The Holidays Are Over, Now What?

It’s two days after Christmas and parents everywhere are just starting to pull out of the Christmas scene blurry eyed and surrounded by mess. Here I will outline some ways to move on from the holidays and make next season easier.

Cleaning up after the holidays is more manageable when done in steps. Trying to accomplish it all at once can be overwhelming and create chaos. Start by removing all of the gifts that you plan to keep from the packaging and get all of the trash and recycling out of the house. Only save manuals if absolutely necessary, most are available online as well. Identify any items that will need to be returned or exchanged and put them in a bag in your car, along with receipts if you have them. De-tag all clothing and blankets to be washed. This is important to do before wearing to remove any chemicals used during the manufacturing process.

Next you can get all of you gift bags folded up and stored in a tote for next year. These are a great item to re-use because they are often still in like new condition. Gift wrap can be secured by tying a ribbon around the tubes that are left over from gifts. They can then be placed in a zipper bag or plastic storage bin that are made specifically for wrapping paper. You can also re-fold tissue paper to use for next year or use it to wrap ornaments and decorations for safe keeping. Along with the gifts bags I also like to have a small box with gift labels, tape, ribbon, scissors and a marker for labeling. This will make things easier for next year so it will all be ready to go and also so you can easily see what you may need at the beginning of next season.

As you begin to integrate the new items in your home, thoughtfully consider what items they might possibly replace. This is especially important in the playroom where there can often be toys that are broken or missing parts. Another factor to consider is your child’s age and if the toys they have are still developmentally relevant.

The final items to be packed away are usually the ornaments and holiday decorations. These items need to be wrapped with care to avoid breakage and as mentioned previously, a great way to protect them is to wrap them in re-used tissue paper. As you pack away the decorations, consider donating items that were not used this year.

Lastly, be sure to clearly label the Christmas bins. I like to put a label on top and at least one or even two sides, depending on the storage situation. If possible, use a red or green bin so the can be easily identified by color too.

I hope you found this article helpful, if so please share with your friends and family. If you are still feeling overwhelmed by the aftermath we offer post-holiday clean up sessions both in person and remotely! We can be contacted directly at or by using the form on this website. Thank you for reading!

Alyssa Colburn, Owner of Colburn Interiors Professional Organizing Services

How To Know When To Let Go- Sorting Through & Organizing Your Children's Toys

Do you feel that you need to get your children's toys more organized? Periodically in preparation for a holiday or birthday, there is a need to sort through your children's toys and decide what stays and what goes. Many parents struggle with getting rid of their children's toys. To us, the toys are a reminder of a certain time in our children's lives that is recalled fondly. It can be difficult to let go of the physical memorabilia. It can also represent the hard work we put into purchasing these toys for our children. It might have been a gift from a cherished friend or family member. It's okay to move on from these toys when they are no longer beneficial or enjoyable to your child. Donating these un-needed toys allows you to create space for more age appropriate toys and will put the toys into the hands of a child that will enjoy them. 

Get yourself set up with keep, donate and sell boxes or bins. Also have a trash bag and recycling bin on hand for the broken toys or any trash that is found while sorting. Have some cube organizers or other storage solutions set up that will help with getting the toys sorted and categorized. Adding labels can be helpful to allow everyone to know where each toy belongs and also helps the children with learning the names of their favorite toys. As you begin to sort through your child or children's toys, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does my child play with this toy? It's a very basic question, but really ask yourself how much your child cares about this toy and how often they use it.

2. Does this toy bring joy to my child and our home or does it just take up space that could be better utilized?

3. Is this toy age appropriate for my child? Will this toy help them develop new skills and is it something they enjoy engaging actively with? 

4. Is this toy broken? Does this toy have all of it's pieces so it's able to work correctly and so my child is able to fully enjoy it?

If you have answered No to any of the first 3 questions or yes to number 4, it is likely time to let go. It can be fun to get your child(ren) involved too and parents are often surprised at how easily their child lets go of once cherished items that are no longer ideal for them. If you are still finding some of these toys difficult to let go of, try to take a picture of them or put them in storage bin. Set a two week to one month deadline of donating them if you haven't looked at or used them during your establish time period. 

Don't have time to do this on your own? Contact Colburn Interiors today for your free virtual consultation or to schedule your in home consultation (a fee applies to in home consultations).