As a lover of Christmas, I leave the decorations up as long as is socially acceptable. Some folk like to whip the tinsel away directly after Christmas to have a fresh start for the New Year but I can't quite find the discipline.
At New Year, I want to prolong the warm and fuzzy feelings of the festive season by delaying the disposal of used wrapping paper and the packing away of decorations (Cough....hoarder!). This is in direct conflict with the 'New Year, New Me' that wants to be environmentally responsible, clutter-free and organised, going forward into the New Year.
With everything in life, having the right tools and information can help you to find the motivation to overcome inertia (oh coffee helps too!).
To responsibly get rid of the wrapping and packaging of Christmas past, I need to pass on this handy tip from Recycle Now. The scrunch test determines the recyclability of wrapping paper in seconds. Shiny and metallic styles of wrapping paper are not recyclable, so scrunch used wrapping paper into a ball in your hand and if it stays in a ball it can be recycled. If it springs back it can't. For our small family, we've been able to recycle half of the black bin bag full of used wrapping paper left over from Christmas and think about making better choices next year.
On the organisational front, I purchased a Christmas decoration organiser and long plastic box (for leftover rolls of gift wrap) last year which made the packing away a lot quicker and easier. The bauble organiser has grids that you can remove or reconfigure based on the size/shape of the decorations. I can report a reduced level mustiness of the decorations in the intervening 12 months stored in my attic and no squished stars, shepherds or angels either. Love your Christmas now and look after it for next year too!