Back to the Grind

after the holidaysPicking up after the Holidays

Happy New Year! We’re officially into the new year. The holidays are over and most of our homes show it. Don’t think you’re alone if you have gift boxes lying around, Christmas gifts and toys strewn about, leftover boxes of candies and fudge as well as loads of laundry and piles of mail to tackle. Lots of families are in the same boat. The holidays can get the best of us and this is the week to start catching up and organizing. Don’t feel pressured to do everything in one day, but start the process of wading through stuff and tackling the clutter.

The best advice I can give you is tackle one room at a time. Don’t move on or get distracted by any other room or project until the first room is organized.

Gather up Christmas decorations in one spot to put them all away. I usually use my kitchen island or dining room table. It’s a clean large surface that can hold a lot. After all my decorations are gathered there, I get the bins out from the crawl space and basement and put everything away at one sitting. Next put away miscellaneous items lying about. Don’t run the steps many times. If things belong upstairs throw it on the steps to go up. If they belong downstairs throw it on the steps to go down. You’ll visit clearing off the steps when you tackle the downstairs or upstairs organizing.

Now is a good time to start filling a bag for Goodwill or Salvation Army. For example, I got mixing bowls and a waffle maker for Christmas this year. Instead of just adding those into my kitchen cabinets, I got rid of mixing bowls I really didn’t like and another small appliance (my quesadilla maker) to make room for the new items. Do the same if you got new clothes or if the kids got new toys. If you received a few new sweaters get rid of a few.

If you still have some gifts to return or exchange gather receipts and the gifts to get them into the car. I like to put them all in my back seat. Either pick one return day and get the returns and exchanges done or slowly visit stores and shops as you go throughout your week. Just be sure to get them in the car headed in the right direction. This ensures you’ll process them and bags are out of your way inside the house.

Glance at the boxes of candy, Christmas cookies, and leftovers. If you want to start the New Year out healthy, start to pitch and clear out the sugary and fatty foods.  Don’t feel guilty. You’re making a healthy choice and did enjoy these foods over the holiday. Just because it’s in your home or someone gave it to you as a gift doesn’t mean you have to continue to eat it.

Finally, empty wastebaskets and take out the recycling. Just getting out the garbage makes space. Now you’re ready to run the vacuum, dry mop the floors or just dust down coffee tables and countertops.

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