The holidays: they come at you fast, are over in a flash, and then leave you in need of some serious cleanup and organization. When the parties have ended, your guests have gone home and the Christmas tree has started looking a little dry, these are signs that it's time to get down to business. Messes to tackle, decorations to take down and store — you know the drill. But don't let the task list get you down — a few simple products and our post-holiday cleanup tips will have you organized and feeling like yourself before you can say "New Year's resolutions."
WIND UP THOSE LIGHTS
There's nothing like a strand of tangled Christmas lights to teach you that a little foresight can save you a lot of frustration down the road. It may seem fast to pull lights off your Christmas tree, wad them up and then throw them into boxes or plastic bags, but you'll be sorry next year when it takes five times as long to unravel them. Save yourself the trouble by winding twinkle light strands onto cord reels before putting them in storage.
We recommend the CCI® Cord Winder Reel , which winds 150 feet of extension cord onto a 13-inch diameter. Imagine being able to store 150 feet of holiday lights, knot-free, in a space that’s only 13 inches! Next Christmas just got a whole lot merrier.
RESPECT YOUR EXTENSION CORDS
Ah, extension cords — the lifelines that keep our lights bright, our inflatable snowmen standing proud and our robotic Santa sleighs dashing through the snow. To put it mildly, our electric decorations would be sunk without them. And yet, when they're not needed, we basically tie extension cords in knots and toss them anywhere that they'll stay out of our way. Seeing as how power extensions make so much cheer possible, it only makes sense to start treating them with a little more kindness and respect, doesn't it? Your Christmas Tree has a star and so can the extension cords for your favorite outdoor décor.
The Wiring Star Cord Winder from FSR is one place where you can wind your extension cords neatly and easily, managing up to two of them.
DON'T FORGET TO LABEL
What good is it to carefully pack away ornaments and holiday linens if you won't be able to remember what's in the boxes later? Once all your seasonal items have been bubble-wrapped, tissue-papered and nestled into their storage containers, take a few extra seconds to label the boxes before hoisting them into the attic or onto shelves. When next Christmas rolls around, you'll be able to grab exactly what you need, when you need it, without having to rummage through every single container.
Our favorite way to label is to reach for a handheld personal label printer , which produces crisp, clear, professional-looking labels that are a lot easier to read than, say, faded magic marker scrawl. Quality battery-powered label printers can be had for under $70, but if the budget is tight, you can always opt for a manual turn-and-click embosser, which is fun to use and still produces very passable labels. Whichever kind of labeler you choose, rest assured that you'll get your money's worth; they're also great for marking file folders, kitchen canisters, and even school and office supplies.