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Healthy Habits: How-Tos

5 Tricks for Post-holiday Cleanup in a Flash

Who says the fun has to end on January 2? These post-holiday cleanup tricks do double duty, helping you tidy up your house and bring the holiday spirit into the new year.

Nibbling on New Year’s Eve chips and dip for breakfast is a tempting way to keep the memory of your successful party alive. But do you really want to risk a junk food avalanche every time you open your fridge? Seek out a local food pantry or bring your goodies to work for everyone to share.

You can barely close your drawer with the latest addition to your formidable sweater collection.   The one-for-one rule will save you from unfortunate redundancies. For every new item that you get, dispose of an old one either by pitching it in the trash or donating it to charity. Received a DVD of The Adjustment Bureau? Time to toss The Day After Tomorrow. New set of nail polish?  Discard old bottles -- goth black is outdated anyway.

Red and green ribbons twine around your banister, a ceramics nativity scene rotates to the tune of “Silent Night” and your grandmother’s Santa-themed doilies cover your sofa arms. In short, your place is a holiday wonderland … except what you need now is a normal living space. Make your decoration pack-up swift and organized by buying a plastic tub with dividers that will keep all those beautiful decorations tucked away and safe all year long.

Two copies of the Steve Jobs biography. Jeggings from your secret Santa. And is that a purse or some kind of baby carrier? Don’t let unusable presents accumulate until your house is a candidate for AMC’s “Hoarders.” Do a thorough, relentless examination of your trove now and collect the gifts you know you’ll never use. Hold a small gathering where you can swap with others also looking to get some unwanted presents off their hands.

Don’t be one of the malingerers, letting New Year’s, Valentine’s and -- the horror of horrors -- Presidents’ Day pass by with your gorgeously decorated tree still twinkling in your window. To make the removal of the tree go faster, do it piecemeal, spreading it out over a week. Set a due date and divide the dismantling into separate steps: tinsel, lights, ornament by type. (And yes, if you are feeling particularly tired, taking down the star can count as one day’s work.)

What’s your best trick for easy post-holiday cleanup? Share below or tweet us @Completely_You

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