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Style Magazine

Happy Tidying

Dec 31, 2013 03:14AM ● By Style

Attacking the holiday cleanup can be overwhelming.

However, with a strategy in place it’s doable—and even a little fun. Don’t let the tidying up take away your New Year’s joy. Follow these eight simple steps to ready your home for 2014.

1. Start with a great attitude. It’s easy to grumble as you remove ornaments, put away presents and sweep up pine needles. Yes, it’s work, but its work that you can be grateful for—just think, you get to reclaim your kitchen and all that square footage decorations once ate up.

2. Tackle the low-hanging fruit. An entire clean-up process is easy to get overwhelmed by, so create smaller objectives. Gather the ornaments. Bring in the tote boxes. Take holiday lights down, inside and out. Wash your festive dishes and the tree skirt, too. It will all get done. Small victories deserve a special treat once complete—perhaps an espresso when the tree is finished?

3. Donate it. Bring a big box to the center of your home and fill it with items that can be donated. Are there games that only got played a couple of times or outgrown toys and decorations? These are the perfect donation items. Or, maybe you already have a bag just waiting to be dropped off. Rip off the Band-Aid and donate the goods.

4. Roll out the tree. For those who purchase live trees, take it outside and roll it around to confirm you pulled off all of your favorite ornaments. Once they’re all fetched, organize them; this will be the “gift” you give yourself come next December.

5. Get the whole family involved. Celebrate taking down everything with as much enthusiasm as you had putting it up. One family member gets ornaments off the tree and mantle, one sorts them, one wraps them, one rolls up the garland, and so on. It makes the work light and much more festive.

6. Address the floors. Pine needles and “party central” have most likely snuck into area rugs, under furniture and in the corners of your home. Thoroughly vacuum rugs and carpets and use attachments to capture baseboards and dust bunnies, too. This will prep the backdrop for a fresh start to the new year.

7. Enjoy your spacious home. Once the tree is down, your house will feel like it’s gained another room. Where did all of this extra space come from? Remember this moment, because soon enough you’ll feel like you’re back to being too crowded.

8. Be thankful. Take a moment to be thankful: for your family, for the time you spent together, for the freedom to celebrate the holidays, for health, for the presents you received, for the past year, and for the year ahead.

Let the process of taking down the holiday decorations be a lesson in gratitude and a tradition for years to come.

Kerrie Kelly is an award-winning interior designer, author and multimedia consultant. She has authored two books: ‘Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide,’ published by Oxmoor House, and the newly released ‘My Interior Design Kit,’ with Pearson Professional and Career Education. To contact her, visit or call 916-919-3023.