One of my New Year’s resolutions was to organize our home, and we got off to a good start this year. As we rearranged our rooms to make our space more useable, we packed up boxes and boxes of stuff (some might call it junk) that we just don’t need right now. Fortunately, we have an extra building we can use for storage, so we put everything out there. I haven’t sorted through anything yet — we just boxed it and stored it.
I’ve learned several things through this process:
1) A house with less stuff is easier to clean. I always knew this, but for the first time in several years, we’re actually putting it into practice. That’s not to say we’ve never gleaned through things before — we’ve given away bags and bags (and bags!) full of toys, clothes, and household items just this past year. But it must not have been enough, because we had so much to pack away as well.
2) We can save money by not having so much stuff. We have spent a lot of money on those things we packed away. Even with store sales and yard sale finds, the money adds up. When I look at all that stuff we aren’t even using, it’s easy to estimate how much it cost — and somewhat disheartening.
3) We don’t need so much stuff! We are a family of collectors, and we all tend to hang on to things either for sentimental reasons or because we just might need it someday. But we’re functioning just fine without all that stuff, and actually, we’re functioning even better.
So here’s to a new year and an uncluttered house! Now I just have to sort through that building…
This fall has flown by. Thanksgiving was here before I knew it, and now Christmas is on its way. Many people we know already have their trees up and decorations out, but we haven’t even brought out the boxes from the attic. Once we do, it usually takes us a couple of days to get everything set up — a couple of days of chaos, that is.
And then there are the gifts. I have much of my holiday shopping already completed (whew!), but we plan to take treats to our neighbors this year. And what about Christmas cards? It’s been nice keeping up with friends on Facebook, but there are others who haven’t joined that I need to get in contact with.
How to do it all, and without much stress? I’m finding help at OrganizedChristmas.com. If I had started back in August, I could have worked the Holiday Grand Plan — an 18-week schedule for organizing and cleaning your home in time for the holidays. There’s also a 6-week Christmas Countdown beginning the first of October so your holiday preparations are done by December 1. Though I missed those dates, it’s okay — there are still a lot of resources on the site for a late-comer like me.
Under the section entitled “Simplify Holidays”, you’ll find links to articles and free printables for just about any aspect of the season that’s overwhelming you. You’ll find tips and resources for creating a holiday budget, setting up a Christmas calendar, writing Christmas letters, and cutting down on clutter. These pages also include ideas for frugal gift giving, holiday cooking, decorating, and simplifying traditions. There’s even a section about teaching children how to give.
So if you (like me) are feeling a bit behind these days, don’t. Visit Organized Christmas, find some good ideas, and enjoy the season!