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Three weeks left, you guys. Three weeks. From here things should be sooo easy. We’ve done all the hard tasks. We’ve sorted through just about every area in our homes to clear out the things that are taking up space. I don’t know about you, but when I look back at old pictures I feel so good about the progress we made this year. When photos pop up on my Facebook memories I’m astonished at how much JUNK we used to have everywhere. Photos of our living room from a year or two ago are almost suffocating because there is so much stuff packed in every spot. Now we have breathing room and it feels so good. This is why I wanted to do this challenge!
If you are just joining us, here’s the deal:
I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn’t belong, isn’t needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life – that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.
When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.
Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!
Week 50: Holiday & Party decor/supplies
Two weeks from yesterday is Christmas. CHRISTMAS! By now I expect that most of you have decorated and are figuring out what you need for hosting people. Or perhaps you are going places and don’t need to host. But I’m guessing you still decorate your own home even if you do travel. Anyway, enough rambling. Year after year we find fun decor that we add to our stash but we don’t always want everything we’ve accumulated and that’s when it becomes clutter!
I minimized our holiday decor when we moved because we don’t have as much wall space as our old place and I can’t do tabletop or shelf decor because we don’t have spaces that are safe from little hands. I long for a mantel to decorate with the seasons but right now I’ve got nothing like that so this week should be fairly easy!
We have two bins of holiday decor plus our tree. One box with ornaments and I won’t be going through that because we only have ornaments we love or that our kids made. The other box is the hodgepodge of decor, though. I keep holding on to the paper chains we make each year and then wonder why I keep them because they get smushed in the box or the tape wears out over the ten months they are in storage. It’s paper, I think I can afford to toss them when the season is over!
The other items I’ve decided to donate are the kids’ ugly Christmas sweaters, pet stockings, a candy jar (no jar, no tempting treats!), and frames I made but never hung. Micah and I have some awesome ugly sweaters that we both have had for years… like Micah had his before we started dating and I got mine the year we got engaged. We tried doing family pictures in awesome ugly sweaters but trying to find good ones for the kids that didn’t cost a ridiculous amount of money and making sure we had the right sizes each year got to be too much. These sweaters have been sitting in this box for a few years and until the kids are older I don’t think we will be doing ugly Christmas sweaters. And we simply stopped giving the pets anything once we had multiple kids. We don’t have room for their stockings and they don’t understand anyway. To the donation box!
The box has significantly less in it now! We didn’t use our tree skirt or countdown candle this year because of decorating so late and the wood sign gets taken down so a Christmas sign can take it’s place. It will go back up when we un-decorate in January.
As for party decor, we keep a box in our front closet with birthday party decor but I just sorted through that after all the October birthdays so I know it’s good. The supplies need some help though! We are down to only a few paper plates and disposable cutlery pieces. We only use these things when we are having a lot of company or it’s a busier time of year – like the holidays. Normal visits during the year we use regular plates and silverware because the costs of all that adds up!
It looks like we need to add paper plates, forks, and spoons to our shopping list. Probably paper towels and some napkins as well. By clearing this closet of clutter earlier this year I now have a spot for these items and can easily take inventory. I wouldn’t have been able to do this before without pulling tons of other things out of the closet first.
Bring on the holidays – We’re ready!
Share a picture on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.
Come back next week for week 51 to wrap presents and toss all the scraps of paper, broken boxes, and torn bags. No more empty rolls of tape because we are tossing them! Throw the squished bows and frayed ribbon in the bin and go simple this year for wrapping presents.
If you are looking for a better way of keeping on top of your homemaking tasks now that you are steamrolling through all this decluttering you might be interested in a new course from Humorous Homemaking. Home Management How To: A Guide to Daily Success is open now! I’ve got a post about my experience with this course here but this is a great course for you to take control of all the household tasks in a way that is tailored specifically to your family and life.