1) Get in the right frame of mind. After all of the excitement and activities of the holiday, the idea of putting things away can be a little dispiriting. Breathe some life into this project by giving yourself a deadline for putting things away and reframe the task - make the job part of the celebration with music, cookies and family involvement. Take pictures of each decorated area and put the pictures in the holiday notebook.
2) Spread the project out over time. You may need several short sessions. Wash and fold the holiday linens one day. On other days, dedicate each short session to working in specific areas throughout the house.
3) Contain and label. Think about how you want to take things out to decorate for next year. Contain decorations by where they are placed. Label the container with the name of the area the items decorate. During this time of year the stores have are all sorts of specialized containers available for storing decorations. Color-coding is an effective way to earmark the holiday decoration containers from other containers. Egg cartons, shoeboxes and plastic zipper bag are inexpensive tools to organize the contents of a container. As you put things away, discard decorations that are no longer used or enjoyed.
4) Put away cards and photographs. Enjoy the cards one last time. Decide what you will do with them and follow-through. If you keep cards, only keep the ones with personal notes. Spend a session editing the holiday photographs. Toss the bad photos. Note the names of the people in the photos. If you do nothing else to organize your photos – at least keep them together by date.
5) Reflect and rejoice. Take note of what you liked this holiday season. What do you want to eliminate next year? Add these reflections to your holiday notebook so you can act on them next year. Plan a festive meal for the day the last decorations are put away so everyone can share the spirit of the holidays together one last time.
Check out the Clear Spaces Pinterest Board for some more ideas!