Fourth Thursdays with Deb J ~ Decluttering for the New Year

Deb J

Deb J

It’s the day after Christmas. It will soon be the 2014. What are some things you can declutter before the New Year begins? It’s a busy time of year. Holidays mean company, cooking, presents, and so many other extra things. Do you even have time to think about this let alone do anything? Take some time with your spouse, family, &/or significant other, if you can, to think ahead.

Here are a few examples:

1. Before putting away all the Christmas decorations, declutter those you did not use this year.

2. Did you get some gifts that you really do not want? Declutter them.

3. How can you streamline life better this year? Prioritize, eliminate, keep.

4. What things do you want to do as a family in 2014? How can you plan them into your schedule? Get out the calendar and schedule them now as much as possible.

5. Make a list of things you did in 2013, for Christmas, for birthdays, etc. that worked and those that did not. On the 2014 calendar mark a reminder to help you do the things that worked.

6. Can you cut back on your list of people to receive cards or gifts?

7. What major decluttering goals do you have for 2014? Plan how to get everyone on board and when to do it.

8. Do not forget to think about emotional and mental decluttering.

I am sure you can think of additional examples. The idea is to look at the past for things that caused life to be cluttered and got in the way. Next, look at what you want for the future. Finally, decide how to make things more like what you want to see. Good luck.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. First of all, Happy Christmas! :)

    I am really excited to keep decluttering and simplifying in 2014 – I have already set aside 50+ items to go.

    My two big resolutions for 2014 are to declutter/simplify and to reduce the amount of time I spend online, if I can manage these two, all the other things I want to achieve in 2014 should fall into place.

    I look forward to continuing to read 365 in the new year :) Until then, have fun everyone! :)

    • Hi Jane T, it sounds like you are well on your way to a nice decluttered 2014. Well done. I know what you mean about spending less time online. That sure can free up some time for other pursuits. I dare say I will be online just as much but a little less worthless game playing on my cellphone would have a similar effect.

      Have a great 2014.

    • Happy New Year Jane T! You have some good resolutions there. I know what you mean about cutting down time online. I seem to not get that done much. I seem to be spending more and more time on here working on insurance disputes for my mom. If I didn’t have things like that I would be able to spend a lot less time online. At least I don’t have to spend as much time on the phone or in person with these places. Have a great 2014.

  2. I admit, I’m not really thinking ahead in terms of decluttering for 2014. It seems to come natural at this point, so I’m not going to stress too much about it. When I learned my son was coming home for the holidays, I went up to make his bed. The one set of sheets I pulled out – I realized I did not like them and they had never quite fit his bed right. I had another brand new set of sheets (bought within the last 6 months or so), so I put those on the bed and put the other set in my donate bag (which I have been working to fill). They won’t get replaced – I’ll just have to wash the set on his bed if worst case scenario happens. Then early this morning I walked in my husbands office and tripped on a pile of cds (put there by me, because they were questionable as to keeping). I finally sat down right there and went through them, saving only a small pile (that was put away) and the rest were deposited in the donate bag. As long as I keep up little things like that, I’ll be good to go. If I make any goals, it would be to finally get rid of the extra set of bedroom furniture in the basement. Its been there sooooooo long – I don’t hardly see the three large pieces anymore. It will force me to deal with some other things (like emptying dresser drawers, going through piles on or around the furniture, etc.) – so one baby step at a time.

  3. Michaela, it looks like you are already keeping things in mind that you want to do. Good for you.

  4. Happy Christmas and New Year Deb J and to all!
    I have been decluttering a lot this past month. I removed a huge room divider that was between the living and dining room. It was a built in divider from the 70′s. Now the living and dining looks much more modern and spacious. It now looks beautiful. With it went a lot of extras that were there. I achieved a minimalist look using the same furniture, just by removing the divider, and a few extras. I’m doing a room at a time. I’m almost 60, so its time to live with less housework. Happy New Year to all!!! And Happy Decluttering 2014!!!

    • Marie L, it looks like you have been doing a good job of your one room at a time change up. I can just imagine how much better things look without that divider. Happy New Year. Hope your Christmas was a good one.

