Cleaning up Christmas


I hope you all had wonderful holidays of whatever you celebrated.

And now there may be a mess. It took awhile to set Christmas up, so don’t make yourself do all the clean up in one day. Too often we are in such a hurry to undo it, things get put away carelessly. Then next year you have broken decorations or you can’t find what you need. So this year let’s do it thankfully and slowly.

The first thing is the presents. Everyone wants to get into them right away, so we have a rule in the house – thank you notes must be written before you use or play with your present. Plus if you didn’t clear out before (or even if you have for extra decluttering) we do the one in, one out rule. I got some cozy pajama bottoms from my daughter so let go of the pajama bottoms with the frayed hem. One book in, one book out.

We throw wrapping paper into a bag as we unwrap, but if there are still wrappings laying around, now is the time to take care of them.

Unpack the suitcase. If you went out of town, don’t let the suitcase hang out for the next month. Usually I take care of it that day, but this time I left it out in the living room. So, that is my job for today.

How is the kitchen? Does it need some TLC? Do you need to buy more baking goods or pantry items? Are all the holiday dishes washed? Prepare a meal plan to use up the leftovers. Freeze leftovers and cookies you don’t think you will eat on time.

Next I look at the wrapping paper – do I need any wrapping items? Last year I didn’t have to buy anything, but it looks like this year I need to get wrapping paper, to/from labels and Christmas cards. So, I’ll go out today or tomorrow for the sales then pack it all away.

We add addresses to our Christmas address book from the Christmas card envelopes. I also note anyone new that sent a card to add to the list. Then I put the cards into a file folder. Once a week, I take out a card and either send a letter or a Facebook note to know I am thinking about them throughout the year.

Since we’ve done all the gift purchases, we can donate all the catalogs. You can also let go of the holiday issues of magazines.

We don’t have one, but if you do here’s how to clean up the fireplace after the holidays.

Donate winter coats, kid’s holiday dresses that won’t fit next year, boots. Recycle or give away boxes. Use my declutter calendar for decluttering throughout the year.

Dry clean your holiday clothes so they are ready for next year. Then put them in a little used closet. You can also pack up the holiday jewelry and accessories, decluttering as you go.

We usually wait to put away Christmas decorations until after Epiphany. This year it’s January 6th. As we put decorations away we declutter in the process. Play music to make it fun. Make sure all boxes are labeled for next year and the lights are not tangled. We no longer do a tree, but if your live tree is losing needles it’s time to recycle. We don’t have tons of decorations up, but if you like to do that, you can break up your de-decorated into mini-sessions.

May your January be spacious!


  • Elaine Cantrell says:

    Great article. Definitive steps helps to alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed. Thanks.

  • Beth Dargis says:

    Right – it’s easier to follow a list otherwise you have all the stuff in your head overwhelming you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *