After a month of decorating and merrymaking, the holiday season is winding down.
Here are some useful tips for how to organize an effortless holiday cleanup.
1. Unplug and take down all holiday lights.
Leaving Christmas lights attached to a house, trees, bushes or other outdoor fixtures will slowly break them. Store them in a box indoors where weather will not crack the bulbs and tangle the wires.
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2. Remove holiday wreaths from indoor and outdoor locations, making sure they are clean.
Remove any cobwebs, leaves or bugs. Use canned air to remove any dust. Store wreaths in plastic wreath bags or wrap them in large plastic garbage bags to keep them clean until the next holiday season.
3. Place ornaments in their original boxes.
Ball-shaped ornaments often come in boxes with wells for each individual bulb, which prevents them from breaking. If the original box no longer is available, wrap each ornament in a few layers of paper towels or newspaper and store in a plastic storage box.
4. Clean up holiday candles.
Trim the burned wick. Wipe off any excess wax drippings, and place holiday candles in an airtight box for storage. This will preserve the fragrance and prevent your cabinet from smelling like several scents mixed together.
5. Wash and store holiday table cloths, place mats and runners.
Take the time to hand wash them, or use the delicate cycle on the washing machine to freshen holiday linens. Remove food, wax and other stains before storing them for the next holiday season.
6. Remove decorations from Christmas trees.
Take all ornaments, tinsel, lights and candy off the tree before placing it into storage, if it is artificial. Cover the tree with plastic or fit it back into its original storage box or case, so it doesn't get dusty during the off-season.
7. To dispose of a real Christmas tree, check to see if your city or any local organizations collect trees.
Additionally, dumps or recycling centers often accept old trees. Lastly, you could chop your tree into logs and kindling to use as firewood throughout the rest of the winter season.
* www.eHow.com offers articles and videos on a variety of topics, including home, food, health, money, style, family and more.