Like the classic Christmas song says, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. That said, they're also the messiest.
Between Christmas decorations, ornaments, gifts (incoming and outgoing) and all that extra holiday food, things can go from clean to cluttered in no time flat.
On a recent visit to TODAY, Joanna Teplin and Clea Shearer, stars of the Netflix series "Get Organized With The Home Edit," talked to Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie about the launch of their podcast "Best Friend Energy," telling the TODAY anchors that the new program covers the kinds of conversations that only best friends can have.
"It's the candid conversations that you can really only have if you are friends," Shearer explains. "It's about the energy that friends bring to everything."
And no topic is off limits, Teplin says. Fortunately, that includes holiday dos and don'ts.
In a sit-down interview with TODAY.com, the organizers extraordinaire weigh in on how to manage holiday clutter, who should be responsible for doing Christmas clean up, how to keep your fridge under control during the holidays and whether it's ever OK to give a gym membership as a gift.
Storing holiday decorations
Once January hits, it's time to ditch the tree, take down the lights and put the wreaths away for the season.
Without a system in place for storing ornaments and holiday decorations, it may be tempting to just pile everything into boxes just to be done with it. But, when it comes time to take them out again next year, you're likely to find yourself with a mess on your hands.
"Inevitably, what's going to happen is the next year comes around and you're just going to be dealing with the same stuff," says Shearer. "You're going to unpack it all and wish you had done it before."
Shearer and Teplin suggest sorting through all your decorations and doing an "edit" before storing them, which means getting rid of broken or unwanted items.
"Why are we packing the away just to not use them again? Do yourself a favor: Edit out the items," Shearer says.
“Give yourself the gift for the next year and get organized on the back end so you’re ready on the front end," Teplin advises.
Parting with your stuff isn't always easy, especially if items are family heirlooms or treasured ornaments. However, if you aren't using them, they're just taking up valuable real estate in your house.
"You have to decide whether it's OK to hold onto things that are sentimental, but you also have to decide if it's worth (losing) the space for something else," Teplin says.
Out with the old gifts and in with the new
'Tis the season for gift giving — and the gifts might pile up. In anticipation of incoming gifts, Teplin says to clean out your belongings to "create room for the inevitable gifts that are coming in."
"Set yourself up for success for the new year by paring down prior," Teplin tells TODAY.com. "I always make our kids go through their stuff before holidays or before birthdays because they will be getting new things."
Shearer says that even though you're likely to receive fewer gifts as an adult, it's still important to do "a pass" among your belongings and parse your things.
"My mother-in-law always gets me pajamas for the holidays. I do a pass through my drawer, make sure I that I have some room and donate the ones I'm not wearing anymore," Teplin says.
Who's in charge of Christmas clean-up?
As anyone who's ever hosted a holiday knows, it's a lot of work, between cleaning, prepping, cooking, decorating and gift-wrapping.
Shearer and Teplin settle the debate on who should be responsible for cleaning up the mess after the front door closes on the last of your holiday guests.
"One hundred percent, if you cook you don't clean," Shearer says.
Managing holiday food and leftovers
Big holiday meals and Christmas cookies translate into tons of extra food and leftovers. With only so much available space in the fridge and freezer, Teplin and Spearer weigh in the best to keep the food situation under control.
It's important to clean out the fridge ahead of time to create space for big platters and leftovers, says Shearer.
"A fridge is a breeding ground for a graveyard of things that you're not actually eating," Shearer says. "So, be honest with yourself. If leftovers have been in there too long, get rid of them."
Practical Christmas gifts – yay or nay?
Finally, when it comes to gift-giving, TODAY.com asked "The Home Edit" duo their thoughts on giving loved ones – especially partners or spouses – practical presents like pots, pans, vacuum cleaners or lawnmowers.
"I think it depends if the person really wants that thing. If they are into cooking and they want a new set of pots and pans, that's one thing," says Teplin.
"If you're subliminally trying to tell them you want them to cook, then I don't think that's OK."
That said, practical gifts can sometimes turn out to be the best gifts.
"Sometimes practical things are the things we don't buy ourselves and we actually do need them or could use them," Shearer says. "So, nothing wrong with that."
Gifting a gym membership as a hint, however, is always a no-no.
"Giving someone a gym membership that they don't want is a little rude," Shearer says.