Every December, my husband, two kids, and I take a trip from our home in Minneapolis to visit my family in Omaha. We stay with my parents and usually spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with around 20 of my family members. It’s always a lot of fun, and I’m so glad my children get a chance to spend time with their extended family. Needless to say, we come back to Minneapolis with a lot of presents from all of my relatives. Last year, I think my kids had to sit in the back of the car with about twenty presents each on their laps. When we arrive home every year, it’s difficult to find space for all of our presents.
Over the years, I’ve gotten much better at keeping things organized after the holidays. Here are some tips that will help you avoid the post-holiday disorganization and chaos:
1. If you get home exhausted from traveling, do not put all of your presents in a big, disorganized pile on the living room and proceed to watch a holiday movie with your family.
2. Spend about an hour with your family sorting through the presents. Each of you should evaluate which presents you would like to keep and which you may want to get a refund for (if you have a gift receipt) or give away to charity. Some of the presents you receive may not be things you actually want to keep. Don’t worry. Your Great Uncle doesn’t need to know you’re giving away those toe socks he got you.
3. Find a proper place in the house for the presents you keep. If you’re low on space, consider donating some of your older household items to make room for the new items.
4. Put some shelves up in your garage and put some of your excess items there. Particleboard garage shelves are very easy to install. You can find them at your local hardware store and find directions to help you install them online. The garage is a great place for kids’ outdoor toys, tools, and automotive supplies. Just make sure everything that goes in the garage stays organized and off the floor.
5. Recycle all old wrapping paper and ribbons. You may also want to save some gift bags to re-use next year to save yourself some money. You can put the gift bags on a shelf in your linen closet or in another place that seems appropriate.
So, spend a little time organizing after the holidays this year, and avoid a chaotic household in January!
Author’s Bio: Lisa is a guest post writer on the subjects of stress-free holidays, organization, and Boston storage.