  5. Good post Deb J – at the end of an event I like to jot a few notes of what worked well and what didn’t so that next time I can adjust things next time.

    I have my work cut out for me on the decluttering front at the moment, painting resumes tomorrow and the ‘out’ pile in the garage seems to keep growing as we get further around the house. I heard we will be having visitors in the New Year so I’m hoping I can clear some of it before then or at least have it looking less like a bit heap.

    • Moni, yoiu are smart to have that list. Good luck with the painting and decluttering. It’s a pain now but what a great ending you will have. Good luck also with the big pile in the garage.

    • Hi Moni,
      I’m also painting. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room! Good luck with your projects. It sounds like you’re off to an industrious start!

      • Melissa – yes a fresh coat is lovely, but it has highlighted the carpet which needs updating and we can’t bear to put the old curtains back up either (they came with the house but unfortunately are ‘good quality’ but the colours are a real down-buzz) – so I’m off to look at curtain samples. Mind you it was buying a new sofa that brought to my husband’s attention that the walls were looking drab.

        I’m a bit tired of the dust, every night I dust and vacuum – I know I shouldn’t bother and do it every 2nd or 3rd day – but its got to come to an end sooner or later, right? We’re starting to appreciate to how much easier this was when we lived in a tiny house.

        • Moni it sounds like you are suffering from mission creep! If I’m not careful I do this all the time. One change makes me want to do another and another. I have to keep myself in check or I forget to appreciate what I have and I keep thinking about ‘what still needs to be done.’ Enjoy the newly painted room and the nice new sofa! I’m sure nobody but you notices the carpet and you’ll change that out when you can. :) Good luck with the curtain shopping.

          Did you move into your current house recently? The house we’re moving to is on the small side (but plenty big for our needs). It has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It’s an older home so I have to be very careful with keeping mission creep at bay! There’s always one more project I ‘could do.’ lol.

          • Melissa – we have lived here for eight years but have never really felt settled, we brought before the recession and as it was only a year old and pretty close to asking price we didn’t want to invest in changes. In hindsight we should have built and done the decor and landscaping to suit us. Unfortunately at the time we didn’t have the extra time and the developer didn’t have anything “on the plans” to meet our requirements until they opened up the next stage a year later and we needed to stay in zone for the school our kids went to.

            This year we put our original home that we kept as a rental on the market and it recently went unconditional. We decided to bring our house up to spec and see if we feel settled or failing that put it on the market and start over. Either way the house is due for a spruce up.

            Yes you are right, one thing seems to set off a domino effect. It happens with decluttering and decorating and probably most things.

  6. For years my project between Christmas and New Year’s Eve has been to “clean my desk” inside and out. During this week I tackle everything from year end budget review to preparing a new calendar to finishing Christmas correspondence and, of course, getting rid of a lot of papers. I have been able to start each year with a clean slate in this most important area, a grand feeling! This year I think that I will schedule other areas of the house in the same manner. It might be the best way for me to “get a round to it”.

    • Marilyn, I do the same thing. Doesn’t it give you a good feeling? Good luck with adding in new areas. I love new challenges.

    • Marilyn – my computer desk got moved out of our ‘kid’s lounge’ (its more of an extension of the kitchen but big enough for a two seater couch and tv etc) while painting is underway and each member of the family has individually asked me if we could re-house the desk elsewhere in the house. They would be able to centre the tv along the wall, and fully open the door that leads out to the rest of the house, at the moment my desk is against the door-stop-thingee. I was surprised because my 18 year old son was the first to mention it, and he’s not really interested in decor. I suspect he’s more interested in having the tv centred than minimalism but said my desk always reminds him of work and it would be nice to this little lounge looking like the bigger lounge. To be honest, I use this lounge more often than I use the big lounge as it has the heat pump/air con unit, handy to the kitchen and it has the Tivo for recording programmes. And yeah it had my desk and computer. My daughter has suggested I use the laptop or iPad (I’d have to pry it off the teenagers). So I need to think about where I can relocate the desk to as an experiment and how I would re-invent my ‘general management’ location. I’m told that a lot of young couples/young families don’t have a pc, they manage with a laptop or smart phones and have never had a dedicated location for a household office. So its probably time I evolved but there is a part of me that feels a bit ‘mentally dislocated’.

