One of my favorite things to do is declutter for the New Year. I am a serial purger and have been known to take out my end of year cabin-fever by tossing old toys and unwanted crap. It is a pretty good obsession to have if you want to keep your home and your mind clear for the New Year.
“Out with the old, in with the new!”
Cliche? Yes. Truth? Also yes. I am not one of those folks that like to hold on to the Holidays any longer than December 30th. In fact, my tree was dismantled yesterday. I like it that way. It was a few years ago, after we moved into our new house, that I discovered my ability to clear out the toybox without the kids putting up a fight. If I tackled this the day after Christmas everyone was too occupied with all their new goodies to miss any of the old, broken toys they’d been hoarding for the year. I still am working on finding the time and motivation to take everything to Goodwill, but we work in baby steps.
I have been working on Mental Decluttering this year. Moving all the unnecessary thoughts and energy that has been preventing me from achieving my goals is something that I have been undertaking lately. That is not to say that I haven’t been on top of my stuff. I do like to clear stuff out!
I have compiled a not-so-excessive list of things that you should definitely toss if you want to start off the New Year feeling lighter and ready to conquer the world.
This might seem like a given, especially since you just likely stocked up a bunch of new goodies over the holidays, but its super easy to forget about the bottom of the toy box that we never see. This is something I actually start bitching about the first week of December. “We should clear out all this old stuff no one plays with anymore to make room for Christmas.” My whole family looks at me like I’m an alien and it only takes me 4 weeks to get around to actually purging the toys.
Toss all the broken things. Toys with missing parts, ones that make funny noises not on purpose. Bag up everything that is still in good condition but doesn’t get used any longer. Donate it to your local charity or Goodwill.
We haven’t had a school food drive since my oldest switched schools two years ago. If you’re like me, you have shit in your pantry that you’re not sure how it got there and you are absolutely sure no one will eat it. It’s approaching its expiration date (or has gone way past) and maybe there is a lingering of Cheerio crumbs beneath everything. The New Year is a great time to load up a box of food and drop it at your local shelter or food pantry, trust me, people are still in need after the Holidays. I like to keep all our cereal and pasta and stuff in these kick-ass containers. We, at one time, had a mouse who thought he also lived here and put everything into these containers while we poisoned his ass. They’re awesome. I wish there were a way to just take my empty cereal container to the store to fill it up… that’s an idea for another day.
I also clean out my freezer! We have a big freezer on our porch and because I don’t have to open it every day, some weird shit gets forgotten about. There is always one busted bag of frozen veggies.
I’m not jumping the gun on this one, swear. It’s still technically winter (probably more so for most of you than myself) and you still need all those sweaters, pants, jackets, thick socks, etc. I typically don’t touch the kids’ clothes until the spring. Once it starts to warm up I can pack away winter stuff and toss outgrown things into a box for goodwill. At the beginning of the new year I like to go through my closet. I love to go shopping and post-holiday sales rock! I give my wardrobe the once over and if I haven’t worn it all year or it doesn’t fit it gets donated. Try to break the sentimental bond with your clothing. Make real judgements as to whether you will wear that one dress again. It could make someone else really happy and you can find yourself a new Outfit of the Year.
I follow the rule of thumb, if I haven’t worn it in 6 months, it’s toast. I am guilty of having a section of too small clothes that I will fit back into one day. Last year I got rid of them. ALL OF THEM. I didn’t just give up on fitting back into them but they will be well out of style by the time I am ever a size 4.
I keep my clothing to a minimum that way I don’t feel guilty buying new things! I wish that I could get Whole-Assed Hubby on board with this – maybe I’d have a little more closet space for my summer wardrobe.
MAKE-UP / BATHROOM
So there are apparently suggestions as to how long you should keep your makeup. None of which I follow because makeup is expensive and I hardly get the chance to wear it. I’m not tossing my high-end pallets just because someone on the internet told me they only last a year. I am NOT here to tell you that you should toss all your makeup. You can keep all the make-up you want, even if it’s old and crusty. I only suggest that you organize it.
I would love to have one of those adorable and convenient clear make-up caddies that makes everything accessible and keeps it neat. I have claimed all three of our vanity drawers and a box on the counter. Maybe this year is the year I get one of these babies!
Clear out all the collected soaps, washes, shampoos, creams, bubbles and salts from under your bathroom sink. Give it the once over and be realistic. Are you going to ever bathe in Peony scented bubbles often enough to use 64 oz. of it? I wouldn’t. Find it a new home, whether it’s donated or trashed. It is taking up valuable space where I could be stockpiling toilet paper for the zombie apocalypse.
Holy shit did this woman just give me permission to throw out my cleaning supplies!? #BESTDAYEVER
I sure as shit did. But don’t get too excited, this is just another method of trickery I use on myself to get my ass in gear. I stick all my cleaning supplies in one place, under my kitchen sink. Because I don’t like cleaning or bending down, things get pushed to the back where they can disappear. I must have 3 bottles of 1/4 full Windex hiding somewhere back there. So, beginning of the year I yank all of it out and combine, condense or trash. And while it’s out I usually wash the windows. Boom. Under the sink is organized and now I don’t have to wash windows until next year. Trickery.
This might sound weird, but stay with me. I’m not saying abandon all the timeless music on your playlist, I’m just saying that maybe you don’t want Ariana Grande taking up space on your device. Maybe you haven’t had any of The Lacs, or Flo Rida in a while. I like to cycle through what’s on my device because when I can’t get any WiFi in the mountains this summer, the last asshole I want to hear from is Drake. Just saying.
This may not seem like a lot – and you may not end up tossing or purging anything, which is OK too. Just having given the time to straighten and inventory your household is going to make you feel better, a little more in control and lighter. So, while the Kidiots are tearing wildly into the toy box with little, dirty fist-fulls of Gold Fish crackers, go throw out all those old, funky smelling bubble baths you’ve been collecting for years. You’ll thank me for it.