The greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through…clean up!
Yes, it’s time to clean up – or soon will be – all that holiday merriment. (Even if we did paraphrase that lovely song from Karen Carpenter way back in 1966.)
For many of us cleaning up just doesn’t come naturally, especially when it comes to cleaning up and straightening up from the holidays. It’s all so pretty and lovely and filled with wonderful memories. We just hate to see it go. Plus, we’re exhausted!
Fortunately for us, Houzz contributor Alison Hodgson has some helpful ideas found in a Houzz post. (Hodgson is author of The Pug List: A Ridiculous Dog, a Family Who Lost Everything, and How They All Found Their Way Home.)
First, she suggests, don’t put away the camera just yet:
Before you tear everything apart, take some quick pictures of all of your decorations. I did this last year, and these were my reference when I pulled out the boxes this year. I made a few small changes, but this gave me an easy start.
Be sure to take close-ups to see the details.
This is my biggest time saver and how I start on the tree. I remove the non-breakable ornaments and lay them in their box. I don’t bother removing the hooks, and with a few exceptions they don’t get tangled. I began doing this to save space on the divided boxes but found it saved me so much time. Bonus!
Break it down into categories
In addition to non-breakable and fragile ornaments, I have boxes for trees, books, lights and miscellaneous larger items like snow globes and the Advent calendar.
With the trees I set the large ones on the bottom and carefully stack the others. The glass or pottery trees I wrap in tissue and securely place in the middle.
Buy the right supplies
In my family growing up, taking down the tree was as much a part of the tradition as setting it up. My siblings and I were responsible for packing up our personal ornaments, and I carefully wrapped each one in tissue. When I had my own tree with hundreds of ornaments, I dreaded putting them away every year until I finally bought a slew of boxes with dividers.
Make a note
What do you need or want to buy before next Christmas? Take note and write it down.
Get help at the end
I work alone stripping the tree. I’m able to move quickly without breaking anything. When all of the ornaments are boxed, I ask one or two members of my family to haul them down to storage.
Read Hodgson’s full piece: