Now that Christmas is finally over (yes, finally since it started in September this year), you probably want to get all that holiday cheer out of your house. I know I do! Sure, I can be a little Scroogey. I mean, I like watching the Grinch, (but only the first half, when all the Christmas stuff has been cleaned up) but sometimes there’s only so much joy you can grind out of me.
Christmas is great and all, but I like to start the new year with a clean house, not one covered in decorations that need to be put away, and gifts that never found a home, and leftover fruit cake. So here’s the post-Christmas clean up list:
1) Throw out wrapping and packaging – make sure any gift cards or cash are accounted for first! – trash is easy to get rid of because it’s obviously trash. Doing this first will give you more room to manuever and won’t take much brain power.
2) Put away Christmas decorations – throw out any light strands that didn’t work, or ornaments a fat cat stole off the tree and broke behind the table. This happened twice this year at our house. But our cat is a jackass; you might have good cats. Christmas decorations presumably have a home already so you know right where to put them, so again, no-brainer.
3) Find a home for all your fancy new gadgets and gizmos – don’t forget to get rid of an old version if your gift was an upgrade, or if you follow the ultimate uncluttering rule: if one thing enters your house, one must leave. It’s like the Thunderdome, but for your stuff.
4) Put anything you need to return (wrong size or completely wrong for you, whatever the reason) somewhere you won’t forget them along with their gift receipts, if they have them. Your car might be a good place, if you won’t forget about them. Returns often have a time limit, so make sure to get after it!
5) Christmas cards – If someone has written a touching message, or made a card themselves, or it’s particularly funny I usually keep it. However, some are just generic, like “Happy Holidays, from your dentist”. Well these apparently have a home, other than the recycle bin! St. Jude’s recycles old cards into new ones. I just found out about this thanks to Unclutterer! They actually take cards year-round, for all occassions, so I’m going to keep this in mind as I unclutter my scrapbooking box.
Here’s to a clean and organized New Year!
I don’t know about you, but I was a teeny bit disappointed there was no apocalypse. I had already mapped out which houses on the block to raid, our weapons were ready, food and water stocked, and plenty of crafts to keep me occupied. Then…nothing. Not even a small town taken over by zombies! No aliens or meteors coming from space, no leather-clad gangs roaming on motorcycles, no worldwide plague, no solar flares or mega-storms, volcanoes or mutants.
To console ourselves, Hubby and I watched a string of post-apocalyptic movies, so we could at least survive the wasteland vicariously. We stumbled upon an absolute GEM of a movie, called “The Bed Sitting Room” (in Britain that would be like a studio apartment, I believe).
The movie is from 1969, and it was completely amazing, and not in a terrible B-movie way. The settings are truly post-apocalyptic, and the story is weird and funny. It’s not a serious, Mad Max style apocalypse; more like Monty Python, but still incredibly well done. You will even recognize Veruca Salt’s father amongst the cast. It’s on instant on Netflix, so you really have no excuse not to watch it.
It should be no surprise to anyone that I, and most of my friends, are giant nerds. We love everything from Star Wars, to Harry Potter, to Doctor Who, to obscure, terrible sci-fi B movies. Some of them even profess to like Star Trek, although I really don’t believe anyone can actually enjoy it. In the spirit of nerdy friendship, I decided to make a magic wand for Kornberg. She made me this fantastic cross stitch to give to my surgeon after the Giant Fibroid of Doom. (Kornberg even sells the pattern on her Etsy, so you can make your very own uterus!)
Being the wonderful person I am, I made her an awesome gift, AND recorded the event for all of you wonderful minions. First, get a stick of appropriate length. Try to find one of durable thickness, with as few twigs coming off of it as possible. I used a knife to whittle down as much of the twigs stumps as possible, then sanded the lumps down viciously. I also peeled off all the bark. It helps to find a dog to pose with your future wand.
We had a tiny bottle of gel wood stain laying around the house (it was like $2 at Hobby Lobby), so I used that to stain it. I like that look because the wood grain shows through, but you could easily paint it instead. It also took awhile to dry.
Once it was dry, I used some shirt paint to draw magical symbols and incantations on it. Actually I just made pretty designs. I don’t know anything about magic or magick, and I was too lazy to research any runes or other legit stuff.
Before starting that step, make sure you have a way to prop the thing up to dry, so you don’t end up just holding it like a jackass. Which I did not do. I held it like a lady.
There’s the finished product! It was a fun project that took an hour, plus drying time. If you’re going to do this with kids I recommend preparing the sticks ahead of time, because that was the most time-consuming part. I love getting to trade crafts with my buddies!