Now that the holidays are over, it is time for some serious clean up. Decorations, gift wrap, and excess food are few of the items you’ll have to manage. This handy checklist will help you get your home tidy for a spectacular year ahead.
Dismantle light installations immediately. Holiday lights and lanterns, especially those placed outdoors, are not meant to be used all year. If you leave them out too long, they may become damaged from changes in the weather and cause fires, and other electrical hazards. Unplug and remove as soon as the festivities are over.
Inspect your lights before you pack them away.Discard units with damaged wires, such as those that appear cracked or exposed. Stow functioning lights in a safe place away from risks such as too much moisture or rain. More importantly, they should be away from your kids’ and pets’ reach.
Segregate your waste.In 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency was able to recycle 34.5 percent of the 251 million tons of trash we threw away. This year, you can make percentage even higher by being mindful of what you throw away versus what you recycle. Beverage containers and cardboard boxes, for instance, can easily be recycled in most areas. Alternatively, you can find ways to reuse these items in your home. Don’t mix them in with other waste materials.
Repurpose what you can. Plastic food containers can be used to store leftovers, or even your child’s crayons. Get creative in using holiday wrappers and decors. Keep ornaments, wreaths and stockings for next year’s festivities in a safe place, away from small children and pets.
Take note of your local garbage collection policies and schedules. Garbage collection policies vary by state and by city. Make sure you know what your city offers, and take the time to put your waste in the correct bins and bags.
Pack and label. Put used decor into categorized, labeled boxes. This makes storing and retrieving them easier next year, since you’ll know what is in each box. Wrap breakables in protective surfaces, such as bubble wrap, to prevent damage. Store the boxes in cool and dry places, away from humidity and moisture.
Discard damaged decorations. Damaged and unusable decorations should be disposed of properly.
Bring your trees to assigned recycling areas. You might love the smell of your Christmas tree, but as it dries out in your house, it becomes more flammable and unsafe to keep. Watch for city announcements about tree recycling and curbside pickup programs.
Take note of disposal policies for flocked or artificial Christmas trees. Artificial trees and flocked trees are not accepted in most recycling programs. Since bulky items are collected on a stricter schedule, make sure you’re familiar with your city’s pickup policies before you put your flocked tree out on the curb. If you have an artificial tree, it’s more cost effective and practical to store it for next year’s use, especially if you have the space at home.
Do you have any holiday decor disposal tips to share? Let us know in the comments!
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