      You and Deb J sound like like-minded people when it comes to a desk situation – how would approach my challenge? The obvious place for me to relocate my desk would be to the garage but at the moment it is full of furniture and household items while we are painting, and when that has been cleared, I would have to find some space along the wall which would mean eliminating either the fridge & freezer or two storage cupboards – these were always on the to-do list but I envisaged this being at a later time.

      • Moni, it sounds like you do have a dilemma. I think the first thing you might want to do is decide which of the items in the garage would be quickest to get rid of–the fridge/freezer or the cupboards. Or is there some other way you could work it into the garage for a short time? The next step would be to figure out what in the desk is really important and how would you accomodate those items. Last would be to consider a way, like a tablet, to use for your computing purposes. I have been looking at what all I use my laptop for. I do little with pictures any more. I have decluttered my life to the files to where I have very little I hang onto. So do I need the laptop? Can my Kindle provide me with everything I need? I’m really trying to think it all out and come up with what will work best. I think that in the end I will have a iPad or something like that and that is all.

        • Deb J – right now today there is no space in the garage as we have the contents of the girl’s rooms in the garage so we can prep their rooms for painting, other furniture and contents of rooms that are under way, the ‘out’ pile, the drapes & curtain tracks, and already two other pieces of furniture that we are undecided about. I’m sure I will figure something out eventually once things return to normal but its a bit chaotic at the moment.

          I have been giving some thought to my options on the storage cupboards or the fridge and freezer – it was always in the eventual plan, just being brought forward and out of order to the mastsr plan. I’m going to let it rattle around in my head and see what bubbles to the surface.

          If the computer desk moves to the garage, I imagine I will figure it out. Sometimes we are so used to something being done a certain way that we don’t consider that there are other possibilities or new ideas. For example it has occured to me that there is a power point on the outside side wall of the hall cupboard, I could get a power point put on the inside of the cupboard and turn it into a computer nook or just get a wireless printer that lives in this cupboard (plugged into this new power point) – my current printer is usb and if we want to print from the laptop we have to crawl under the desk, unplug it, plug in the laptop and then return it to the computer afterwards.

          My main worry is that I uploaded our cd’s to iTunes on our computer and I’m not sure what I would do about that. I would also need to reconfigure some devices such as iPods and iPhones and Kobo’s etc I’m not very technically minded so this will be a rather lengthy process for me.

          • Ugh! Lots of decisions and moving around and all that. Plus messing up your Master Plan. I hope you figure it all out. The configuring sounds complicated. I don’t plan to get rid of my laptop as I am using it for storage too. But I hope to eventually use it less so have it stored and only get it out when I need too. I don’t have any other computer but the laptop so I have my photos and music on it.

  7. Good ideas Deb! My 2014 will start with finally moving. :) We think it will happen the 2nd or 3rd week of January. After that the goal is to set up in the new home and that means getting rid of things that don’t work in the new place as we unpack. I’m not sure how long this will take but I figure as long as we’re diligent about it, things will come together. The next few weeks will be busy with painting a few rooms in the new home when there is time after work or on the weekends.

    • Melissa, I’m excited for you. Moving is such a BIG job but being able to set things up the way you want and declutter as you are doing it is wonderful. Good luck with it all.

      • Thanks for your well wishes! I am looking forward to the move. We’ve been working towards this for what feels like forever! lol. This move will put us so much closer to work and is a free standing house where we won’t have to share a wall like we do now in our duplex. It does come with a lot more yard work than what we currently have, but I think I’m okay with that. In summer I may revisit those thoughts and consider hiring help. lol.

        • Melissa – exciting a new home. I read about duplex houses and was entrigued by the idea, but it will be nice to have your own space.

          • Hi Moni- Duplexes aren’t all bad. Like most things, there are upsides and downsides of it. On the upside, I really think it helps keep our utility bills lower because half of our house is insulated by our neighbor’s home. Also it means we do not have any windows on one side of our house because of the shared wall, which also cuts down on heating and cooling costs I think. It’s probably a bit more secure as well since you have a neighbor so close who is going to look after your property. On the downside, you share a wall which means some sound is going to travel so you have to be mindful of how loud you are playing music (I have to remember this so I don’t blast our poor neighbors). We are lucky and have had very nice neighbors as wall mates. It also means that your yard is going to be smaller because the two houses are sharing a property boarder right up to the edge of the home…which is either an up or a downside depending on how you feel about large yards.

