Holiday Cleanup Tips

Holiday Trash Cleanup
If your house looks like a holiday disaster, we have something in common.  I'm digging out from under boxes, bags and piles of operating manuals and warranty cards.  I'm also taking stock of my kitchen -- from the piles of cookie tins to the abandoned dehydrator in the corner.  I have a list of New Year's resolutions somewhere -- just where probably won't become apparent until sometime in February.  If you're suffering from post-holiday shock like I am, here are some tips that may help:
  • If you have a million cupcakes, cookies and mini-loaf cakes from friends, stick a couple of slices of apple in their containers to keep them moist until you get around to eating them. Orange peel works, too. (Of course, you can freeze what you don't plan on using right away -- if there's room in the freezer.)
  • Save the cardboard cores from your holiday gift wrap; you can use them to store scrapbooking paper, scarves and long skinny stuff like knitting needles.  Come spring, you can also use them as biodegradable supports and frost guards for seedlings in the garden.
  • Don't throw out all that used wrapping paper, either. Send it through a paper shredder and use it to mulch your landscape plants.  Paper is a great insulator -- and free, too.
  • Refresh your potpourri with essential oil.  You can purchase essential oils and blends at most craft stores and many variety stores.  A couple of drops will renew that rose, lavender or citrus fragrance and contribute some nice indoor aromas to remind you that spring isn't too far off.
  • Don't pitch those dead plants.  If some of your fall transplants look like goners, don't give up on them just yet. Keep them watered and wait till the weather warms up a little.  Some plants revive once they get some sun and a little fresh air.  It's worth a shot.
  • If the lack of humidity in your home dries your skin, imagine how your plants feel.  Put bowls of water on your heat registers, and consider investing in a humidifier.  Your plants -- and your sinuses -- will thank you.
  • If you don't have your houseplants elevated on dishes filled with marbles (and water), create a few of these mini reservoirs to increase the ambient humidity.  Brown leaf tips often mean plants are struggling with dry conditions (and trying to release moisture through their leaves). Grouping plants together also helps to creating little humid microclimates in your rooms.
  • Rinse your sheets with lavender water.  It'll get rid of that winter-stale smell and help you get a better night's sleep.
  • Water your poinsettias with ice cubes.  They like the cold and will bloom longer.
  • If you had one too many fires in your fireplace over the holidays and now your living room smells like a campsite fire-pit (even after you've gotten rid of the ashes), sprinkle dried lavender buds and baking soda on your carpet and leave it in place overnight.  When you vacuum it up in the morning, the room will smell fresher without having to resort to using harsh chemicals. (There's some nasty stuff in those aerosol sprays.)
Have a nice cup of herbal tea.  It'll remind you of your spring herb garden and give you a nice respite from holiday cleanup duty.


  1. Thanks for the tips. I like the new look, too.

  2. Also, Thanks for the tips. Been a subcriber to your newsletter for several years. Always good information and very informative material concerning herbs and thier uses. Have been wanting a herb garden but my wife keeps dragging me accross the country getting her Phd. Soon I'll be able to put all of this great info to use. Thank you very much.

  3. Hey Ed,

    Thanks for taking the time to send those kind words my way. Good luck to your better half in finishing up her advanced degree, too. It's quite an accomplishment.


  4. Anonymous6:51:00 PM

    So happy for the new look. I always had a hard time distinguishing between the background and font color.

  5. Thanks. I'll remember that.



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