Post-Holiday Cleanup: Best Hints for Undecorating and Packing Away Your Christmas Decorations

Dread the thought of cleaning up once Christmas is over? These undecorating tips will help make the process faster and more pleasant.

Ornaments

  • Place ornaments in a box filled with shredded newspaper -- then you won't need to wrap the ornaments separately.
  • Don't remove the hooks from the ornaments. Secure them to the wire with needle-nose pliers. This will save you time and trouble.
  • Hang ribbons on a heavy-duty curtain rod installed in a closet, using a small piece of tape to keep the loose ends from rewinding.

    Lights
  • Pack extension cords together with the lights so you'll have them when needed.
  • Wind lights on a length of old closet pole or similar dowel. Leave a few empty inches at the bottom so that next year, it's easy to unwind the lights -- you can simply pass the pole around the tree like a baton.

    Decorations
  • Remove tinsel with an old hairbrush or a long-handled bristle scrub brush.
  • Store your wreath by first tying it to a hanger. Then place a hole in the top of a drawstring garbage bag. Pull the hanger through the hole and slip the bag over the wreath, pulling the string closed at the bottom. Hang the wreath on a nail in attic.
  • Store left over gift-wrap by first tightly wrapping it around the roll. Secure it with another cardboard roll sliced vertically and snapped over the wrapping. You can also use PVC piping to secure the wrapping.
  • To collect needles from the carpet, put double-stick tape on the bottom of your socks and dance around to pick up the needles.
  • Add bags filled with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to boxes containing holiday towels and linens. Poke pinholes in the bags to allow the scent to escape, and tightly seal the box.
  • Wrap the box of Christmas items in holiday paper. It'll stand out in the attic or basement so you can locate it among other cartons next year.
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