When I think about the holiday’s and traditions, I think of things we do leading up to the ‘big events’. Rarely, do post-holiday traditions come to mind. However, I recently realized that we have a very important post-Christmas tradition that has been keeping me sane, and the house de-cluttered for many years. I thought I’d share it with you. For lack of a better title, we lovingly calling it the “The Great Murphy Clean Up”.

Christmas day brings on wonderful gifts and excitement for the entire family, but the day after has been known to bring more than one of our family members to tears as we try to get the house back in some sort of order. The kids have had an entire day of no-cleaning, enjoy your toys and family freedom, so in my book, it’s time to get back to normal.  But, It’s not quite as easy as just asking the kids to put their things away. Invariably, we get all kinds of whines and groans, typically along the lines of “but I don’t know where to put __________.”  or ” I don’t have room for__________”.   So, out of desperation we came up with a system several years ago.  It looks like this:

  • Kids take their new stuff to their rooms and dump it anywhere they can.
  • Taking turns, I go through each child’s room with them.
  • We start in the closet and drawers.   Doesn’t fit?  Don’t wear it? It goes into the green “ccc sale” tub.  Quickly, we find room (and hangers) for the new clothes we just got as gifts.
  • Toy bins and buckets.  Broken?  Missing pieces? all goes in a big trash bag.  It’s like magic, we find the perfect place to put our new toys, and keepsakes.
  • Under the bed.  Trash, dirty clothes and the occasional “WHAT in the WORLD” are all taken care of.

It usually only takes about fourty-five minutes to an hour for each child’s room.  It’s amazing how quickly we are able to clean out and get our Christmas put away in a neat and organized manner.  The VERY BEST part of the whole process for me is that I have already gotten started on getting things together for the CCC Sale.  I have a few bins that I can tag and price as I have time and I have a decent idea of what each child has, needs and does NOT need.