Holiday Aftermath: Cleanup and Organization Tips

January 1, 2020 | by BMI Staff

It’s a new year, which means it’s a new start for your family home. Rather than seeing your Christmas decor tear-down as a list of chores, look at it as an opportunity to set your home up for success in the new year. Get your children involved, play some music, and make your future self proud by organizing as you go. And don’t stop there! Once you see all of the extra space you have without the holiday decor, check out our tips for keeping that ball rolling all throughout the house!

Store your holiday decorations—but organize them first.

Wrap your lights.
Use a piece of cardboard or a coffee can to wrap your christmas lights. Future you will thank you for taking this extra step!

Store wrapping paper.
Keep your wrapping paper in plain view for next Christmas and other occasions in between by storing it in a clear garment bag or clean waste basket. Store leftover and recycled ribbon in a shoe box.

Note what is stored in each box.
Before stowing away all of your boxes, place a checklist on top of each that states what will be found in that box next year. If there are items that are in need of replacement, make a note of that as well. Holiday decorations will be on sale everywhere at this time, so leave that reminder for yourself of where you will store the replacements. 

Recycle your tree.
Many trash service providers will pick up real trees for recycling purposes in the weeks following Christmas. Call your provider to see if that option is available to you. If not, research drop-off centers for recycling in your area as well as non-profits that will pick up your tree for a small donation. 

Inventory your Christmas cards.
Once the holidays are over, go through your Christmas cards and update your list of addresses and names for next year. 

Create an ornament organizer.
Use apple and egg crates or solo cups to store both large and small ornaments. This low-cost DIY method will actually end up saving you space in addition to money.

Use the 2-for-1 system to make room for new belongings.

To most easily make room for all of your new gadgets and gifts, use the 2-for-1 system. For every new item in your house, say goodbye to two like items. If you were gifted clothing, let go of two items you barely wear anymore (or that don’t fit, have damage, etc.). If you have kids, give them the same task for their toys. This is a great opportunity to teach children about charity. Bring them with you to the donation bin and let them know how happy their recycled toys will make other children. 

Get rid of things you no longer need.

Use this transition from Christmas to normalcy to take an overall inventory of your belongings. From year-round decor to last season’s clothing, go through your home room by room and ask yourself what items no longer make sense in your life anymore. 


  1. Start from the ground-up, and go through shoes first. This will help declutter the are beneath your feet as you start to work your way up while clearing space for toss piles. 
  2. Separate your clothes based on season. Although it is late in the winter season, you may not have gotten to this decluttering task yet. Pull out all of your summer clothes (including the items in your dresser) and store them in trash bags. Use a vacuum attachment to suck the excess air out of the bag before tying for extra storage space.
  3. If you have children, take a look at their closets. If clothing no longer fits them or is damaged beyond repair, begin filtering items into trash and donate piles. 


  1. Empty all of the drawers and cabinets in each bathroom. Place the items in one location to do a quick inventory of all the things you have. You may have a year’s worth of one product without having realized it, so this is an excellent way to minimize excess. 
  2. Put like things in the same place. Group your medicine, hair products, makeup, etc. so that nothing ever gets lost again. Consider labeling specific bins so that everyone in the house is on the same page.
  3. Throw out expired or empty products, and make a donation pile for the unopened, excess supplies you discover.


  1. Clear your kitchen counters of absolutely everything, hold for 3 essential items. These may be coffee makers, knife holders, and canisters–whatever you choose to maintain immediate access to.
  2. Clear and organize your junk drawer(s) to make room for the items you removed from the countertop.  
  3. Go through your tupperware and match all of the lids to containers. Throw out the inevitable unmatched pairs. (This trick also works for socks.)
  4. Donate your duplicates. Whether you are hoarding a surplus of same-sized pots and pans or your silverware drawer is overflowing with one type of utensil, consider donating the extras. 

Living Room

  1. After you’ve taken down your Christmas decorations, continue the trend by looking at your year-round decorations. If your living space feels cluttered, consider downsizing the bulkier pieces of decor. 
  2. Add storage space to increase the functionality and minimize the clutter within the space. Maximize on hallway closets and the built-in space in your ottoman or credenza. 
  3. Take an inventory of your DVD and CD collection (if you still have either), and determine how many of them you still regularly enjoy. Odds are, there are a few you could live without.