The holiday excitement of decorating, hosting and gifting / receiving is right around the corner. Are you ready? Take a good look around your house. How does it make you feel? Do you feel a little cluttered and disorganized right now? If so, how will you feel January 1st?
Right now is a great time to let go of stuff you just don’t care about and free yourself and your house from the burden of clutter. After all, more stuff will be coming your way soon. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Weed out Outerwear
Gather and assess all of the garb: coats, gloves, hats and other accessories. Do they all fit? Will they still be worn? Are there matched sets of gloves and boots? Winter coat drives are around the corner so weed out any winter items you might be able to donate or even sell now before the season is in full swing. Make notes of the items and sizes you need to replace, like snow boots if you have growing feet. Don’t forget about long underwear.
- Let go of Knicknacks
Take a good look around the house. Really see the items sitting on the shelves or hanging out in your cabinets. It can be hard to really see your own stuff because you are so used to seeing it there (clutter blind). Take a few pictures of the room to help you spot clutter or items you really no longer care about. Pack them up for donation or try selling them on a local Facebook yardsale site.
- Declutter Holiday Decorations
Did you use all of your holiday decorations last year? If not, consider decluttering them now so you can free up space and donate or sell items you no longer want to use. Your decorations might be the perfect fit for someone else and you will have less to store.
- Assess the Dishes, Silverware, Glassware, Serving Pieces and Cookware Situation
Will you be hosting gatherings this season? Either way, take a look at your dishes, silverware, glassware, serving pieces, and cookware. Do you have too many or too few? Are your collections a thing of beauty or a mismatched hodgepodge? If the latter bothers you, donate or sell what you don’t want and look for sales on new pieces or matched sets you really like.
- Do a Pantry Deep Dive
Take an inventory of your pantry. Take out everything you really are not going to use – and if the dates are okay – pack them up for a food pantry. Plan meals around remainder to save money now. Click here http://www.instantfundas.com/2010/08/15-websites-to-find-recipes-by.html for 15 websites to find recipes by ingredients you have.
- Inspect the Spice Rack
Consider how long you have had some of your spices. A few years probably won’t cut it. Make a list of what you have and what you need so you don’t buy duplicates and you can look for a sale or coupons.
- Inventory Baking Supplies
If you like to bake or even if you are a once-a-year baker, check out your supplies to see what needs to be refreshed. Items like baking powder and baking soda lose their effectiveness over time. So if you have had them since last November, you might want to consider replacing them. Beginning now, grocery stores will be having big sales on ingredients, so make a list and grab some coupons at www.couponmom.com. Then stock up on what you need. Think ahead on ingredients that don’t go bad. You might need sprinkles or icing for Valentine’s Day or a birthday or anniversary. And don’t forget the aluminum foil, baking spray, parchment paper and meat thermometer! Planning is the key to success!
- Have the Kids Pick through their Rooms
Have your children take a quick pass through their spaces (sometimes it is helpful if you tag along). Hand them a laundry basket and see what they can declutter in 5 or 10 minutes. This does not have to take long or become a huge project. It does give you some insight into what they really don’t like or want as well as items they may actually need (not to mention trash!).
I hope this is helpful and gets you thinking about more decluttering!