Christmas morning has come and gone for another year.  
The gifts have all been opened, the stockings (hung with such care) are now empty and bare.  The monkey bread has been eaten and the once pristine tree is now (mostly laying) all over my living room floor.

As much as  I love Christmas, there is something to be said for putting the house right again as the New Year sets in.  And yet, as if often the case, the energy that was so readily available for putting UP the decorations, has mysteriously disappeared, as fast as the monkey bread on Christmas morning.

So how do we go about Cleaning up Christmas without loosing our sanity?  Because honestly, sometimes the mess that is left is daunting.  The urge to just throw it right back into the storage totes is appealing.  And yet, I know that a little extra care now will go a long way towards next year’s decorating efforts.

If you remember, at the outset of our decorating this year, our family took 12 totes of Christmas decorations and reduced them down to 2.

Never have I been so glad for a simple Christmas then right about now.

Last year, trying to put 12 totes of Christmas decorations away was a bit maddening, so that thought of only having to manage 2 was rather freeing.  But even with a simple Christmas I want to make sure that my efforts are well spent.

So here are my 6 Sanity Saving Tips, in no particular order: 

1. Gather Like Items – I try to start in one area and then work my way around the house.  Usually we start with the tree, removing all the ornaments and placing them on the kitchen table. From there we sort them out into like size so that we can then bag them up easily.

2. Toss – As you take down the decorations, look for any item that is broken or burned out.  If it is not repairable, then toss it.  To often we throw it in the box thinking that we will decide later.  No, decide right then what to do because later rarely comes.

3. Evaluate Lights – Every year, without fail, we have lights that burn out.  Sometimes we can replace a bulb and use the lights the next year.  However, after a few years sometimes a strand is not worth trying to fix.  Again, decide right away what to do.  Tossing it in the box with hopes that it will somehow magically work next year, rarely works either.  Believe me, I’ve tried, with sad results.

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Sturdy piece of Cardboard – cut several notches

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Wrap lights around cardboard and secure – keeps lights from getting tangled.

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This also works with beads or string garland

4.  Organize – As tired as I might be, I find that a little organization can go a long way.  One particular area is with the lights.  How many times do you put away the lights, only to pull them out the following year and find them a tangled heap?  How does that happen? Seriously, it’s mind boggling and annoying.  Putting them back in the box they came in is also futile.  So here is my trick: Take a sturdy piece of cardboard, cut notches in both ends and then wrap the lights around the board.  Secure the ends together and then look forward to a non-tangled mess the next year.  It has worked like a charm for us the last few years.

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5.  Make a list – This year we lost two strands of lights and we used up all of our wrapping paper.  Making a list helps me not forget the things I need to purchase before the next Christmas season rolls around, and it allows me to be on the look out for deals prior to the holidays.

6. Store It – It used to be that by the time I took down all the decorations and put them in the totes, I didn’t have any more energy to put them away up in the attic.  Usually they would sit in our garage for several weeks until I, or my hubby, got tired of tripping over them.  Now with a simplified amount of decorations, putting 2 totes away is not a huge deal – however, we still have to follow through.  So once you get it all packed up, the tree down and the house swept – take that final step and put your Christmas items in storage.  You might be tired, but then it’s done.

So what are some of your Sanity Saving tips when it comes to putting away Christmas?  What would you add to my list? Join in the conversation and share with us.

Keeping it Simple,


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