Save Your Sanity with Post-Holiday Organizing Tips
Putting decorations in storage and returning unwanted gifts now will save a lot of time later.
If your resolution for 2011 is to get organized, here are some tips to get you off to a great start.
Grab your handy dandy notebook and do another walk-through. Are there gifts to be returned? Food to be donated? "Stuff" to be put away? Get out bags for trash, recycling, donations, relocations and returns, and pick a room or spot to organize. Go from room to room, or spot to spot and fill those bags.
Now comes the time for the most difficult parts of this process: the relocate and return bags. As you put away holiday items for next year, taking time to organize now will save time next year.
Make sure you have the right containers or storage supplies to put these things away safely. If you come across any items that weren't used this year, considering donating them. There is a variety of storage containers made specifically for string lights, wreaths, ornaments and trees. I have yet to come across a nice menorah box, but my menorah makes a lovely addition to my china cabinet and I can always buy a new box of candles next year. Although eight nights of presents, don't leave me with a lot of space to put the gifts away (and I have 3 kids).
Label, label, label. As you are sorting similar items together and putting them into their storage containers, label them! This should make it a lot easier for next year when you are looking for something specific. Clear containers can also help – try to avoid buying the green or red containers that you cannot see through. They may be less expensive, but you wasnt to save your sanity next year. Then again, if the only things you put in the green or red containers are holiday stuff, that works too, (but you still need to label the container!)
Register any new tech items you receive. Write down serial numbers and get them registered. Put your name and number on it, so in case you leave it somewhere, a good Samaritan can return it to you.
Check your "return" and "donate" bags and see where the items came from and where the donated items can go. Make a list of the places, see where they are in relation to each other, and try to combine your returns and donations in one outing.
If the items you have to donate are going to a place that picks up, give them a call, schedule a pick up, and save yourself the trip.
For the returns, see if you can get store credit for the gifts instead of exchanging them and take advantage of the sales to get what you want. Having a gift receipt will expedite your return. Going in the evenings when the crowds have dispersed will also help save time.
Hopefully after the trash and recycling is gone, the gifts have been returned or put away, and the donations are prepared, you can sit back and relax.
Next time, we'll look into how to make, and keep, a New Year resolution to getting organized.