Post Holiday Organizing


Every year I find myself wondering what to do with all those leftover holiday items: i.e. candy, cookies, wrapping paper, bows, etc. With a little creativity, you can repurpose these items.

It’s a wrap! After the holidays, gather all the unused wrapping supplies in a big bin. Take advantage of all those post holiday sales to purchase wrapping supplies for replenishing the stash. That way, you are all ready for the next holiday season. When organizing the bin, keep an eye on which items can be used for other occasions. Put the solid colored red items aside for Valentine’s Day and the green ones for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter. Have the kids make paper embellishments to decorate them! If you celebrate Hanukkah, you can easily reuse solid blue or silver wrapping supplies for graduations or anniversaries.

The inserts from leftover wine boxes are great for packing away ornaments. Use some of the extra tissue and thin wrapping paper for cushioning.

It’s in the cards! Have the kids use those holiday cards to make personalized thank you notes. They can cut out the parts that haven’t been written on and glue them to blank cardstock or construction paper. A perfect activity for a snowy afternoon!

Sugar, Sugar! “Glue” two candy canes together with chocolate to make hearts for Valentine’s Day (as per the suggestion of one of my former clients, Ella). You can also crush up the candy canes and use them to make peppermint bark (which is not just for Christmas). Crushed up candy canes are also great toppers for frosted heart cookies or ice cream.

Separate the green and red holiday M&Ms. Line a baking sheet with mini pretzel twists and top each with an unwrapped Hershey kiss. Put in the oven until the kisses are warm then remove. Smush each kiss down with an M&M. Use the red ones for Valentine’s Day and the green ones for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter.

Host a chocolate buffet! Take all those chocolate elves, Santas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa themed chocolates and melt them in a chocolate pot. Lay out an assortment of goodies for dipping: cubed angel food or pound cake, pretzels, marshmallows, fruit, and whatever strikes your fancy!

Freeze those leftover cookies and use them to make cookie crusts for pies or cheesecakes (replacing the traditional graham crackers or Oreos).

No more “bored” games! Use holiday candy and chocolates as “poker chips” to keep track of points when playing a board game.

Regift with a purpose! Do you receive any gifts that you aren’t particularly fond of? Create a gift drawer to use for next season! Regifting is perfectly acceptable when the gift is something the recipient would clearly enjoy. The best items for regifting are scented candles, lotions, bubble bath, socks and scarves. Just make sure to remove any gift tags that would indicate the item is a regift.

Until next time, happy homemaking!

This post was adapted from the 1/6/10 entry on my former blog:

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