Packing Up Properly – Penny Lynch

Whether you wait until the 12th night, or you can’t wait to see the back of the Christmas decorations, taking them down should be done properly. In fact, you should put as much effort into taking them down as you took putting them up. Next Christmas you will thank yourself.

Wrap your lights around a sturdy piece of cardboard to make them easy to unwrap next year. No more tangled mess of lights to contend with!

While we’re talking about lights, make sure all your sets are working, before putting them away. If there are any bulbs that are not working use this opportunity to replace them or send them to be recycled, rather than putting away a set that is faulty.

Take down the ornaments, but instead of throwing them back into random boxes, wrap them carefully by repurposing used wrapping paper or tissue paper (if you haven’t already recycled it). Wrap it round each ornament and place neatly into boxes. For added cushioning, place the tree skirt at the bottom of the storage box and layer the ornaments on top, using tissue between the layers. Then finish the box of with lengths of tinsel for added protection and so the tinsel doesn’t get squashed.

If you have a real, cut tree, the earlier you put it outside the less needles it will drop. If you are taking it to your local Recycling Centre, wrap it in an old sheet so that it doesn’t fill your car with needles!

Pull the vacuum cleaner out as soon as the real tree has gone and before those dropped pine needles get tracked around the rest of the house.

No matter how big or small your tree is there is always that one ornament that gets missed so remember to have one last look before it’s too late.

Be sure to check under all the furniture for those stray decorations. Such a bind to make a special trip back into the loft to put that last decoration away!

While checking around all the furniture, also be on the lookout for carpet and furniture stains. The longer they are left the more difficult they will be to remove. If you spot any, use a spray bottle to lightly apply a mixture of warm water and mild soap. Blot with a good quality microfibre cloth and continue spraying and blotting until the stain is removed. Rinse with clear water and blot again. Fluff the pile and allow it to dry.

If you ended up with double of anything, or a gift is a replacement of an old item, now is the time to clear out the old/extra items. Take them to the charity shop or get rid of them on Freecycle, don’t leave them to add clutter.

The last decorations that should go into the Christmas boxes, before putting them away, are the Advent Calendars and anything else you’ll want to get out next year, before the bulk of the decorations come down.

Then just appreciate how much extra space you have gained and appreciate how clean and tidy everything looks. Happy New Year!

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