The hustle and bustle of the holidays have come to a close, and after the new year, it’s goodbye to lights and glitter and hello to new year’s resolutions.
Holiday cleanup can be as complicated as holiday prep, but with a few simple tips, you can ace the cleanup and make next year’s prep that much easier ahead of time.
Decorating is fun; de-decorating is a necessary consequence. It’s very easy to just pile everything together and hope for the best next year. But you’ll be saving time both today and next fall if you organized your decor as you go along, making sure everything is in a proper bin or box. That way, you can pull out the boxes next year and be ready to go.
While you’re at it, give the home a thorough sweeping, mopping and vacuuming to get rid of any random tinsel, glitter or tree needles. If you’ve had a particularly busy holiday season, consider hiring a pro cleaner for a deep clean. If you have a lot of stuff, a professional organizer can help you create a system that puts you in the perfect place for next year.
A live tree brings a unique aspect to your holiday proceedings. But unlike an artificial tree, you can’t just pack it up into the attic when you’re done; these are one-time-use deals.
Many cities and localities offer holiday tree collection services where you can simply drop off your tree on the curb where you usually place your trash cans, and the city takes care of it from there. Other cities may have designated drop-off points when you can drive your tree and leave it there. Quite often, cities will turn the trees into compost or mulch to benefit city parks.
If you don’t have municipal pickup where you live, you can call a junk removal service to haul it away for a reasonable fee.
Alternately, with a little elbow grease and equipment, you can recycle your tree. If you have a solid chainsaw and wood chipper, you can grind your tree down into mulch or compost. Some local charities will run independent dropoff sites or even pick up your tree so they can use it for compost, mulch, and other purposes.
Lights tend to be among the most common holiday ornaments. But eventually, they start to wear out, or you simply want to replace them, especially if you have classic incandescent lights and want to upgrade to LEDs. Many recycling centers accept holiday lights in January, or can tell you who will take them. If your lights still work, thrift stores such as Goodwill will also take them. And whether or not your lights are working, many home improvement stores offer disposal programs where you can drop off your lights and perhaps even receive a coupon or other incentive.