How to Get Your Home Back in Order After the Holidays
Setting your home back to normal, is a great way to transition from the holiday season to a fresh new year start. For many people, the week between Christmas and New Year’s can be chaotic, with the kids home from school, the grown-ups off work and winter weather keeping everyone indoors. Most of us, after Jan. 2, we’re ready to be done with the holiday season for good.
In case that describes you, here are some tips for getting your home back (or maybe a little better too)
Organize and Store Holiday Decor
1. Corral your outdoor decorations.
As most people do, place your outdoor items all together for easy retrieval next December. Before packing lights, replace burned-out bulbs and dispose of strands not working properly. Wreaths take a bit of special care to preserve their shape. Keep them in storage containers specifically designed for wreaths, making sure your containers can accommodate bows and other attachments without squishing them. Garlands can be wrapped and tied with twine and stored in large boxes.
2. Arrange for tree disposal or storage.
In many areas, Christmas trees get collected curbside during the first two weeks in January, usually on your normal trash day. Be sure to remove all lights, tinsel, ornaments and the stand. If you have an artificial tree, keep in mind that the original cardboard box it came in won’t protect the tree from mold, moisture and pests. You may want to consider purchasing a container designed specifically for Christmas tree storage to help your tree last through the years.
3. Declutter your indoor decorations before storing.
Many of us receive ornaments as gifts and tend to leave our older, less popular decor packed in storage boxes year after year. So before you store your decor, assess what’s already in your boxes. Let go of items that you don’t really like, and toss anything broken or damaged. Larger decor can be stored in large plastic storage boxes with an airtight lid to protect items from moisture.
Get Your House Back in Order
1. Clean out the refrigerator and pantry.
During the holiday season, these areas often get stuffed with leftover food and holiday cookies. Take the time to pull out all your containers of uneaten leftovers and survey their freshness. Also toss out any stale baked goods. Once you’ve addressed the food, take a few minutes to wipe down refrigerator and pantry shelves so they’ll be ready for your next grocery trip.
2. Tidy up the guest room.
If you had overnight visitors for the holidays, change the sheets and clean the room. Having clean sheets on the bed and a tidy room will make it much easier the next time you host overnight guests.
Finally, Take Time to Be Thankful
Once your house is back in order, take some time to relax, sit down with a cup of tea and write thank-you notes or emails. You should send a written note anytime you receive a gift and the giver wasn’t there to be thanked in person. If the gift is from a close friend or relative, though, a call or email is acceptable.
Gratitude improves both physical and psychological health — grateful people sleep better, have less stress and are more resilient. This should give us all motivation to be thankful!