Preview: Clean your living room after Christmas morning with this simple little system!
Holiday cleaning can be a huge job, especially when you have kids. Don’t stress about the mess of toys after Christmas! You can clean your living room after Christmas morning with this simple process. I use this system every year to clean up the toy explosion of Christmas with three kids from a large Italian family! get back to enjoying your holiday break!
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The day-after-Christmas tornado of toys
You stand in your living room groggily holding your cup of coffee wondering where to even start.
Where are you going to put all of this stuff? Where did some of this stuff even come from? How are you going to sort through it all???!!!!
First world problems, I know but a big mess means BIG STRESS for Mom!
After you just spent the past month bringing to life the magic of Christmas (as I call it “Mom, the Christmas magician”), now you have to sort through this mess. Don’t worry- I have a system that I want to share with you that breaks this down into manageable pieces so you don’t spend the rest of holiday break cleaning and sorting through Christ mas gifts!
It doesn’t matter if you have 10 gifts or 100- each gift is a blessing but it’s also a mess until you get it all sorted out. Let’s get started!
Clean your living room after Christmas morning:
1.Gather a few supplies.
- Garbage bags
- A few large empty boxes
- Small storage containers you may have lying around (for loose parts and toys sets). Plastic food storage containers from the dollar store)are great for small parts! You may need about 5 or so depending on how many kids you have (and if they got a lot of items with small pieces. (You could also use Ziploc bags)
2. Mentally plan a space for 3 piles (or 3 boxes/totes whatever works best for you) for sorting. As you go through the rest of this list:
- Things to put away
- Things that need to be returned to the store
- Clothes that need to be washed
More details on each below but just to give you a mental picture of how we will be conquering the mess!
2. First, put away stocking stuff, small items, valuable/irreplaceable items that could get lost in the shuffle. It is important to do this first so you don’t lose anything valuable before you start moving everything and tossing things out.
3. Start throwing away packaging and tags that may be lying around. Shake loose wrapping paper and double-check packing to ensure you are not throwing away any loose parts or gifts.
4. Make a folder (or small box) for receipts, instructions, warranties, and any important paperwork that comes in packaging. Keeping it all in one place will help ensure it doesn’t get thrown away and you can find when you need it.
5. Grab your scissors and a garbage bag. I like to start with clothing and remove tags on anything I know fits well (have kids try things on quickly if possible). After removing tags, I separate the clothes and wash them (This is why I always wash new clothing before I let my kids wear it!).
6. Sort through the gifts into the 3 piles we talked about above: RETURN, WASH, PUT AWAY. Anything that needs to be returned or exchanged should go in one box or pile). Clothing that needs washed gets piled up (then sorted with other laundry if you want to). Then a third pile is everything that needs put away. You can further separate this pile later (into rooms they go to/who they belong to etc) after you are able to clean up the living room and find your floor!
7. As you come across toy “sets” (think LOL surprises, LEGOs, tool sets, etc), put them into the storage containers (or Ziploc bags) to keep the sets together with all the pieces. This also makes for way, stackable storage later. any “random” or unknown pieces can also go into a small box/bag so you know where they are when the kids come searching for help with a missing piece.
8. If needed, remove any loose Christmas decorations that are causing more problems than necessary. For example, we have a bunch of Christmas plush that the kids love. I try to put these away on Christmas Eve so they are out of the way on Christmas morning. You can do it now while cleaning.
You don’t have to start taking away all of the holiday decor, but large items or small (annoying!) items could be causing extra clutter – and therefore extra STRESS for Mom!
9. Clear out the things you have already sorted. Take clothes to the laundry. Put the RETURN pile near the door (or better yet- in the car!) to keep it from being emptied by the kids again! Take the trash out.
10. Give yourself GRACE. It took you months of brainstorming. planning, shopping, elf-moving, tree-trimming, a visit with Santa, and tons of wrapping to give your children a magical and memorable Christmas. You probably can’t clean that all up in 24 hours- and even if you could, would you really want to?
If you start putting toys away and feel overwhelmed by ALL. OF. THE. TOYS. then you might find this helpful: Places to donate used toys or sell used toys
Gratitude and Grace after Christmas
As a side note– Christmas is such an overwhelming “toy surge” for kids. No matter how few or how many gifts your kids received, it is always a good idea to talk bout being thankful and appreciating what we have.
In January, my kids and I have a little process I call Gracious & Thankful. Each week we go through some discussion and activities centered around gratitude. During this process, no new toys or items are purchase while we “detox” from the influx of toys and practice gratitude for all that we have.
This year, I have pulled all of that together into a system called “Gracious & Thankful Kids”. It is set-up like a mini-course that is easy to follow discussions and printable activities you can do as a family.
Kids who are really conscious of everything they have, grateful for the blessings in their life, and charitable in their thinking can grow up change the world.
Be the first to be notified when the course opens by signing up here: Gracious & Thankful Kids. Enrollment will be discounted for the Beta (first run) of the course and only open to 12 Moms so get on the list asap!
P.S. There is no religious aspect in the course but you can always add your own beliefs in your discussions as you go through the material with your family!
Whether you clean your living room after Christmas or let the kids play and enjoy, I hope you cherish every holiday moment with your family!