I bet you know people who just can’t seem to get their Christmas decorations put away on a timely basis. Once, I knew a family who was so busy one year that they never put their decorations away at all. So, they just left them up for the next Christmas season!
This has never happened at our house…yet…but it did take us two days to get the decorations packed away in the attic and the house clean again. We have an annual ritual where we clean before the decorations go up and again when they come down. That way, we start and end both the Christmas season and the new year with a clean and orderly house! I must say, the house looks pretty bare with all the colorful decorations put away.
Others must be cleaning and organizing too because the aisles in stores like Target and Wal-Mart are filled right now with boxes and baskets and bins good for organization and storage. Since we put the decorations away, we’ve continued to go through closets and cabinets and drawers pulling out the clutter. We should have a carload to donate before too long.
Here are some ideas and suggestions for things to get rid of so you can get better organized in 2016. It’s amazing how much lighter we feel when we get rid of the clutter and some of the pressure we have been putting upon ourselves to do certain tasks. It’s true; we spend time on the things which are important to us. If you haven’t gotten to it in a long time, chances are it really isn’t that important to you.
These are the things you might consider giving the old heave ho:
*Old clothes you’ve been keeping in case you get down to that size again. Even if you lose weight, chances are they won’t be fashionable any longer. Let them go.
*This includes all those dusty coats in your coat closet. Keep the ones you wear regularly and donate the rest.
*That giant pile of catalogs and magazines you’ve been meaning to read. There will always be more of those. Let them go.
*Old phones and electronic items you no longer use. Some of those things can be sold for a little extra cash.
*Broken items that you never seem to get around to fixing. Throw them out or recycle them or give them to someone who likes to fix things.
*Craft supplies for projects you haven’t done. Pass them to others who have the time, or check with a local fabric store to see what classes they are offering where you could use your supplies.
*Musical instruments that no one plays. Give them away or sell them or learn to play them in the new year!
*Yellowed linens and ragged towels. If it’s been awhile, it might be time to upgrade to some new, pretty ones.
*Jewelry/perfume/nail polish that you never wear because you don’t really like it. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who would consider a swap?
*Furnace air filters. We changed ours on New Year’s Day to (hopefully) lower our winter utility bills.
*Exercise equipment that no one uses. This is the perfect time of year to sell it to those who made resolutions to lose weight and get fit. Or, you could start using it again!
*Old motor oil, paint and solvents from your garage. Most oil change places will recycle the old oil for you, and many communities have places to donate old paint. If you don’t have enough to donate, add some kitty litter and stir to make the paint harden before you discard.
*This includes old oil in your car. Does your car need an oil change?
*Expired medicines and vitamins in your cabinet. Some pharmacies will take your expired medicines and dispose of them for you.
*Old food in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Most food has an expiration date to help you decide whether or not to keep it.
*Friendships that are toxic or feel like they are one-sided. There are so many people out there who want to be and to have a good friend. It might be time to get to know some new folks better.
*Things that you don’t really like but you keep around for sentimental reasons because they were given to you by a person that you do like! I am very guilty of this last one but I’ve made some progress in this area!
*And finally, get rid of old anger and resentment that only makes you feel badly and muddies the waters of your relationships.
On your mark, get set, go! Clean house and move forward into a happy new year!