POST HOLIDAY ORGANIZING TIPS
by Patty Clair of Keeping It Simple, LLC
Use this year's cards as thank you postcards or as gift tags for next year's gifts.
Before you head out the door to shop at the after Christmas sales, really take an inventory of what you need for the following year. Many times we end up with more plates/napkins, wrapping paper, etc. than we can possibly use the following year. It is a waste of money and storage, so resist the urge to buy just because they are on sale. One thing is for sure, there will always be after Christmas sales on these items next year!
Purge old decorations as you pack up after the holiday and make a shopping list for things you know you’ll need to replace next year.
Update addresses if you received any returned cards.
Try to look at new gifts received as “replacements for” not “additions to” whenever practicable. Go with the “one in, one out” rule whenever possible.
Have your children go through their games/toys and consider donating items that they no longer use or want. Many charities/thrift shops will be happy to receive these “gently used” items.
Consider donating your “new, but unwanted” gifts to help control the clutter.
Place the items that youdid not use this year in a box labeled "did not use in 2013” and put it away with the rest ofyour decorations. When you decorate the following year, reassess the items that were not used in the prior year. If they still don't make the cut, donate them to the local thrift store or nursing home. The system also works especially well for the thrift store because youdonate the items at a time when they are most marketable, as opposed to right after the holidays when the holiday items are no longer in demand.
If space allows, try to store all of your holiday decorations together so you will not forget what you have and repurchase unnecessary items the following year.
Capitalize on after Christmas sales and purchase appropriate sized clear plastic bins. They are so helpful as they stack well, are sturdy, and most important: allow you to see what is inside.
Catalog Control: Review the catalogs you have received in the mail this past season. Do you really need to subscribe to them, do you still order from them, do you get duplicate copies because you are registered under to similar but different names. Call the 1-800 number on the back of the magazine and asked to be removed from their mailing list.
We always think we will remember from one year to the next, but if you are anything like me, you don’t! Keep a log of what you spent on food/gifts (to help with budgeting next year), who you bought gifts for and what you purchased, as well as favorite activities for the season. Lastly, perhaps listing some favorite recipes you want to remember to use