The gifts are all open, the excitement and anxious anticipation for December 25th has come and gone. Any friends/family that did come to visit have already, or are soon to be, returning home and we are left here sitting with the aftermath of Christmas, surrounded by crumpled wrapping paper and half-torn bows. Honestly, after this year, most of us are still holding onto the twinkle of the lights because nobody is quite ready to let the spirit of Christmas go.
Scrolling through the Facebook feed it’s easy to see we are not alone in this feeling and, if you are reading this, you likely aren’t either.
The sudden calm right after Christmas can leave us feeling dazed. It’s a shock to the system when you realize how much post-holiday cleanup there is to complete. Where does one begin when it comes to reorienting your home back to normal and even more so this year because… well… what is normal anymore?
To help you get back on your feet we have 6 ideas for keeping the celebratory spirit rolling well into the New Year and help you with the transition back to some kind of normalcy in your home.
- Throw a virtual 2021 bash for the New Year!
- Make room for the new!
- Donate the old…
- Give to the food bank.
- Throw a touchless regifting party.
- Recycle your tree!
THROW A VIRTUAL 2021 BASH FOR THE NEW YEAR!
Keep the Christmas tree and decorations up! Add 2021 balloons and YES… The answer is, yes girl, buy the dress! It makes you feel good, and even though you are home you are still going to be seen during your virtual party and your posts online. Even better, HELP THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER DO THE BOOGIE AND BUY THE DRESS LOCAL! Here is a list of some great places on Whidbey Island to find a dress…
- Casual House | 690 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor
- Collections Boutique| 24 Front St., Coupeville
- The Star Store| 201 First St. Langley
- Webb’s Department Store | 1647 E Main St. Freeland
MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEW…
Begin by figuring out what you want to get rid of. Then determine where it should go. Not everything should go in the trash, you can recycle, donate, even regift!
Start by recycling
“Did you know that household waste increases by more than 25% from Thanksgiving to New Years?” (King5)
It is not hard to figure out why this increased waste occurs. However, it does not make the statistic any less startling. To put that in perspective, since the average American produces about 4.5 lbs of waste a day (EPA); Whidbey Island theoretically produces an additional 3,500 TONS of waste every holiday season. If there was ever a stat to make you want to recycle, that should be it! However, to be an effective recycler, you need to know what can and what can’t go in that little blue bin of yours. So, here’s a quick rundown of what can and can’t go in your recycling bin.
- Cardboard boxes
- Plain paper boxes and bags
- Plain wrapping paper
- Holiday cards (without embellishments)
- Tissue paper
- Bubble wrap
- Plastic bags
- Holiday lights
- Foam packaging
DONATE THE OLD
This time of year, your home can feel a bit cramped and cluttered with the addition of all those great new gifts. What better way to start the New Year than with a mini overhaul? Start by getting rid of your junk… BUT, just because you might not have a use for some of your older items doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Help keep useful things out of the landfill this year and DONATE! Once you and your loved ones have decided which items they can bear to part with there are a few choices on where you can donate. Below are some of Whidbey’s second-hand shops and charities that accept lightly used items.
- Island Thrift| 600 SE Barrington Dr, Oak Harbor
- Upscale Resale| 210 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor
- Habitat for Humanity| 280 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor
- The Garage of Blessings| 800 SE Barrington Drive, Oak Harbor
GIVE TO THE FOOD BANK
It is easy to get caught up in buying food for the holidays and during that generous and abundant mood our food banks are typically full. It’s the time immediately after the holidays that can be especially difficult for charities and food banks. The financial exasperation many experience after the holidays can cause an all-out stop to donations for a while but, unfortunately, needs don’t just stop because Christmas is over. Donating to charities and especially food banks is something critical to do throughout the year and not just in November and December. Below are some local food banks who could do a great amount of good with your post-Christmas donations.
THROW A TOUCHLESS REGIFTING PARTY
We all have that one gift (or 5) that we simply did not want or need. Yes, Aunt Kathy meant well, but what on earth are you going to do with a crochet pillow of her cat? Often these gifts are begrudgingly placed deep into the depths of our closets never to be seen again (or at least not for a few years). However, it does not have to be this way! We know you are not a fan of seeing Whisker’s face on a pillow every day, but who is to say your friend Bethany might not LOVE it, or at least cause a chuckle? Unwanted gifts do not need to sit gathering dust in the closet, especially when there’s a simple solution of how to pass that hot potato on to someone else! Ha!
