Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Managing the mess on Christmas morning

by: Chica

Managing the mess on Christmas morning
Facebook Twitter Pinterest
share it

Imagine if you will… it’s Christmas morning and your kids are tearing through their presents, tossing bits of wrapping paper all over the place. Sure, you tried to reduce the waste with gift bags or other reusable gift wrap, but there’s always still some paper trash to be had. Then there’s the packaging from the toys that you open, and the mess starts piling up. The solution for most folks? A garbage bag. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a giant plastic bag nearby to shove all the trash into as you go. That’s just the way it goes, right?

Oh, but we’ve got a better idea! A reader named Kathy told us about her family’s way of dealing with the mess and we just love it. They take a large, empty box and wrap the sides, then set it near the tree. On Christmas morning, it’s so easy to toss all the trash inside. She shared a photo with us of her family using the trash box on Christmas morning, and you’ll notice that the box looks perfectly at home around all the people and gifts. Much better than an ugly plastic bag would look!

christmas gift wrap trash box

I created my own trash box for Christmas this year, and I soon realized it can serve double duty. My husband and I always spend Christmas day with family at my sister’s house, and that means packing up our gifts in whatever bag or box we can find. Oooh, but what if we used the trash box as a carrying box, too?

christmas gift wrap trash box

Then once it’s unloaded and the presents start getting opened, we can use it again for holding all the trash in style!

christmas gift wrap trash box

Last year I actually make two boxes, and I used one for holding recyclable items and the other for stuff destined for the trash. That made it easy to be as green as possible with our Christmas morning waste.

This trash box idea works for parties and other gift-giving events, too. Imagine how much more elegant a bridal shower would be with a lovely wrapped box for trash instead of a giant Hefty!

Managing the mess on Christmas morning
Facebook Twitter Pinterest
share it

12 comments so far:

  • 1
    Kathy Mormino 12/22/2010 at 10:23 am

    I’ve been making these for years because I didn’t like seeing big black trash bags in our family Christmas photos.
    Another good thing about the trash gift boxes is that someone ALWAYS throws out a gift or a part of a gift (ie: a small part to a toy) and it’s MUCH easier, cleaner and more pleasant to search through the gift wrap box than it is to have to search through the regular trash where food and drinks might also have been thrown.
    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • 2
    Susan C 12/22/2010 at 11:32 am

    Wow!! What a great idea. It seems so easy I feel like I should have thought of that years ago. We will be definitely be using a trash box this year!

  • 3
    Chica 12/22/2010 at 5:23 pm

    Thank YOU, Kathy, for sharing the tip with us. That’s a great point about the inevitable lost part!

    Susan, that’s exactly what I thought :)

  • 4
    Susan F. 12/22/2010 at 8:07 pm

    This is a great idea. I love it. Thank you!

  • 5
    Pattyjo 12/23/2010 at 3:27 pm

    This is a great idea. I will tell others.

  • 6
    Kelly M. 12/25/2010 at 9:53 am

    Kathy, Fabulous idea! The only downside was telling my son that the big present wasn’t for him. I also tell a lot of people about your idea of putting extra bags at the bottom of the regular kitchen trash can under the main one so I don’t have to go looking for the box. You are my very own Martha Stewart!!!

  • 7
    Anita 07/31/2011 at 3:16 am

    This is a terrific idea! My first thought was…I wonder if I could find 2 boxes that are close in size and would nest. I could tuck a garbage bag around the inner box and it would still be concealed by the big box. Then when it has to go outside, just pull the bag and dispose. Then the pretty box is still available to carry gifts back home.

  • 8
    Chica 07/31/2011 at 10:04 am

    Nice idea, Anita!

  • 9
    Rebecca 10/13/2011 at 6:22 pm

    Again, a great idea. My siblings and I always used to dislike having to be on black (garbage) bag duty! And Anita’s is a great idea

  • 10
    Twinkletoes 12/30/2011 at 12:39 pm

    I will often wrap gifts in Rubbermaid totes (especially gifts that are hard to wrap), then the recipient has something to carry their gifts home in (and who can’t use another Rubbermaid tote?). The only downside is that it takes more wrapping paper, so sometimes if the gift is much smaller than the tote, I will wrap the gift itself, place it inside the tote, and then tie the tote up with ribbon and a bow. Also, I love the extremely cheap, re-useable bags from IKEA, so I will buy a few extra and slip them in with gifts, which also makes a handy way to carry gifts home.

  • 11
    Chica 12/30/2011 at 1:07 pm

    Those are very thoughtful and clever ideas, Twinkletoes! I especially like the idea of using the Rubbermaid tote as the packaging and not wrapping it, because it’s such an environmentally-friendly solution.

  • 12
    Josie 01/21/2013 at 4:03 pm

    Awesome idea – did it this year and worked wonders!!! couldn’t believe how much more paper fits in the box than a garbage bag also!!

leave a comment:

submit comment

We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

Please visit Chica and Jo at for more DIY projects and clever ideas!