“If you dream it, you can do it.” –Walt Disney
Dear Mrs. Chaos,
How in the world do I find my house under all this Christmas mess?
Struggling and Overwhelmed!
Dear Struggling and Overwhelmed,
When the holiday is over and the magic has gone, it is so hard to find the energy for the cleanup process. Let the excitement of starting a new year be your motivation. My solution is to always grab my timer and label maker, and start small. I take down decorations in 30-minute increments so I never feel overwhelmed. I repeat this 3-4 times (or more) a day to accomplish what I need in that room, and I always take breaks when the timer goes off.
First and foremost, grab a trash bag and fill it up! All the leftover boxes, wrapping, ribbon pieces, Christmas cards (Oh, don’t start complaining! Truthfully, do you REALLY ever look at them again?), broken items, old receipts, not so fresh garland, empty containers…..you get the drift! This step really helps you focus on what needs to be put away.
Next, the kitchen is my first room to revive because it has to function at all times, especially during the holidays when everyone is home. Set your timer for 30 minutes and go! Everything on the counters should have a place of its own. All dishes should be washed and put away. New kitchen items will have to find their place, so you will have to be tough when making space. Donate items you truly don’t use. (That waffle maker that you MIGHT use once a year really shouldn’t be taking up prime kitchen real estate) If you handle it 30-minutes at a time, it doesn’t become overwhelming. Use your timer, and clean as you go.
Third, tackle the living room and entryway. This is where most of the Christmas decorations are in my house. I do this room in sections. I start at the mantle. Later on, I will tackle the tree. Next, I un-decorate the bookcase. So on and so on. My plastic bins are labeled so I know exactly what goes in each bin. As the bins are loaded, up to the attic they go! Then hang your wreaths on the attic rafter by their wreath hangers. If you don’t have enough wreath hangers, you can simply put a nail in the rafter.
This same 30-minute process can be continued in each room until all of the decorations are down and the new items have found homes. If you have “helpers” (for me that’s my teenage children), make the 30-minute segments fun by turning on music that they like. Oh, be sure to take photos of your decorated spaces so next year’s decorating is as easy as pie! Some organizers print the pictures and keep them in the containers for that particular space! Isn’t that brilliant?