It's ramping up starting today around the St. Cloud area, and there's a lot of Christmas garbage recycling to pick up. Here's how to keep burglars from focusing on you.

The week after Christmas is usually the easiest time for burglars to pick out what houses they hit, based on the garbage that is waiting on your curb to be picked up.

Larger boxes that don't fit in the recycling bins are likely sitting on the ground, and show everybody exactly what's inside your house. It's just an advertisement that you've got a new high-dollar item inside.

Tip #1 - Anything of value that has a box should be broken down and cut to smaller pieces and places inside your recycle bin, out of plain site. Rip up these boxes, or cut up with a box cutter knife and put it near the bottom of your bin, below everything else.

Tip #2 - Keep your boxes for a while after the holiday season. It's always good practice to keep your boxes for items that have a warranty period anyways, just in case you need to return them. It's also wise to not put them out in your trash right after the holidays since the rate of burglaries is high immediately after Christmas. Once you decide to throw the boxes away, still refer to tip #1.

These simple tips will greatly decrease your chances of getting robbed this year. It's well worth the extra few minutes to help ensure your wonderful holiday season stays that way.