fluff the pillows to make your next guests comfortable.

Take down those lights. When you do, you’ll save yourself time next year if you put them away using one simple trick: wrap strings of lights around a piece of cardboard or a paper towel tube to keep them organized and easy to unravel next season. This also keeps you from being the neighbor who still has strings of outdoor Christmas lights up on Valentine’s Day.

Cleaning up after the holidays

 

Strip the Christmas tree carefully. Use as much care taking your tree down as you did putting it up to save you some headaches next year. Some double-duty tips for packing ornaments: keep Christmas lights from tangling by wrapping them around the empty tubes from your wrapping paper. Loop the cord around the roll, starting with the side opposite to the plug, then insert the plug into the tube’s opening. If you’ve already thrown away your gift wrap tubes, paper towel tubes work, too. 

Get the kids involved. Make taking everything down as festive as putting it up. Assign roles — one to get ornaments off, one to sort them (sort ornaments by child), one to help wrap, one to roll garland, etc… It makes the work light and much more fun. It also helps remind the kids to be grateful for all the blessings that they recently received.

Cleaning up after the holidays

 

Enjoy that moment where the house feels like it’s gained an enormous amount of space.  Once the tree is down your house would feel like its gained another room. It’s crazy how much extra space it feels like then — so one truly  remembers it for those times when it felt like we’re too crowded.

 Be thankful. Take a moment and just be thankful. For your family, for the time to spend together, for the freedom to celebrate Christmas, for the year, and for the new year, for health, for the presents that you received, and so forth. Let the process of taking down the Christmas decorations be a lesson of gratitude.

Topics: Cleaning up , Christmas
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