Week One of a New Year, Make it Count!'s featured image

Ready to become a go-getter in 2019? Here’s your house beautiful to-do list. 3-2-1 and go!

Tree Down and Out

If your Christmas tree is real, you don’t need any more incentive to bid it adieu than the endless deluge of dead pine needles falling everywhere. Of course it’s hard to say goodbye to the tree whether it’s fake or not; tree-bond is a real thing. If you’re not ready to get the job right this minute, it’s ok to spend one last night soaking up the magic of the season. Simply gaze into the colour changing LEDs, inhale the fading scent of pine and reminisce about your favourite new ornament one last time. In the morning you’ll be charged and ready to do the job. Pro tip: Avoid the Christmas playlist.

All the Decorations Put Away

Once the tree is down and out, and all that’s left in its place is an empty spot where it once shone bright, you’ll be ready to declare that the holidays are over. No matter how many or how few decorations, cards and ungifted gifts are lying around, it’s time to put every single thing where it belongs. Put decorations back into storage boxes, holiday cards in the recycling (except, of course, your 99-year-old grandma’s card because you love her handwriting) and ungifted gifts or items that need to be exchanged or returned by the door so you can deal with them ASAP. Remember: gift receipts have expiry dates so don’t procrastinate.

Holiday Lights Down in One Day

It’s really hard to take down the lights when daylight hours are short, and the gloom of dry January sets in. So, it’s okay to leave holiday lights up a little longer than other decorations. Just be sure to put a firm take-down date in your calendar, say January 26th or 27th, and stick to this commitment like it’s a business deal with yourself.

Make Sure to Love Your Leftovers

For good reason, throwing out food is one of the most environmentally unfriendly choices we can make. You may be wanting to jump on the ‘new year, new me’ bandwagon but first make sure you eat up all the delicious food in your fridge. Way too many veggies to eat up all by yourself? Make soup, everything-in-the-fridge stew or stock that you can freeze. Savoury muffins, scones or frittata are other creative and delicious ways to use up excess produce. Invite friends and family over one last time to help eat up stuff so it doesn’t end up in the landfill or compost bin.

No More Piles!

Last but not least, it’s time to tackle the stragglers: tissue and wrapping paper, gift bags and boxes, the endless rolls of decorative tape and ribbon, and all those well-intentioned but unwritten cards. If you’re a bit of an A-type who likes to get rid of everything in order to start fresh each holiday season, please don’t just throw your beautiful leftover wrapping stash into the garbage. Local schools, community centres, art programs and donation centres like Value Village will gladly accept your donations.



Photo by Annie Spratt