            The main reason we are moving is to cut our commute down. Yay to decluttering our commute! :) It will be going from 23 miles to 8. I can’t wait!

        • It sounds like a nice place you are moving to. I know how nice it is to get rid of that shared wall too.

          • Deb, I know you have mentioned that you like your home to be bright and full of natural light which of course is a problem in a duplex since there is a whole wall without any windows.

            The new house is a lot older than our duplex (61 years older!) so it will be a different experience for us. I love the designs of the older homes and the neighborhoods tend to be closer to interesting things.

          • Melissa, the problem we had with the duplex was the shared wall. It wasn’t too bad but that was because we had a good neighbor. We shared a common bedroom wall.

          • We share a bedroom wall too! Isn’t that a strange design?

          • Melissa, yes it is strange. To me you should only share the garage or carport areas. The real strange thing is that builders of duplexes and apartments don’t put up sound barrier walls between units. I know the reason is money but it sure would help. I don’t think that the cost would be that prohibitive if spread over time in the rent.

  8. I’m spending my first vacation in five months, and really enjoy the not doing anything at all. Still I already packed one unwanted gift into the donation bag and am thinking about what to do with another one… Decluttering has really become a habit by now, it seems!
    Over here, we don’t un-decorate so early after christmas and since I don’t own that many christmas-themed things anyway, I will pack them all some time next january, decorations as well christmas-themed wrapping paper and whatever tidbits there may be, to unpack them again in november or december and donate the surplus things to charity then. This has become a habit for me by now and I like how quickly those things sell in the beginning of advent. Mostly my donations are presents from the year before as well, because it seems I can’t stop people from giving me christmas-themed mugs or candles, no matter what. As it’s probably less than a shoebox full, I don’t mind holding onto it for a few months until it can be sold by charity instead of throwing it away now.
    I like your focus on decluttering chores and obligations and will ponder on that a bit.

    Happy New Year you all!

    • Sanna, I can see how you would want to do nothing while enjoying a vacation from work. We don’t undecorate until January either. But, after decorating things we saw that there were some things we no longer want. Then someone gave mom 6 strings of white tree lights that we don’t want so will get rid of them. We will hang onto them though until next November before giving them to Goodwill. that way they won’t have to store them as they don’t really have storage for out of season things. We recieved no gifts so will not have to declutter any. We have a good start.

      • Deb J – consider listing those lights on freecycle (if your mum would be ok with donating) you’d be surprised how many people are thinking ahead already (I went to the boxing day sales and fairy lights and decorations were hot items) – otherwise consider the women’s refuge centre, or even a photographer as they are often used props for special lighting.

        • Moni, these are some great ideas. Hum! I wonder about wedding places too as many people now use the white twinkle lights as part of their decorations.

          • Deb J – perfect idea! A few of my daughter’s friends have all taken to decorating their rooms with the white twinkle lights, if we lived closer I could easily distribute them for you, but yes an event centre would be ideal OR a high school for the prom or school ball.

      • Deb J, you’re lucky that people actually get that you don’t need more stuff. (although you got strings of light, so maybe it doesn’t work 100% for you either)
        I got mostly things I was happy to receive (gift cards I will definitely use, money, home-made cookies etc.), but I still receive a couple of utterly “wrong” gifts each year. This year including really nice christmas mugs which I actually like, but 1. they’re mugs and we have more than enough cups and mugs already and 2nd christmas themed, limiting their usefulness even more. Also a probably not cheap necklace that isn’t my style at all and a “gift book” – one of those books filled only with pictures and “nice” sayings and quotes. I like books but not that kind, so it already is in the donation pile.

