Holiday Cleanup and Storage

Nothing takes the “happy” out of “happy holidays” more quickly than a ton of post-party cleanup. Try these troubleshooting tips.

1. There is a graveyard of pine needles around your Christmas tree.
Inevitably, no matter how often you water it, your Christmas tree will start dropping its needles. Vacuums often leave stubborn needles behind so use a lint roller to pick up the rest. If you don’t have a lint roller on hand, try wrapping duct tape, sticky side up, around the bristle end of a broom. Then replace with new duct tape as needed.

2. Your tablecloth is covered in wax from a dripping menorah.
Here’s an easy trick to handle a waxy situation. Place one paper towel underneath the stained linen and then one on top. Then go over your linen sandwich with a warm (not hot!) iron. The paper towels will soak up the wax and you’ll be left with a clean tablecloth. Refer to this holiday stain guide for more detailed instructions.

3. Your Christmas lights always become a tangled mess after you take them down. 
This year, store your Christmas lights by wrapping them around hangers. Tape one end of the strand to the lower right or left hand corner of the hanger. Gently, yet tightly, wind the strand around the length of the hanger. Attach the tail end of the strand to the other end of the hanger with duct tape and your lights will unravel tangle-free next year.

4. There are mounds of wrapping paper all around your living room.
Try turning cleanup into a game this year. Set up trash-bag baskets and challenge your family to a shoot off. The person who scores the most baskets with balls of crumpled wrapping paper wins.

5. It looks like a bomb went off in your laundry room.
You’ll want to be extra organized before the holidays to avoid dealing with a chaotic laundry room. Put hampers in every bedroom and try designating baskets, bins or shelves in your laundry room to each family member. Then they can then help ease the load by picking up and folding their own clean items.