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How to stay ahead of messes on Christmas Day

The last thing you want to do with a chunk of your Christmas Day is clean up all the messes that have been created. So keep those hassles from happening with the help of these tips.

Woman in clean kitchen

Create designated bins

A lot of mess can build up during the present-opening process — and a lot of waste can take place too. So before you start unwrapping this year, set up a few boxes, bins or bags. Have one designated for garbage, one for bags that can be reused, another for ribbons and bows and a final one for large pieces of wrapping paper and tissue paper you can reuse next year. Place them in the centre of the room, and make sure that with each gift that is unwrapped, the trimmings end up in the correct locations. When you’re done with the presents, you can simply store away the bins and move on to the next fun family activity.

Clean up one room before moving on

By the end of Christmas Day, your home can look like a tornado blew through it if you aren’t careful. Chances are you’ll open presents in one room, cook in another, eat in another and do fun activities in yet another. If you don’t clean up each room as you go, you’ll wind up with one crazy mess at the end of it all. Every time you’re done with an activity in one space, ask everyone to work together to clean it up. If you tidy up as you go, you’ll save yourself a big headache at the end of the night.

Put gifts away immediately

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to get to work hanging paintings and installing DVD players the second you’re done opening presents. All it means is, don’t let your precious gifts sit in a big, cluttered pile in the living room all day long. When you’re done unwrapping everything, take the time to bring gifts to the room or general area where they belong. This will declutter your main space as well as give you a moment to appreciate all you’ve been given and to think about what you plan to do with each item. It’s an exercise not only in tidiness but also in gratitude.

Mom and daughter cleaningHave kitchen helpers

If you try to serve, clear and clean all on your own, at least one of them won’t get done as well as it could. Instead, ask someone to help you with the serving and clearing. That way you can take care of keeping the kitchen clean and organized while that person keeps an eye on the table. When you get it done together, you can ensure you don’t end up with counters full of dishes at the end of the meal.


By giving everyone something manageable to be in charge of, you can ensure everything gets done with ease.

Assign jobs

It’s true what they say: Many hands make light work. So rather than taking on everything yourself this holiday, give everyone a small job. Little ones can have simple tasks such as sweeping up the pine needles around the Christmas tree, while older kids can be assigned duties such as moving gifts to their respective rooms or doing the dishes after a certain meal.

More on Christmas

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