The holidays can be a very fun time of year, but they can also be a bit overwhelming. This time of year brings in a lot of extra things into the home.
We have containers from holiday meal left overs, gift bags and boxes galore, the new round of holiday decorations, and probably a few items left behind from friends and family. But what do you do with all of these things, how do you incorporate them, get rid of them, or re-purpose them?
1) Gift bags, boxes, and tissue paper is always great to save and reuse next year (if you have the space to do this). The best place to keep this is with your holiday decorations. Or if you are a big gift giver perhaps have a a separate container for all of your wrapping paper, bows, boxes, bags, tissue paper and all. You can find great options for gift wrap organizers at The Container Store, Target, etc)
2) If you can plan ahead for family meals, bring your own tupperware that way you do not have to worry about extra containers in your kitchen without a home. If you can wrap up your items in zip lock bags or foil that will cut down on the extra stuff to make room for or return to its owner. Additionally, if you are playing host you can get a few cheap containers at the Dollar Store to send your loved ones home with some yumminess.
3) If people leave items at your home – Facebook can be a quick way to discover whose it is. If the people are close I generally like to use it as an excuse to set up a coffee date and connect one-on-one. For people that are far away perhaps send them a little care package, who doesn’t enjoy getting a little bit of unexpected love in their mailbox. For the items you cannot figure out donate them if you cannot put them to good use in your home. Side note: it can be helpful to transition these items into a box in your car so they are easily accessible. Also, when you make an event in your calendar be sure to make a note about returning your loved ones items.
4) When it comes to holiday decorations, sometimes we purchase things in compulsion rather than actual need or even desire. Before putting your decorations away, think about them – did they fit in with the rest of your stuff, is it in good working order, will it be usable after storage for a year? If it is still usable, but just not by you consider donating (churches and shelters will sometimes accept these items).
5) When it comes to those beautiful new gifts (clothes, toys, appliances, etc) you may want to consider making swaps. For children, introduce a couple new toys and store the rest for a few months down the line. Consider having them help you pick out a few items to donate to another child who may not have gotten a present this year. If you received replacement items (new blender for example) but yours still works – donate them or pass them down to someone else in need.
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