Now that the holidays are over and the relatives have moved the RV (that's recreational vehicle) from your driveway, it's time to pack away the lights, garlands, wreaths and snowmen.
Also, for those of you who live in California I would like to point out, it is never acceptable to leave your lights on your house year round and just turn them "off". In fact, last year my neighbors came home (after Valentine's Day) to find their icicle lights neatly coiled on their front porch. :)
Now that you're already packing up the holiday gear, why not buy a few more rubbermaid tubs and pack away any other seldom used household items. You may even step it up a notch and label a couple tubs "donate" or "Garage Sale". (www.freecycle.org is a great place to get rid of anything locally)
If you have young kids this is the perfect time to clean out toys and make room for all of Santa's latest additions. My youngest is 2 years old, so he has out-grown some of the "baby" toys and books. The nicer items and books I donated to the babycare room at his Pre-School, now the babies have "new" toys to play with and we have room to store the umpteen new books and toys grandma/santa gave us.
We also donate to our local battered women and children's shelter, clothes, toys and books. The address isn't posted online (for obvious safety reasons), but if you contact them directly they will give you a drop off location. My boys are excited to give to children who don't have toys and it creates a nice cycle of giving. My sons went through their own toy-boxes and bins (not that I don't sneak away a few things here and there) but involving them directly in the process is important.
Now, back to the Xmas clutter, when you bring your "bins" in to fill them up and pack away, if you have some items "left" in the bin from previous years when you open it up, consider putting those items in the garage sale pile. Chances are, if you didn't use it/ put it out this year, you won't use it next year either. While clearing Christmas, use this time to clear your linen closets and bathroom cupboards. You only need 1-2 extra sets of sheets for each bed in your house. If you have more (or you're addicted to bed linens like myself) toss any that have holes, are no longer "fitted" or are faded and worn. All others can be folded neatly and tucked away.... see this link for how to fold a fitted sheet! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z5k9nWcuFc
Remember, an uncluttered home = an uncluttered mind!
Live Beautifully! Erin