Since the flurry of vacation action winds down, there is always that alarming moment when you look round the house and think, “What in the world happened here?” Between the delivery boxes and crumpled gift wrapping, decorations, decorations and shiny new toys, it can feel like a major accomplishment just to clear enough stuff to see the living room floor. At times like this it is helpful to bear in mind the bit of information emblazoned on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Don’t panic. Take a moment to savor yet another mug of cocoa and gaze in the tree … and when you’re ready, we can tackle the mess together with the hints below, one step at a time.
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1. Keep only the decorations you use and enjoy. Empty your storage containers completely before packing decorations up after Christmas. Are there anything left in there which wasn’t employed this year? Ask yourself why you didn’t wish to put it up — there is a very good chance you do not need it at all.
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2. Decide on a toy to give away for every new item obtained. Children’s rooms can feel overstuffed after a holiday-present-acquiring spree. If your child is young, cull toys that you understand are no more favorites by yourself. With older kids, it’s best to involve them in the process. Make it meaningful by choosing a children’s charity together they would like to provide some of their toys to.
3. Neaten your present wrapping zone. A great deal of clutter comes from not knowing what we own and purchasing a different (tape, ribbon) rather than finding the one we’ve got and utilizing it. Take some time today to straighten out your present packaging place, and not only will you be well prepared for another present you need to wrap, but sorting out things out will save yourself room to boot. Keep like with like, sorting small items such as tape rolls and embellishments in a shoebox, and position rolls of wrapping vertical in a bin.
4. Choose versatile gift wrapping supplies. Occasion-specific gift wrapping and tags create clutter. Rather than having to scramble to find a spot for your own vacation paper after Christmas ( and then probably forgetting it’s there next year and purchasing more), combine easy solid-color wrapping paper and pretty ribbons any variety of ways to package gifts throughout the year. Stock up throughout post-Christmas sales to save a few dollars, but beware the allure of this bargain bin. Just because it’s cheap does not mean that you need it.
5. Gift extra-large boxes into a regional preschool. Rather than pushing all of those giant cardboard packing boxes into your garage or recycling bin, why don’t you bring some to a local teacher instead? Preschools are usually happy to take big cardboard boxes along with other recycled packaging materials to reuse in creative classroom projects.
6. Use smaller cardboard boxes to offload clutter. Toys are not the only things that pile up after the holidays. Take a look at your own gift haul and select a similar item to get rid of for every new thing you obtained. As an example, in with a new sweater, out with an old hoodie. Use the boxes your presents came in to hold the items you’re carrying to charity, and you will be rid of clutter and boxes in a single fell swoop.
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7. Clean up Santa’s workshop. In the event that you hauled out the toolbox to build any large and complicated Christmas presents, today would be a fantastic time to evaluate and reorganize the resources you have. If you’re lucky enough to have a full size toolshed (and it’s kept up), bravo. For the rest of us, cramming arbitrary tools, loose boxes and nails of lightbulbs into a hall closet together may signal that it’s time for a update.
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8. Find a smart instrument alternative. In the event that you found while working on current projects that you’re lacking any basic tools, create a list of everything you need. For that which you really do have, try organizing things on a magnetic wall stand: It’s neat and practical, and it fits in everywhere.
9. Ask for clutter-free gifts. It feels great to have an uncluttered house. So another time family and friends ask what you want, tell them an encounter or consumable gift would be much appreciated. Edible treats, concert tickets, memberships to local museums, gift certificates to new restaurants and weekend getaways all create wonderful, memorable presents — and they will not take up a little bit of space in your property.