It’s the most wonderful time to clear out! If I could include little music notes around that sentence you would know that you are supposed to sing the opener, “clear out” being in lieu of “of the year.” Okay, now go back and sing it…yay! So here’s the deal. Christmas and Hanukah are coming. I don’t think any of my Indian friends have holidays that have become commercialized with gifts. Side note: I’m not complaining. I love the spiritual and commercial aspects of the holidays. Who says we can’t have both? Kwanzaa also includes gift giving on the final day of celebration, usually January first. What does this mean for our homes in December? We are about to be bombarded with an abundance of items we formerly did not have and we now need to make room for. What does this mean for us in November? We can get our kids, spouses, and ourselves the elves on board and start clearing out now!
When my kids were young, the amount of gifts they would receive from family and friends was insane. I already had their toys on rotation, some being stored in the basement and then exchanged for ones that had been in use for a few months. Imagine what an incoming surge would do to the whole balance, which was already on the tipping point? Every November we would take some time on a Saturday morning and go through their toys. Broken ones would be discarded, outgrown ones would be passed on to the younger generation, seldom used ones would be given away as well, and then there were the ones I was fed up with. They were secretly placed in the bag to be donated when the kids weren’t looking. A little bit evil? Truth be told, they almost never missed them.
The end result was a clearer space where we could all enjoy fun, games and each other in a tidier and happier environment. Well, at least until the next onslaught of gifts would come. But gosh darn it, we were ready for it! By the time Santa and his reindeer had departed, we pretty much had a place for everything. And if we didn’t, it was still easier to clear some things out and make way for the new items because most of the things that didn’t serve us were already moved on. Even clean up on Christmas morning was easier.
As an adult, I also do this with my holiday decorations. When I pull out the decorations and go about adorning the house, I see what no longer makes my heart sing. What was passed on to me from my mom and grandma that are getting too old or never really brought me joy? What is tired, chipped, or quite frankly, should not have been bought just because it was on sale the week after Christmas for 75% off! My decorations get the once over and it keeps the space in check. I also recently did this with my fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. It makes a difference.
This year the items of choice for the kiddos are clothes. I’m going to have them go through their drawers, eliminating all that do not fit, are fiercely stained/worn/torn, or that they simply do not wear anymore. The amount of T-shirts Luke has should be illegal and I will not let him get any more until some are moved on. I transitioned two of them to the rag bin yesterday. You know that commercial where the guy shows up on a date with a god awful, massively stretched V-neck? You think to yourself, “No one in their right mind would still own that shirt and even worse, wear it on a date!” Well, Luke had one or two and yes, he would wear it on date. Bye-bye eyesores! After this weekend, drawers will be ready for new items to grace the empty spaces and less work will be needed come December, when we are in hot cocoa, hibernation mode. Ahhhh, I’m dreaming of it now.
Tomorrow is Saturday. Hop on that cocoa train, get some ready for the kids, a cuppa Joe for yourself, and hit the closet and drawers. Play some music, get the bags ready and purge to your hearts content. You, Santa, and the kids will be glad you did.