So, throw the party! Just get creative in how you do it!
Regifting Parties are basically White Elephants thrown after Christmas with the intention of finding better homes for those unwanted gifts. The concept and rules for the Regifting Game is simple and match White Elephants almost exactly. Invite friends (heck let your friends invite their friends the more the merrier and its virtual so if you don’t like them it’s not really a big deal) give everyone a number and when chosen unwrap your gift to reveal, then deliver, or give everyone an address and drop off your random gift and have fun discovering new treasures! Don’t want to figure out the logistics yourself? Use this easy and free online tool to organize your White Elephant Re-gift Exchange today!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, ITS TIME TO RECYCLE YOUR TREE
Soon that fresh pine smell is going to leave (if it hasn’t already). If you are like the rest of us who set up our trees a month earlier than normal, your clean floors are beginning to be covered in pine needles. So, start thinking now how you are going to prevent the headache of getting rid of the tree without upsetting your neighbors when your tree is still laying on the side yard in May. I know, it is always sad, especially this year when the time comes to take down the Christmas tree, but like every other year, the end of thousands of needles in your vacuum will come as a relief.
If you live in a house with a wood-burning fireplace it might be a little tempting to chop it up and throw it in, but this is a BAD IDEA. When pine needles catch on fire they do not burn slowly like wood, but instead, spark out in all directions which can be a huge fire hazard in a home. Instead, what you should do is deposit your tree at one of the Island’s Solid Waste drop-off locations where they can be put with other yard waste and recycled properly.
- North Whidbey Solid Waste| 3151 Oak Harbor Road, Oak Harbor
- Coupeville Solid Waste Complex| 20018 State Highway 20, Coupeville
- Bayview Solid Waste| 5790 S Kramer Road, Langley
We hope your transition into 2021 is smooth and peaceful! Please share with us any other ideas you have for easing out of one season and into the next.
Thank you, your Windermere Whidbey Team!
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How to Beat Cabin Fever
As our country and community marches on in the fight against COVID19, it has been amazing to see people stepping up and reinventing their lives to help stop the spread. Although social distancing is by far the most effective way of protecting yourself and your loved ones, I think we can all agree it is getting a bit dull.
Cabin fever is hard enough to deal with in the cold darkness of the winter but in the middle of this beautiful spring?! It’s understandable to be restless and eager to get out.
To help you fight the Quarantine Cabin Fever we have developed a list of 5 things to keep up your spirits.
Pull Out a Good Book (or 2)
Almost everyone has that list of books they keep saying they are going to read someday. Today is the day! With the normal busyness of day to day life placed on hold, what better time to dig into the pages of that novel or self-betterment book?
Need a suggestion on a good book? Try reading something by local author Robert Elmer! His stories are packed full of history, adventure, and action. The perfect thing to entertain you for hours on end!
Start Spring Cleaning
We know, not the most exciting activity. However, it is probably the one future you will appreciate the most. Post quarantine you aren’t going to want to spend MORE time secluded in your home getting it ready for summertime entertaining. So get a jumpstart on the game and start cleaning/decluttering now.
Not sure where to start? Download this FREE Printable Decluttering Checklist by Making Lemonade to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Call Friends and Family
Sometimes when we’re down in the dumps we can forget there are so many in the same boat (especially right now). This time of isolation is the perfect opportunity to reach out to friends and family you might not have talked to in a while – especially grandparents! If you’re wanting a little more than just to hear their voice; below is a list of video calling apps you can connect with others on.
Take a Free Online Course
Maybe for you, this time away from others is actually just an opportunity for personal growth! Personal growth could be emotional, spiritual, or intellectual. Right now might just be the perfect time to pick up an online course or two.
Don’t have the funds for tuition? Corsera is an online educational facility partnering with world-class instructors to make online learning more accessible. They have hundreds of free courses you can sign up for TODAY.
We personally suggest signing up for Dr. Laurie Santos’ course on The Science of Well-Being.
To be clear, this does NOT mean meeting up with your friends for a picnic at the park or joining a group on a hike. Getting outside is extremely important right now to help fight off the depression that can happen from being cooped up; however, outside isolation should still include social distancing. Going on a solitary walk down the street or a stroll to the beach might be just the thing you need to keep your spirits up. However, if you see a neighbor, friend, or any other person be sure to keep the 6-feet-rule.
Not sure what 6 feet really looks like? This CNN article has some helpful and amusing images that could help!
You might also be interested in community resources available to you during this time: