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Cleaning Up After the Holiday Season: What You Need to Know

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You've most likely already gotten rid of your Christmas tree and all of the holiday decorations by now. However, there's likely still unopened gifts, notes and holiday cards and boxes causing clutter. January is a great time to start fresh, get rid of unnecessary items and promote a clean home. Consider these suggestions when cleaning up after the festive season.

Christmas Cards
When it comes to yearly greeting cards from friends and family near and far, you probably receive enough to cover your entire fridge. During the holiday season they're great to look at and read, but what are you to do with them after that? There's no need to save every single card. After you've taken them down go through each one and put them into two piles. For the more non-personal cards, it'll be easy to toss those in the discard pile but it might get tricky to decide which others to save. A good rule of thumb is to only save the photographs included. Pictures are timeless and you'll be happy that you saved them. For all other notes - unless there was a particularly personal or touching one you received - it's OK to throw them out. You'll get another one from the same family next year.

Christmas cards pile up quickly and can create a lot of clutter - it's OK to get rid of some after the holidays.Christmas cards pile up quickly and can create a lot of clutter - it's OK to get rid of some after the holidays.

Plants and Treats
Treats, cookies, plants and wreaths are always in abundance during the holiday season. Edible ornaments, sugar cookies and homemade chocolates have most likely filled your home for the past few months. Anything that is not properly sealed and packaged should be thrown away. Gingerbread houses are something that should definitely be thrown away. Chocolates, as long as they are wrapped, can be saved. Poinsettias and wreaths are known to provoke allergies and should be thrown away when showing signs of wilting. To promote comfortable air in the rooms that housed these plants, use an air purifier.

Boxes and New Gifts
Before packing away decorations, go through each box and decide which items are actually worth saving. If they will last through the year without being damaged, they can be saved. Popcorn and cranberry garland, paper snowflakes and any ornament with candy should be thrown away. Items that you will be saving should be sealed and packaged tightly and stored away properly. If you have any gifts that will not be used, donate them to a local charity.