We’re officially at the end of a lengthy holiday season of food, family and a host of themed home goods. To be completely honest, I was feeling a little whole lot lost: since I made my big move in October, I happily adorned my door with a witch’s hat and decked out my coffee table with pumpkins and sugary sweets. Come November, my place was in Thanksgiving mode with turkey-themed pot holders and endless leftovers. And then, I prepared to ring in Christmas and the New Year with dozens of items that I didn’t actually need and are now in storage.
Since bidding adieu to the days of free meals and gifts galore, it took a bit of brainstorming (when not in a food coma) to figure out how I could revert my place into a normal, non-themed dwelling and not drop a ton of cash doing it.
Ladies, get ready for some post-holiday apartment detox!
- Divvy up your stash of holiday candy. After receiving a stocking stuffed with chocolate treats and bags of mints, I decided to spare myself the calories by hauling a good part of it into the office. The rest is now sitting pretty on my coffee table, but instead of looking dated in a Christmas-themed bag, they’re in a wicker basket enticing guests! The best part: I won’t have to devour them all by myself (okay, except for those emotional nights spent watching videos of Adele singing live).
- Invest in clear storage bins for your décor. Gals, when I was living at home, my parents would always buy two tons of holiday decorations, only to run out and splurge on two tons MORE the next year! Why? Because they stowed them all in cardboard boxes, which then went straight into a basement of 3,000 identical boxes. Even if you don’t have much stuff, it’s easier than you think for things to disappear when they’ve been forgotten for an entire year! Do yourselves a favor and spend a few bucks on bins that will save you hours of time and lots of cash next season.
- Treat ‘em with care. If you had a faux tree, cover it to keep dust bunnies away. Wrap breakables up, even if they’re just headed for the bottom of your closet. It’s better to be safe than losing the ornaments you’ve cherished since childhood!
- Start a system. Avoid shoving New Year’s decorations with Halloween ones, as it will create unneeded confusion. Instead, opt for separate boxes or if you aren’t décor-happy, purchase one clear box and place New Year’s/Christmas decorations at the bottom, Thanksgiving in the middle, and Halloween on top. This way, next year you won’t have to rummage through gingerbread statues when you’re looking for that Trick-or-Treat sign.
- Christmas decorations ≠ winter decorations. I continue to proudly cover my fridge with penguin-shaped notepads and snowflake magnets. As long as Santa and/or Christmas trees aren’t present, feel free to keep your apartment winter-themed until you notice the first signs of spring.
- Add some color to your space! When the the holiday season ends, it’s all too easy to fall into a routine of neutrals. After all, no one’s going to notice those beige dishtowels, right? Wrong! Now’s your chance to scoop up colorful finds at cheap prices, so go ahead and add some new hues to your home! For example, my towels are red and white –perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day but still appropriate for everyday use. Those pink bowls I simply had to scoop up last year? You bet they’ll be making an appearance come February 14.
- Be creative. So what if that candy dish features Frosty the Snowman at the bottom? It won’t matter if you keep it filled with goodies! Many of the holiday-themed items you have lying around your apartment can be given new life with a little bit of thought.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and live up those months spent without Aunt Sue asking a slew of uncomfortable personal questions!