Just a day or two ago, there were piles of presents that lay beautifully under the Christmas tree – full of the promise of happy times. After the dust settles on the Christmas holiday, your eye naturally turns to the new piles of “stuff” that seems to have exploded in your house. Here are some survival guide tips on how to sort through the piles and restore your home to some normalcy.
Step 1: Separate the gift from the wrapping supplies….
Half of the volume of stuff in your house is the packaging that the presents were delivered in. You can easily weed down the piles by simply removing the gifts from the gift boxes and tissue paper that seem to take over the house on Christmas day.
If you tend to save the gift boxes like I do (not every store offers gift boxes anymore), I immediately fold the boxes down flat and put them in a single neat pile. Tissue paper gets thrown away – or if it’s not too wrinkled – it can be folded neatly to make tissue paper poms (refer to this link for a tutorial on how to make these fun decorations https://baptismalgownsplus.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/make-your-own-tissue-paper-poms/:
Step 2: Make sure everything fits properly….
If you haven’t done so already, have everyone in your family try on the clothes that they received for Christmas. If the item fits, put it away in a drawer or closet right away. If it doesn’t fit, or they just don’t want it, put them in a pile to be returned/exchanged.
Step 3: Make a plan to handle the returns/exchanges….
If these items were purchased by someone in your home, pull out the receipts and put them with the items. If they were purchased by someone outside your household, decide if it’s appropriate to ask for the receipt for the item so you can get the proper value that the gift giver paid for the item (and any sales tax they may have paid). If you think the gift giver would be offended or upset by the thought of you returning the item, then you will probably need to just get a store credit for the current value of the item (less any state sales taxes paid).
Step 4: Sort the items by store…
I put all of the items that need to be returned in one bag per store and pile them up in a busy spot in my kitchen. Just the thought of tripping over these items each time I walk by helps give me the push to actually go out there and make the return/exchange.
Step 5: Make a driving plan to return the items – and get out there and actually do it!
After the craziness of the holiday, I am not usually in the mood to spend a whole day going from store to store returning items. I tend to group the stores by their location to each other and tackle one direction at a time. Writing out a list helps me to organize my thoughts and remember all of the things I have to do.
If I am feeling really ambitious, I will put all the bags in my car in order to get the piles out of my house. After all, if the items aren’t in your car, you can’t ever make the return – right?