Christmas is over. We have taken down the tree, the decorations and have started putting our gifts away, or trying to find a place for them. The Christmas cards we received are in a pile on the desk in the study, or on the dining room table or moved to the garage.
What happens when we don’t have a place for this stuff? Could it be after-Christmas clutter? Yes, It most definitely could be. Many people feel they need to keep gifts they were given, even if they know they are never going to use them, because they will feel guilty if they don’t. For others, it could be for sentimental reasons.
There is no right or wrong way to deal with this stuff, but I will offer you a few suggestions to get you started and hopefully stop you from feeling guilty. After all, I’m sure your family and friends would not like you to feel you had to keep something that you were never going to use or get enjoyment out of just to keep them happy.
Unused presents contribute to a lot of clutter in a household over a period of time, and account for a large percentage of “after-Christmas clutter”.
What we need to do:
1. Identify what the clutter is.
2. How do we do this? Easy. Decide, if you don’t need the gift, will not use it or struggle to find a space for it, it’s a good sign it’s clutter.
3. Find a new home for the gift. If it’s not your home, it could easily be used by someone else.
4. Give away to a friend, charity, sell or throw out. (There is always the re-gift option.)
If you add up all the Christmas gifts you will never use (and keep) over a span of 10-20 years, depending on size, this could amount to a lot of household space you may not have or could use for something else.
For most people, putting away their Christmas cards is not easy because they are not sure what to keep and what to throw away. There can also be sentimental value in what was written in the card.
What we need to do:
1. Make a file called “Christmas Cards”.
2. Keep only the last year’s cards.
3. Use these cards as a prompt when writing the next year’s, then take out.
4. Ask your local schools, after-school care programs, retirement villages or art groups if they would like the “picture side” of the cards for projects. Or you could recycle them for yourself and make them into Christmas gift tags for next Christmas.
“Keep the stuff that has sentimental value and means something to you, and let the rest go”
Do you have a lot of post-Christmas clutter? How are you deciding what you need to keep and what you need to throw or give away? Tell us below.