I think we’ve all been there. Christmas has passed us by but the tree and other decorations have stayed up past their welcome, but the task of cleaning the decorations up feels much less fun than it was to put them up in the first place.
Christmas is my favorite time of year. And while New Years was a harder time for me this year and I would have preferred to let it slip by unnoticed and slide into 2016 and all its promise, I still love the season. There’s just something about all of the excuses to gather up with friends and family that I can’t complain about!
However, when it’s January 3rd and it looks like glitter was somehow projectile spread around your home, it feels like time to clear things up. This was my post-holiday cleanup, how did you do yours?
Step One: Eliminate Sources of Glitter (and other unwanted items)
Those beautiful lightup trees shed glitter with wild abandon, and the garland wrapped around them sheds artificial (I’m allergic to most greenery) needles everywhere. It needed to be cleared out so that the first round of sweeping could be done.
Unsurprisingly, I don’t use a lot of expensive items like throw-away dusters or specialty cleaners. I used a dust pan and then good old-fashioned pledge to restore my sideboard to its previous non-glittery glory. My dust pan does have a silicon edge to keep a tight seal on whatever surface you’re sweeping on, though.
Step Two: Pack Up Seasonal Items
If you’re anything like me, Christmas decorations do not begin and end with the tree. Nope, there’s decorations everrrywhere. Before I felt like I could get a really good clean done, I had to get rid of everything that wasn’t supposed to be where it was long-term. I store my Christmas decorations in plastic tubs in my garage, so I hauled those up and started packing decorations into them.
(even the bar cart wasn’t safe)
I try to be very conscientious about how I pack things up, and not just because of the precious nature of a lot of Christmas decorations. I watched my father untangle Christmas lights enough to know that no matter how hard you try, they will tangle due to their design, but that storing them properly will minimize how much. My recommendation is to grab the end of your lights in your hand, pull it taut to your elbow and wrap hand to elbow in an oval until every light is in that loop. I then use my extension cord as a figure-eight securing device to hold everything in place until next Christmas. Items like bead garland are placed in zipper bags, and any ornaments without dedicated boxes are placed in shoe boxes or cookie tins, wrapped in tissue paper to keep them safe.
Truly irreplaceable items, like the angel tree topper that my mum made, are placed in bags and then stored in a dedicated drawer so they can’t be damaged by accident.
This is really just adorable… my tiny tree splits into even tinier parts…
Step Three: Clear the Air
If you’re like me, Christmas means loads of visitors and meals. Or, it’s just that your roommate made fish after you made mexican beef. Whichever the case, an open bowl of plain ol’ vinegar will take scents out of the air! So my favorite final step to any good cleanup (even my monthly scrub of the house) is setting out a small bowl in the dining area to take up and away any lingering scents. It’s nice if you’re like me and trying to eat a bit healthier in the new year- no lingering smells of chocolate to entice a weak resolve. This is my mom’s trick, since she’s allergic to 99% of scents (as am I), so she’s come up with some pretty clever ways of making sure the house smells great without its occupants dying a slow, wheezing, itchy death.
I hope this helps with ideas for how to quickly and easily clean up from the holiday season! After doing these steps and a vacuum (or two… depending on your glitter situation) you should be ready to enter the new year with a clean slate.