The joy of Christmas can be quickly overshadowed by the mess you have to clean up the next day. Before you bury yourself under giant piles of wrapping paper and call it quits, try tackling the post-Christmas clean up one step at a time, starting with these things you can throw away.
1) Wrapping Paper
Wrapping paper can quickly pile up into a massive mess, but it doesn’t have to go to waste. Most wrapping paper contains gold and glitter plastics, or shiny non-paper additives, so it can’t usually be thrown in the recycling bin. If you want to reduce waste, you can use wrapping paper to cover delicate ornaments before storing them. Keep gift bags in storage with Christmas decorations to cut down on shopping next year.
2) Unused Toys
All those new Christmas toys usually mean the old toys quickly lose their luster. You don’t have to throw away old toys—but it’s probably time to make a few trips to your local donation center. To encourage children to give up toys that haven’t seen the light of day in a year, make it a race. Whoever can gather the most toys to donate in 10 minutes gets a sleepover with friends, an extra hour of TV, or a trip to their favorite restaurant.
3) Broken Ornaments and Decorations
Few holidays (especially with children) end before a couple of ornament casualties. Unless you’re willing to salvage a broken ornament with a lot of patience and a little Gorilla Glue, throw it out. This goes for any broken decorations or perishable food garlands.