Yes, really! While Christmas has been and gone and the New Year has begun, giving the festive season some thought now will save you valuable time and effort later this year.

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By RENT.COM.AU

Tip #1 | Make the most of the January sales

Sales are EVERYWHERE in January! Some of the most popular items that shops put into their sales are (of course) their excess Christmas supplies. You can pick up some great bargains post Christmas, so keep an eye out for cards, wrapping paper, decorations, crackers and gifts for next year. A good way to stay on top of what you need is to keep an inventory list of your Christmas stock. You can keep this list on your phone. That way, if you see something too good to pass up at the January sales, you can pick it up and cross it off your list. If not, you’ll be prepared to stock up later in the year.

Tip #2 | If you’re into cards, update your card and present list

If you still receive Christmas cards, take them down at the end of the festive season and note down who you need to send a card to next time. Keep track of what Christmas ‘stuff’ you have to make sure you don’t purchase items unnecessarily later in the year. Do you have wrapping paper, gift bags, tags, ribbons or bows? Do you need to buy (or make) Christmas cards next year? Early January is a great time to pick up cards reduced by 50% or more in cost.

Tip #3 | Consider writing a ‘lessons learned’ list

What worked? What didn’t work? Now is a great time to write it down and consider what you might change next year. Did you have enough time with your family? Maybe consider adding in  a few extra days with no socialising so you can spend quality time at home. Did you travel too much or too little? Did you host enough? Were there some traditions you would have liked to do but didn’t? Writing down all these things will help when it comes to planning for next Christmas.

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Tip #4 | Start saving

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Christmas is an expensive time of the year. Start a savings account, or consider putting money aside to use for enjoying Christmas events or dinners with the family or your friends.

Tip #5 | Label your Christmas decor boxes

Most of us have far too many decorations at home. Putting a label on your Christmas decor boxes so you know exactly what is inside each box is a good idea. You can print labels from the internet for this, or just take an inventory and tape a paper list to the outside of the box.

Tip #6 | Check out your Christmas lights

When you start taking down the Christmas decorations, check the lights to see if they’re still working. Spot any burnt-out bulbs? Replace them now or discard them and make a note on an inventory list to consider replacement when you have time. A hot tip: Use newspaper to keep your lights from becoming entangled. It will be a real time-saver when you begin decorating at the end of the year.

Tip #7 | Keep track of recipes you loved last year

Did you try a killer salad last year? Was your Christmas pudding a hit? Write down any recipes that you tried and liked, or print out the recipe so you don’t waste time looking for it next year.

Tip #8 | Keep track of gift ideas

Did the festive season give you any ideas for the following Christmas? Keep track of any gift ideas you have for those on your gift list and buy them throughout the year during sales to save yourself money and time. Make a note of any gifts you do buy and keep them all in the one place. That way, you won’t forget them or go scrambling to try and find them at last minute.

Tip #9 | Launder your linens

Did you use table runners or pudding cloths last year? To remove the potential for last-minute stress later this year, check your table linens for stains. Treat (where necessary) or give them a good wash before storing them away.

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