Make Boxing Day Into Boxing Week

In the major countries of the former British Empire, the day after #Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day. A legal holiday, the event grew out of a custom for wealthy landowners to offer their servants and workers a box of edible goodies, gifts or a monetary tip during the Christmas season.

Stateside, many make the erroneous assumption that “Boxing Day” is on the calendar as a day people might set aside to box and store their Christmas #decorations for another year. In #quarantine times, however, the Organizing Blog would like to propose a modest compromise:

Let’s celebrate Boxing Day as a way to #declutter and #donate to a good cause. And since we have plenty of time at home due to pandemic travel restrictions, let’s take the whole week to do it.

The first step is to declutter. Start with the stacks and stacks of shipping boxes you’ve likely accumulated buying gifts from Amazon and other outlets. With online shopping up 40% from 2019, households are drowning in cardboard. Break down and #recycle any box that can’t be repurposed.

Next, conduct an organized destaging of all of your household holiday trappings, including wrapping paper, decorations, tree, lights, ornaments, and tchotchkes. Take your time and store everything in dedicated, labeled bins and boxes for easy access next year, or use these clever suggestions from HGTV.

As you pack up, toss anything that’s damaged or dingy. Dead light strands, cracked ornaments and worn fabrics aren’t worth saving or storing. Then, set aside any items that don’t provide a Kondoesque “joy.” These items may still be of good use to someone — just not you.

Finally, gather those unwanted and orphaned items together in extra boxes and bags and contact for a donation pickup. Consider it a tax-deductible gift to the nation’s veterans, made in the true spirit of Boxing Day. You may not be landed gentry, but every little bit you give helps veterans access health care, housing and other resources.

Take advantage of a pandemic-era “Boxing Week” to get rid of the things you don’t want and show your appreciation for those who served. Happy New Year from the Organizing Blog!

Benefit from a Boxing Week

Yesterday was Boxing Day, a holiday observed in Great Britain since the Middle Ages that rewarded servants and employees who couldn’t celebrate Christmas on the 25th of the month with a box of presents, food, money or another appreciation for their service. The tradition likely arose in the early Christian era, when churches used alms boxes to collect special offerings for the feast of St. Stephen, typically celebrated on Dec. 26.

People in former British colonies such as Canada and Australia see Boxing Day as a shopping holiday similar to Black Friday, and in the United States, savvy consumers can take advantage of the first post-holiday markdowns. Others, however, use the day simply to relax after a busy holiday season or observe Boxing Day in the most literal way: by boxing up holiday decorations for storage and unwanted gifts to return to stores.

As you recover from the holiday hubbub, VVA suggests that you observe Boxing Day all week long. When you take down the tree and pack up your holiday decorations, check to see if there are any extra ornaments or other seasonal items that you no longer need. When you bag up items of clothing that just aren’t your style or size for return, make up another bag of lightly-used items for donation. Then call to schedule a pickup.

The proceeds from your donations will support programs that help clothe, feed and house veterans nationwide — a great way to show appreciation for people who have dedicated their lives in service to their country, similar to Boxing Day’s original intent. And your home will return to its everyday state with that little bit of additional space you made by bagging, boxing and getting rid of the stuff you just don’t need.

Clutter can make people “crazy, ” according to Cleveland Clinic psychologist Scott Bea, by leading to chronic distraction, stress and depression. So if you really want to relax after the holidays, start by clearing out a few things you no longer need or want. You may find that establishing a Boxing Week tradition now will supply you with good cheer all year long.

Coping With Post-Holiday Cleanup

Now that the holidays are coming to a close, we’re left with the post-holiday mess. Family and friends have come and gone, leaving signs of their presence (and presents) behind. Those gifts need to find a place among your current belongings, and holiday decorations need to come down. The clean-up can be overwhelming.

But, a clean and clutter free home after the holidays (and just in time for the new year!) is important for getting back into a routine. If this task seems easier said than done, don’t panic—we’re here to help!

We suggest picking one task to tackle first, which will prevent the entire cleaning and packing-away process from seeming insurmountable. Start with the presents. Looking at the new goods you received this season, determine which items belong in which rooms. From there, designate spots for each new item.

Next, start packing away Christmas and other holiday decorations. Whether it’s a closet or a corner of your basement, have a designated section in your home for all holiday decorations. Then, have a few plastic bins or tubs to neatly pack your decorations away, labeling the outside of the container with what’s inside. This way, you’ll have a spot for each decoration, while also keeping them neat and contained.  

As you put gifts and decorations away, think about which items you may no longer need. Post-holiday clean-up is a great time to declutter.

Put these unwanted items in a bag or box, marked with “donation” on the outside. Then, contact and schedule a time for us to swing by and pick up your donations. We’ll take care of the pick-up, and take these items off your hands, so that you can continue organizing your home. Not only will these donations declutter your home, but they will also go toward funding our veterans’ programs this year!

What are your holiday clean-up secrets? Share them with us!