The presents are unwrapped and your belly is full of ham and sweets and all the Christmas goodies. The new toys are scattered across the floor and you keep stepping on little pieces. The joyous hum of Christmas is fading into the background and reality is setting back in. You have to go back to work. There are a lot of boxes to put in the trash. There is glitter on everything…and pine needles.
The tradition in our house is to put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving, and take it down the day after Christmas. A month is long enough for me, though I know many people like to stretch the holidays a bit longer. If you are like me and want to de-Christmas your house as fast as possible, here are a few quick steps to get it done.
- Occupy the kids. This should be easy with new Christmas toys. You would think. I suggest you try to contain them in one room. I find that if I don’t do this, the Christmas decorations come out of the box as fast as I put them in. There’s nothing more frustrating than putting it all away and then finding rolls of ribbon unraveled across the family room floor.
- Throw out the old and ruined. If you have strings of lights that are half out and ornaments that are broken do yourself a favor and let it go (cue song in your head now- sorry it’s been playing out of every new toy in my house this weekend). Take care of this before you pack things away and you’ll save storage space and make next year a lot easier on yourself.
- Take stock of what you have. Now is a great time to hit the stores and replace those things you threw away. The stores slash prices 50-75% after Christmas. I know Christmas decorations are the LAST thing you want to spend your Christmas cash on, but you’re going to want them next year and then you’ll have to pay full price. If you just can’t bring yourself to do it, take note of all the things you’ll need to buy next year and write it all down. Store the list with your decorations so that when you unpack next year and begin to decorate there won’t be any last minute runs to the store to pick up six more strands of lights.
- Invest in proper storage. I used to shove everything into one big box as fast as possible and get it out of sight. Taking a few minutes to separate and store things properly will make a huge difference in next year’s Christmas spirit. We purchased a tree storage box with wheels last year and it really helped! I have also used bags like this. We have three trees, so I place the ornaments from each tree in separate boxes to avoid confusion. These boxes would be perfect.
- Clean it up! You’re already sweaty and now the house is a disaster area. Go ahead and give it a thorough cleaning. Vacuum away the sparkles and pine needles and cookie sprinkles that are hiding in the corners. Scrub the germs left by house guests out of the bathrooms. Put away the new clothes and clean old leftovers out of the fridge. Finish the year with a fresh space and set the tone for a new one.
Christmas is so full of fun and magic, but it feels pretty good to pack it all away and start fresh again.
What tips do you have for me to speed up the de-Christmasing process?