8 Steps to Cleaning up After Christmas

8 Steps to Cleaning up After Christmas

Christmas clean-up — it can be overwhelming, but with a great strategy it can be doable. Don’t let the clean up rob you of joy. ~rachel


1. Have a good attitude. Yes. I just wrote have a good attitude and as I tell my kids I mean it.  Here’s why. I have found that is incredibly easy to slip into a posture of grumbling as one removes ornaments, or puts away presents, or sweeps up pine needles, and reclaims the kitchen. Yes, it’s work. But, honestly, it’s work that I must remember to be grateful for — so many blessings that could be overlooked. So as overwhelming as it is – I really work on trying to keep perspective. And being thankful for all the new movies, games, and Netflix that can keep the occupied.



2. Create mini-goals. When I look at the entire clean up process it’s easy to get a bit frazzled by the scope of what to do. So I create smaller objectives and goals. Gather the ornaments. Bring in the tote boxes and sort. Take Christmas lights off outside. Wash Christmas dishes. And gradually it will all get done. It helps to have mini-rewards as well. Like, for instance, a Starbucks latte when the tree is all done. Priorities, right? šŸ˜‰


3. Donate. Sometimes I’ll work through this step prior to Christmas, but on years where I miss it {like this year} I’ll bring a big box down into our laundry/storage room and fill it with items that we can donate. Games that got played only a couple times, toys that we’ve outgrown and more. I’ll also bring a big black contractor garbage bag down and work to fill it with stuff that is broken or just doesn’t fit the “donate” category. And, lol, I have to work to actually schedule my pick-up for that donate stuff — often it sits in a corner in my garage — for far too long.

4. Keep one thing out. Last year we kept the top of our Christmas countdown chain hanging high in our dining area. It can be a really small and simple thing — like the paper chain — or it can be something more elaborate. My reasoning? Serves as a reminder of Christmas and keeps our family grateful for the time spent together.


5. Roll the tree. This really only applies to those of you who purchase real trees — but feel free to do it with your artificial one with not the same results.  Once the tree is outside waiting for pickup I’ll take the tree and roll it around looking for the ornament that we forgot to pull off. I’m thinking I’m going to make a special box for that one ornament for the next year —the ornament that almost didn’t make it — or something like that and then it can go on first the following year. Make sure to organize those ornaments now before next year. You’ll be grateful next December.


6. Get the kids involved. (If you’re a risk taker – haaha). Make taking everything down as festive as putting it up. I’ll assign roles — one to get ornaments off, one to sort them (I sort ornaments by child), one to help wrap, one to roll garland, etc… It makes the work light and much more fun. It also helps remind them to be grateful for all the blessings that they recently received.


7. Enjoy that moment where the house feels like it’s gained an enormous amount of space. Seriously. Have you ever had that?  Once the tree is down your house feels like you’ve gained another room? It’s crazy how much extra space I feel like I have then — so I truly try to remember it for those times when I feel like we’re too crowded.

8. Be thankful. Take a moment and just be thankful. For your family, for the time to spend together, for the freedom to celebrate Christmas, for the year, and for the new year, for health, for the presents that you received, and so forth. Let the process of taking down the Christmas decorations be a lesson of gratitude.


How about you? What are your Christmas clean up strategies?

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