A Guide to your Christmas Cleanup

Christmas is a joyous celebration. People decorate their homes with Christmas lights, a Christmas tree, wreaths and other ornaments to usher in the season. It is also the best time to bond with the family by putting up the Christmas tree together and sending Christmas cards to one another and other friends across the country.

After the New Year, you then have to pack everything away so that it can hopefully be reused the next Christmas. Did you know that some people would rather keep their Christmas lights on for the entire year just because they dread packing away the décor and having to put it up again come December? The main question you want to ask in order to make this all seem a little less intimidating is: How can you begin the cleaning, what’s the easiest way to clean everything and how should you store your Christmas decorations?

1. Think ahead

When buying Christmas ornaments and Christmas lights, always consider durability and storability. Look at how long you will be able to use them and if they can be easily stored after the Christmas holidays.

2. Box them up and label them

To make sure you can still use the Christmas decorations the following season, you need to have them stored properly. As some small items might peel off or get broken when not stored correctly, you might like to use containers that you already have in the house, like grocery boxes, egg cartons and tin cans for storage. It is also better to get sturdy boxes that you can easily stack.

You may also purchase tote boxes, or get plastic storage boxes with wheels. This allows them to be easily transported as well as allowing you to quickly check what is inside them. You can stack them up in the storage room on top of one another and not have to worry about the box collapsing in on one another.

3. Pack one at a time

Do not attempt to pack everything at once. You can start by packing away the ornaments on the Christmas tree and then the tree itself. This will make it easier for you to label the boxes and keep the chaos of clean-up to a minimum. The hardest and the bulkiest decorations are usually the ones displayed either in front of the house or on rooftops—and they also use up most of your energy. It is better to start clearing them away first. You can even recruit your family members into helping pack away your decorations.

4. Protect ornaments and fragile items

Ornaments are usually fragile, so they should not be stored together without a protective layer between each one. You may put small items inside egg boxes or shoe boxes and add tissue paper or shredded paper to help better protect them. You may also want to invest in bubble wrap because this will prevent possible damage on your ornaments. If you don’t need it, you may also use an old Christmas sweater you rarely use as an added layer of protection.

5. Carefully remove the Christmas tree

If you had a real tree for your Christmas celebrations, removing it could mean a little more mess than you initially expected, because of all the leaves falling off. To save you the trouble, you can wrap the tree in a large sheet-like a tarp, or a large carton before removing it from the living room. This will keep the leaves inside and will also prevent scratches on your floor when you move it. If the tree is made of plastic, you have two options. You can either remove the branches and tie them with elastics, or you may just use a cling wrap to tightly bind the branches. This allows you to store the entire tree in a way that the branches will not be sticking out.

6. Pack up the Christmas lights

One of the easiest ways to store Christmas lights is to ball them up and then keep them inside Ziploc bags with a label. This might be hard to untangle if you don’t do it properly. You can use a piece of carton instead and wind the Christmas lights up with it. For longer tree lights, use cardboard tubing to encase them.

7. Discard when needed

Sometimes, people hold on to fraying decorations because of the memories. When packing your Christmas decorations, decide on what is no longer needed next Christmas and discard them. You do not have to keep the old Christmas sweater and other older Christmas cards. That way you can make new memories, instead of being surrounded by Christmas decorations from years ago that may have gone way out of season.

After carefully packing the ornaments, it is now time to store the boxes. You may keep them in your garage or in your basement. If you have spare space in your garage, you can also always consider becoming a Spacer host! It’s an easy way to earn a few hundreds extra dollars each month, using space you already own. Find out more about becoming a Spacer host here.

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