The end of each year seems to get so messy, doesn’t it? Once Thanksgiving hits, my house just begins to accumulate what starts with food… cookies and pies galore that I am apparently the only one responsible for eating. (Hey, I’m not completely complaining about that one.) But the decorations don’t stop coming either- you swap out the Halloween for the Thanksgiving for the Christmas, back to back to back. Between rotting pumpkins and Halloween candy, both scattered around my entire house (yes, still!!) I feel like I don’t get a great chance and cleaning things up a bit before ole Saint Nick pops in for a visit. I’m almost ashamed for the guy to see my home. I currently have a few inches of pine needles dispersed throughout my living room (the darn disadvantage to having a fake tree… and cats that won’t leave said tree alone!) and I have glitter for daysssss anywhere you could possibly imagine. That could be from the Christmas tree ornaments, or it could be because I have a 5 year old princess obsessed with glitter but either way, can you imagine my struggle here??
So I’ve decided that nope, nu-uh, NO. I am NOT bringing in the New Year like this. I am PURGING!!!
First things first, I know what you are thinking. Toss the rotten pumpkins! Okay, done. But besides the typical housekeeping basics, I tried to figure out how to really get my house in order. And believe it or not, I started in the attic.
Let’s talk holiday decorations!!! You may store them in your attic, or basement, or garage, wherever, but the majority of us have decor that we don’t even put out on display, right?? It just sits in that same tub or box… and I decided it has to go. If you haven’t used that stuffed snowman that grandma gave you, or the flashing lights that you bought at that yard sale – let it go! A good rule of thumb is to donate or dump anything that you haven’t used in the past 2 years. Cleaning out the junk now will make you feel fantastic when you go to put everything away after the holidays have passed and 2018 has begun.
The next battlefield I had to tackle was my children’s toys. How in the world do they accumulate so much stuff!?
Now, I had a really neat idea for getting rid of old games and figurines that haven’t seen the light of day in a while. I suggested to my daughters that we pack a bag full of things that they no longer use and we leave it under the tree for Santa with a note explaining that we would like him to take the toys to share with other children that he may visit and find that they don’t have much. My 5 year old loved this! She feels like she’s got some sort of Secret Mission with Santa, that he will have her bag in his sleigh and if he goes down the chimney to another little girl’s house and sees that she doesn’t have many toys, he will pop back up and grab my daughter’s goody bag and leave extra treats behind for the child. I love that she loved it!! As for what to DO with that bag of toys- I would take them to a shelter or orphanage and give them to the children there. I guarantee just because it may be a few days after Christmas, those kiddos will be so thankful and grateful that it won’t even matter. Or switch up the story with Santa and just ask your children to clean out the things they no longer play with and then you can adopt a child this holiday season and brighten someone’s life that way!!
Lastly, I think it’s fair to say a fresh start is probably needed in most of our closets, isn’t it? I can’t be the only one that has a dream about one day being 3 sizes smaller than I am now… and holding on to that dress from college that I am determined to fit into again at some point! And the high heels from my pre-baby days that I’ve been saving for some special occasion that is never going to come… or that might, but my feet wouldn’t be able to tolerate those 4 inch pumps anymore, anyway! It all had to go!! I shuffled through every hanger and asked myself, “If I put this on right now, would I look ridiculous?” If the answer was yes, I set it into a pile to donate! And, to be honest, I pulled out things I had completely forgotten that I even had. But my hangers aren’t all bunched together anymore! I have room to slide things around! I can see the shoe boxes organized neatly on the shelf! I feel like a new person!
It’s funny what picking up a bit will do to ya. 🙂
Start 2018 off right with a clean home and less clutter. Consider donating used toys to less fortunate children to make room for the new things your kiddos may get this holiday season. And if you’ve been putting aside throwing out those jeans from 2005, just go for it. It feels fabulous.
May your days be merry and bright!! Happy holidays!!