I know it's not even Christmas until next Wednesday but with Thanksgiving happening at the same time as Hanukkah AND being so late in November, the holiday season has felt a little more hectic than usual around our house. If you're already looking forward to the January slowdown, join the club.
After the hubbub of the holidays, it’s tempting to throw your house back together as quickly as possible so you can finally relax and recover from cookie over-indulgence. However, if you plan your post-holiday slowdown using these simple steps, you’ll save time and space until next holiday season rolls around. Here’s how:
As the horizon breaks on 2014 and you begin to un-decorate and pack away your seasonal decor, take a moment to evaluate each item before you box it up. Be sure everything you’re putting into storage deserves to be there. Is each item in good condition? Does it have sentimental value to you? Does it make you smile to see it each year? Naturally, you’ll want to keep some things forever such as Grandma’s heirloom ornaments, but don’t make the mistake of keeping everything long past its useful life. Donate gently used items or do a decor swap with friends!
Once you’ve donated (or swapped) the holiday décor you no longer love, be sure you’re storing the remaining items properly. If you keep your décor indoors, use color-coded fabric boxes or banker boxes so you can quickly identify which ones contain holiday decorations. However, if you store holiday décor in a non-climate controlled area, use plastic storage bins instead. Some bins have built-in dividers to protect ornaments, however be sure to wrap breakable and heirloom items in tissue or bubble wrap before storing.
- Make Space
The holidays are a time of “newness” and whether its new toys, clothes or household items, use the post-holiday weeks to make room for these exciting new things. Clear out closets, playrooms and other storage areas so you and your family has ample space to store and enjoy what’s new. Bonus: Others in need will benefit from your donations too!
- Organize Photos
The best part of the holiday season is spending time with family and friends and capturing the moments in pictures. The bummer is that all those precious memories often languish inside your camera until springtime (or longer!). Take some time in January once things slow down to download all your holiday images, organize them on your computer and turn them into physical greeting cards using Send Out Cards, or make digital cards using a service such as Reminder Center, Got-Free-Ecards or Smilebox.