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Post Holiday Clean Sweep: Out With The Old, In With The New

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By now you may be truly feeling the effects of the holidays.  The bloating, the “I never want to see another piece of chocolate” feeling and then there’s ALL the new stuff.  Great new stuff everywhere!  Getting your eating habits back to normal may be easier for you than tackling the new stuff organization.  So here are some tips for cleaning up and de-cluttering your post holiday blessings!

Hire Super Elves (AKA your kids)

Your kids will probably be out of school for the next few weeks and that means you have official “de-cluttering” helpers.  But, for the sake of getting your kid to “buy-in” to their role, lets call them “Super Elves” and let’s go ahead and give them a bathroom towel for their capes.  Santa came to town and now it may be time for your kids to let go of some stuff to make room for all their new blessings.   As a super elf, their duty is to select a few toys to be a part of a top-secret project.  Give each child a pretty box or bag from Christmas and ask them to select a particular number of old toys to put in the box that can be apart of the top-secret project.  Once you get the bag, go ahead and take it down to the thrift store for donating or in your special collection spot for consigning.  Hide them well and your kid will have moved on in just a few hours to a few days.

If this is a no-go idea for your kid and the “super elf” routine is going to lead to a “my stuff” meltdown, wait until they are out of the house for a few hours and do a mom style top-secret mission.  Get in, get the stuff and get out  They probably won’t even notice the stuff is missing.

Give Each Gift a Home:

It seems to me that every year I come home from my family swap with a few large Christmas boxes or bags of all the stuff I unwrapped.  If I’m not using it immediately, it ends up sitting in a corner of my room in the bags until I feel up to going through them.

Last year however I made it a goal to empty the bags the moment I set foot in our house giving each item a home.  I put it where it belonged and where it would stay. The items got used much sooner and my house looked cleaner.

Consider taking immediate action with holiday gifts and giving them each a home the minute you can disperse them all.


Put all your gift returns and receipts in one place by the door so you remember to take them all back.  Go ahead and tape the receipt to the item so you can avoid being unable to remember where you put it when you get to the service desk.

Clean Out As You Go:

As you visit each item’s new “home” location, take a look and see if there are any gifts that you put in that spot last year that didn’t get touched.  If so, it’s time to add those items to your donate or consign pile.

What Do I Do With It?

If you have any items that you don’t particularly know what to do with or where to store them, take a look at my blog post Returning Gifts: The Good, The Bad & The Down Right Ugly.

No Room?  No problem.

Have you ever gone to put something away and had an avalanche of stored items fall out all over the floor.  This often happens to me in two places: the linen closet & the bathroom cabinets.  I get so many soaps, body spray’s, lotions & nail polish that I just keep stashing them until there is no room to store items that I really need.  Last time stuff fell out of my cabinet, I said enough was enough.  If there isn’t room for something new that you love, consider getting rid of items that you are storing for “some day” use.

Nail Polish: Get your nail polish bottles down to a neutral, a winter, a spring, a summer and a fall color.  Ditch the rest that you’ve been hoarding since 2004.

Body Products: If you are like many women you probably have several bottles of lotions, sprays, washes and “butters?” under your cabinets.  Pull them out, smell them and keep the ones you like most.  Throw away the rest or put them in the guest bathroom for use.  Put one you want to wear everyday in your main daily toiletry drawer.  Do your best to apply it each day.  When you run out, grab the next bottle you kept and use those items.  If you don’t, you are “hoarding” bath products so to speak.

Blankets: If you received a new throw blanket, consider passing your old throw blanket down to your dog’s bedding.

Towels: If you got a nice set of bathroom towels, consider taking your old towels to your husbands shop or donating them to a local animal shelter.

Your post holiday clean sweep doesn’t have to be an in-depth process. It is simply biting off little bits of clutter as you put away your new blessings.
Kim Anderson