The night before Christmas and all through the house… is neat and tidy. Fast forward 24 hours and the scene can be one of carnage with wrapping paper, ribbon, food remains, cups and decorations littering the floor.
After experiencing this mayhem year after year, last Christmas I decided there must be a better way. With a little careful planning and forethought I managed to implement a few simple changes which saw the painful aftermath of Christmas Day transform into a simple, streamlined plan – leaving me free to enjoy Boxing Day with family and friends.
Allow me to give you the advantage of my sharp learning curve to hopefully make your Christmas chores a little lighter this year.
Prepare early by investing in some sturdy storage containers, preferably with wheels and stackable with secure lids. Either colour code the containers or use tags to quickly identify the contents.
Plastic containers are ideal as they can prevent water damage if they are being stored in a garage or shed which is prone to flooding. They also avoid breakage or damage to fragile ornaments when heavier items are stacked on top.
Place regularly used crockery, decorations and paraphernalia in top containers and less frequently used items in the bottom ones.
Start hoarding egg cartons this year. They are an invaluable storage facility for small ornaments and baubles. Cheap, disposable plastic containers can be used to separate fragile ornaments, making them easier to store.
Bag as you open
Have a discreet garbage bag ready to dispose of wrapping paper and ribbon as presents are opened. Disposing of boxes and wrap as gifts are opened, will avoid the inevitable leftover mess.
Lightening the Light Load
Christmas lights are notorious for somehow managing to become a tangled mess simply by sitting in a box. For shorter lengths, wrap them gently around flat cardboard, avoiding overlapping them. Longer strings of lights can be wound onto a hose reel to keep them neat and ready to go.
Do an audit and save only rolls of wrapping which have a substantial amount of paper left on them. There is no point storing a partially used $4 roll of wrap until next year if you are short on space.
With the rolls you decide to keep, purchase a cheap wine rack and slide the rolls through them and then store in a dry, clean area.
Storing ribbon has always been a hassle but with a little imagination and a simple small rinsing basket, those days are gone.
In the above picture a small dowel rod has been threaded through a hole and balls of wool have been neatly arranged with the basket doubling as a dispenser. Simply exchanging the wool for ribbon gives you the perfect ribbon organiser – cheap, simple and affordable.
Bin there – done that
If you are having an informal Christmas, save yourself the headaches of washing up by using disposable paper plates, cups and forks. The environmental impact of these is surely no more than that of washing dishes. There are upmarket plastic products on the market which are aesthetically beautiful so you don’t need to sacrifice style for convenience.
Lastly have a large standalone garbage bag ready for guests to toss their trash into. At the end of the day, there may still be mess but it will be reduced by 80% at least and you can enjoy sitting down and socialising rather being tied to the kitchen sink.
Christmas should be a time to relax and enjoy family, fun and friends.By implementing a little planning and forethought and a few strategic ideas, you can guarantee that this Christmas and Boxing Day won’t leave your home a disaster area.