Friday, January 2, 2015

34 Weeks of Clean! Week 1-Holiday Decorations



Welcome to 34 Weeks of Clean!  If you are new to the blog, let me say a big hello, we are so glad you are here!  If you do not know me yet, you can read all about me and my clan on my About Me Page.  Also, don't let this freak you out, but sometime in the next few days the blog is getting a new look.  Don't come back next week and think you are in the wrong place! ;)

So let's start with a few housekeeping details- I love details, don't 'ya know!
  • A new assignment will be given each FRIDAY.
  • You will have one week to work on said assignment.
  • To help you out, I have joined up with fellow blogger Kemi, who blogs over at Homemaking Organized and will be making weekly printable checklists and more to help keep you on track!  Be sure to click on the link each week to access those files. Thanks Kemi!!
  • If you are a fellow blogger, we would love for you to put our series button on your blog and link up each week (or as often as you like) with your progress.  It is always more fun when we can snoop look into others' lives, right?!  Even if you are not a blogger, make sure you leave a comment and let us know how you are doing so we can cheer you on!
    Family, Faith, and Fridays

  • DO NOT spend lots of money on organizational "stuff."  Some things are great, and if you need something then go get it.  But please do not buy boxes and bins just to fill a space.  The goal here is to declutter as well.  Those cute plastic bins can just add to the clutter.  Look at what you have and re-purpose things - think bags, baskets, and existing furniture.  We will expand on this idea as we go, promise!
  • Have fun!  Or at least as much fun as one can have while cleaning and organizing.   
First things first!  Holiday decorations!  Sorry, no keeping things up for the next month in this house.  If you have already put things away - yay for you, you deserve the week off!

I love decorating for the holidays but when Christmas is over, well, let's just say I. Am. Done!  Just ask my kids! ;)  It is almost as much fun as spring cleaning, trust me on this one.  Put on your favorite music, roll up your sleeves and let's get started!

Helpful hints-
  • Clean as you go!  All those little knick knacks and do-dads have been sitting out for at least a few weeks gathering dust.  Before you put them away, wipe them down!
  • Same goes for artificial trees.  Though I love ours, they are dust magnets.  You can use a small hand-held vacuum to help you out.  At the very least, take then outside and give them a shake.  This year I decided to save myself the trouble of taking ours apart and just put them back in the basement in one piece, but I intend to get large plastic bags to put over the top to protect them.  We left the lights on our trees but if you take yours off, old cereal boxes that have been collapsed are perfect for winding lights onto, as are wrapping paper cardboard rolls cut down to size!

  • This year when you put things away, ask yourself- do I really love this?  Do I really need it?  Sometimes more isn't better (well, most of the time, but that is for a different post, right?!).  Donate what you do not need - local shelters and retirement homes would love your extras!
  • Put like items together and LABEL them!  Some of mine had beautiful labels on them (I do love my label maker) while for others I used a sharpie marker.  Details don't matter, just make sure it is all labeled. That way, if you decide to decorate in waves like I do, you can pull out just what you need in the moment rather than riffling through every bin looking for your one treasured item.

  • Think outside the box!  Literally!  See that yellow trash can?  It used to hold dog food.  But I found it was perfect for coiling up outside lights and garland into.  Easy to put them in, easy to get them out.  Now, if we could just invent a way to make them easy to put up! My husband would love that!


  • Ornament boxes and wreath boxes are two exceptions to my "don't buy special boxes" rule.  There are other ways to store those things but I have found with all of our moving that things are better protected in those specialty containers.  If you have the space to hang up wreaths you can do so, just know they may get pretty dusty in a year.  Ask me how I know this! ;)


  • Put it all away in ONE spot if possible.  We have had to be creative with storage space in the house we are currently in, but even at that we found that the space under the stairs is perfect for holiday decorations.  It's a one stop shop!

  • Keep a list of what you have.  Here's where inventory sheets will help you!  There is no need to buy items on sale that you do not need.  If you don't need it, you can consider it saving money - no matter the price.  Know what you have and know what you need.
  • And as long as we are on the subject of HOLIDAY decorations, if you decorate for other holidays the same things apply.  Label your boxes, sort through what you don't need or use any longer, and keep it all in one place.
OK, don't get lost in the details!  Just get started and see what you can do in a week!  To help make things a little easier, Kemi has made a simple inventory checklist for you!  My advice would be print it off, stick it in a plastic page protector, pop it in a home maintenance folder, and then use it each year (a little homeschooler's trick for you! You are welcome!). She also has some amazing labels that you can either laminate or cover with packing tape to keep them from getting worn out.

Don't forget to take pictures of your progress to share with us!  And if you have a tried-and-true helpful hint we want you to share with us!  Many hands make light work, and many ideas - well, they give us inspiration!

So glad you have joined us!  Week by week, we CAN take back our homes and put a little order in our lives!

See ya back next week for our next assignment, a link up for you to share your results, and some more fun printables from Kemi!!  Until then, happy cleaning and many blessings!


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25 comments:

  1. Perfect timing as this is what I'm doing today. :D Thank you for the tips! I'm so excited for this series.

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    1. Yay! You are so welcome! Glad you are joining us Angie!

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  2. Great Advice & Already completed week 1 lol :)

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  3. Looks like a fun series! I'm going to follow it!

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    1. Welcome Angela! Glad you are here!

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  4. It just so happens that we will be packing up Christmas decorations (but not necessarily *winter* ones) on Sunday the 4th but usually we keep our Tree and decorations out/up until after January 6th because we celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas.

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    1. I have enjoyed reading about your 12 Days of Christmas! And yes, I did leave out three snowmen- it does snow here until April or May! ;)

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  5. This is definitely something that I'd be totally wanting to do. :o) I've linked you up on my side bar on the blog { so I can jump here any time }.

    I've got a head start jump on this weeks project - we don't do christmas so I don't have anything to pack away. ha ha ha. Yay!! :o)

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    1. Thanks for the help in getting the word out! I have been amazed at all that are participating! Hope you enjoyed your week off- see ya back tomorrow!

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  6. So glad you're doing this, Michele!!! Will be linking up next week. :)

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  7. Wonderful post and pics! So, if we put away all the Christmas decorations today, are you giving out stars or something? :) Week 1 done! Yay!

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    1. If I decide to give out stars, you will be the first one! ;)

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  8. My decorations will come down on the 6th, and when I put them up this year, I was already thinking ahead to how I'd store them in a neat and organized way. Now to follow through on the plan!

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    1. Let us know how your follow through goes!

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  9. Yay! My Christmas decorations are de cluttered and put away!

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  10. Yay I'm ahead for a change :) We have taken our's down and I'm looking forward to the next weeks challenge. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. You are so welcome, Jenni! See ya back tomorrow!

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  11. I got all of mine cleaned up! I am waiting on payday to get a ladder to get them AWAY away, but for now, everything is organized in boxes in the guest room. I'm excited for next week!

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  12. This is such a great idea! My decorations are already put away, but I am looking forward to next week!

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  13. Already put all of our stuff away too! Waiting for the next week though and then I plan to jump right in!

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    1. Being ahead is great, huh!! New assignment tomorrow! Thanks for joining us!

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Thanks for commenting. I love hearing from you!