The holidays have now come to a close which means that all the tinsel and toys, decorations and delights of the season need to be cleaned up and packed up to free up space for a new year in your family home. Unfortunately, many homeowners have trouble cleaning up the remains of the holidays and storing them in an organized, uncluttered way. That’s why we’ve put together this quick list of tips to make your Christmas clean-up easier and quicker than ever while making next year easier as well!

Decoration Storage

Your Christmas decorations are typically the most frustrating part of your organization needs since storing all of your ornaments and lights in a careful, well structured way often feels impossible. There are some easy ways, however, to ensure that your treasured decorations survive another year in storage unharmed.

With all the craziness of Christmas shopping now over, it’s the perfect time to visit the mall and invest in storage containers for your ornaments, artificial wreaths, and lights. These items are specially designed to store your decorations safely but in a pinch can be replaced with some DIY storage solutions if you’re more creatively minded. Make sure to store decorations like these somewhere safe and accessible in your attic rather than your basement where water damage is more likely to damage them in the months ahead.

Christmas Tree Removal

Another tough moment, getting rid of the tree that your family has spent so much time decorating and gathering around over the past few weeks is an inevitable part of your clean-up. If you’ve invested in an artificial tree for the first time this year the storage options presented to you might be a bit beyond your usual experience. If you don’t have the original packaging for the tree seriously consider buying a quality artificial tree storage container and keeping your tree somewhere on the same floor as it will be set up on. If you have space under the bed in your guest bedroom or simply an unclaimed corner of your closet you can save yourself a ton of aggravation next year as you bring the tree back out.

If you have a real tree in your home, however, your tree removal options are much easier as most communities now offer pick-up services along with normal trash removal. If you’d rather recycle your tree with local youth groups or community recycling plants the National Christmas Tree Association has a number of good tips on how to free up some space in your home without doing damage to the environment.

Christmas Cards

By the end of December your mantel is probably crowded with Christmas cards from far-flung family and friends. In the first few weeks of the new year be sure to make a list of all those who sent you a card this year so you can return the favor in the future and then recycle the cards or file away those that mean he most to you.

Wrapping Paper, Bows, and Ribbons

Bright colored wrapping paper and glittering bows quickly transition from a vital part of the holiday season to a major form of clutter in just a few days. Finding a good way to minimize the disorganization is one of the most effective ways to bring your home out of the holiday season and into the openness and opportunity of the new year. For a temporary solution it’s wise to use a cheap trash can to stand all your wrapping paper together in the attic near your ornaments but for a more lasting storage option consider some of the organizational tools Better Homes and Garden have come across.

Be Honest About Your New Gifts

All the new gifts you and your kids received on Christmas have to fit somewhere in your (probably already pretty full) home which is why it’s crucial that you consider the condition of your new gifts and the condition of the old items that they may be replacing. If you don’t see yourself using a new gift think about donating it to your favorite charity or host a party of misfit presents to send it along to someone else! Bringing new things into an already full home is a surefire way to be stuck with clutter and disorganization so be mindful and honest about all your Christmas gifts before you wind up with a mess that lasts for months.