Read this article we just found.  These answers comes in handy during this holiday season:


With Christmas gifts can come post-holiday clutter.

Q: I have a thoughtful family. How do I store all of my new gifts?

A: Try Santa’s Rule: Get One, Toss Two. For each new gift received toss two counterparts. Did you get a new DVD or pajamas for the children? Remove two older titles to make extra room or two sets of older PJs.

Q: What do I do with all of these mailing boxes?

A: You can recycle or reuse them, or take the holiday mailing box challenge. Fill a mailing box with items suitable for donation to a local charitable thrift store and deliver them before the end of the year.

Q: Putting up decorations beats taking them down. How can I make this a better process?

A: Pay it forward. Sort and declutter holiday decorations, linens and specialty cooking items as you store them. Has-been décor items can be recycled or donated; stained linens can be repurposed as cleaning cloths. Sometimes there’s a sense of “sling it in there and worry about it later” mentality with putting away Christmas décor. You’ll be thanking yourself next Christmas.

Q: How else can I get rid of items?

A: Have an after-Christmas White Elephant exchange in January. Avoid circulating gifts that have been given by your guests.

Q: Should I wait until spring for a major house cleaning?

A: Observe oosouji, a Japanese New Year tradition. Because each year is seen as separate and distinct, the final week of the old year is devoted to cleaning, decluttering and organizing. This creates a clean state of mind to welcome the New Year and invites prosperity in the year to come.