The holiday season is officially over. Gifts have been opened. Dinner parties done. Decorations still lingering. It’s time to start clearing the clutter to get organized for the new year. Follow a few simple tips to help you get organized while you sort and stow all your holiday ‘stuff’!

Take inventory of your holiday ‘stuff’! Before you pack up the holiday decorations, look in your storage and see what was still left in boxes. Donate or toss anything that didn’t get used this year.

Bundle your Christmas cards. Tuck them into your holiday gift-wrap bin and use them next year by cutting them up as decorative gift tags.

Update your holiday card mailing list by making a list of the people who sent you cards this year and creating a master list on the computer so you can easily print out mailing labels, to save time and frustration next holiday season.

Clear out the old to make room for the new! Implement the one-in/one-out rule of organizing. For every new holiday gift received, get rid of an old similar item. If the kids got a new pair of pajamas from grandma, make sure to toss out an old pair.

Start a holiday gift savings plan for next year. Try this fun system, using a simple glass jar: Each week, drop in the dollar amount that matches the week number as it correlates to the calendar. First week of January, which is week #1-put $1 dollar away, week #2 add $2, week #3 add $3…and so on. If you continue this weekly, you’ll have almost $1,400 saved by this time next year!

Take advantage of after-Christmas Sales. Right now is the time to purchase wrapping paper and holiday cards for next holiday season, saving as much as 80-90 percent in stores.

Pack away holiday décor IN ORDER! Store your decorations in numbered bins as to the order you will need to access them next year. For example: Bin #1 may contain your window candles, tree stand and tree skirt if that is what you will use first. Bin #2 may contain your tree lights, tree topper and extra extension cords, Bin #3 for your filler bulbs and garland, and Bin #4 for your featured family ornaments, which will be used last.

Color-coordinate your holiday storage bins. Now is the time to pick up red or green bins to color-code your holiday bins. In October, stores are bursting with orange & black bins for Halloween, spring brings pastel for Easter, etc.

Your New Year’s mantra for Organization: “Everything in your house should have a home!” From the smallest paperclip to work files to electronics. You can only get and stay organized by having dedicated storage places for things. This prevents ‘random placement’ of household objects which are dropped anywhere and found nowhere!

Plan your New Year Goals! Make a list of goals and dreams with dates by which you wish to accomplish them. Create a vision board.

Lisa Lelas is a bestselling author, productivity consultant & book writing coach. Remember to sign up for Lisa’s 14th annual Goal Setting & Vision Board breakfast workshop on Saturday Jan. 25. Register: www.LisaLelas.com/Events

Connecticut Media Group