        • Sanna, I think Mom only took the lights because she didn’t know what to do. So out they go. I have always wondered why people give holiday oriented gifts? I know people who use only Christmas plates and other things during December but many don’t and that is not a gift I would give. But then I tend to give gifts that are oriented toward the likes of the receiver. I’m proud of you that you didn’t let receiving the gifts from someone prevent you from getting rid of them. None of that “what will they think if they don’t see them around” kind of thinking.

  9. Thank you for the motivation, Deb! I’m feeling ready to get going with the after-Christmas clean up. We will leave the tree up a few more days, but there are toys everywhere that need homes and that means some old ones will come off the shelves. I am thankful that the grandparents got nice gifts for my chidren – as overwhelmed as we ALL are by the added stuff. It’s funny, when I asked them to clean up after playing at the end of the day, they said they didn’t have a place to put it all. So they put everything back into stockings or a box or on to a flat surface (ack you know how I feel about that one!). A charity shop is doing pick ups tomorrow; so I have been really excited about this and bagging up anything that can go. I will do a final sweep of the decorations and Christmas bin, and if there is anything we didn’t enjoy or use this year, it will go. The really hard part is the children needing to get rid of things. I should have worked with them more before Christmas to make space on the shelves. Now it will be finding out what they enjoy most out of all the stuff. I can already see they are overwhelmed and the things that have lasting value vs. 5 minutes of fun.

    • Angela, it sounds like you have a good start on getting rid of the year end clutter. Toys are such a BIG issue. It seems like there are aleays more toys than the kids can play with. Yet, most kids are glad to give them away. A friend asked her son what he thought he was done with. He said, “Mom, can I give everything away but what I got this year and my trucks?” She was only too glad to let him.

  10. Deb, I forgot to say that my big declutter plan now is to work through MY cabinets, shelves and drawers-all the hidden stuff. I have a lot of crafts and art supplies that we enjoy as a family, and I was looking for some really nice colored chalk to make decorations right before Christmas. I know the are in one of two cabinets that are so neatly organized, but they are so full, I did not have the time to find the container with the chalk I wanted. So I used some other chalk I found first. This is such a shame to have so much nice stuff hidden away that it can’t even be enjoyed. I got a Filofax recently, and I have made a list of all the decluttering that I want to do room by room. I have broken down the list in to tiny steps I can do each day. It encompases everything I want to do, but the first focus is on the hidden spots; one shelf at a time!

    • Angela, wow! It sounds like you really have planned out your decluttering. What I think is really smart is how you have put it in small steps you know you can get done after work. Congratulations! Hope it all works really good.

      • Deb, this is so exciting! Usually, going in spurts of major rapid decluttering is what ends up happening here, but I have learned here that what I really need is to just do some every day-and something small. It is much less exhausting and will provide quicker results! Now that the big obvious clutter is all gone, I need the written reminder to just do one thing each day. It is going well so far! We got the toys all purged and put away, but I am asking my children to find more things to pass along to make more room for fun in our lives. Hopefully I will set the right example so it is just natural to them soon. I already see that they like to have uncluttered spaces. It’s my job to show them how.

        • Angela, I like your statement “to make more room for fun in our lives.” I think this is great. That’s what I want to do.

  11. I am getting ready to paint and reorganise my “laundry cupboard”, but there will be some de-cluttering in there too. The very small space does not work well for me at the moment, and I have been slowly pondering improvements. I like taking my time over things like this instead of rushing out and buying storage “solutions” that often don’t work any better than what they are replacing. Happy New Year everyone!

    • Laura, you have your work cut out for you but it all sounds great. Don’t you just love a nice newly painted area? There’s just something about it that always makes me happy and smiling.

    • Laura, you’ve got that right! Today I went to Home Depot to get a replacement latch for our screen door and the whole front of the store was a big display of plastic bins – big bins, little bins, clear bins, colorful bins, bins with wheels, bins with latches! What I really do not need is more bins! ;) What I need is less stuff! I’ve been working a little this weekend and am getting more pleased with my progress. I recycled 40+ old magazines yesterday and we moved a couple of more things out to the shed, which is their proper home.

      Deb J – oh indeed a fresh coat of paint can really change the feeling of a space!

  12. Excellent post, Deb J. Yesterday I spent several hours in the attic reorganizing decorations, linens, craft items, etc, until I burned out. I think it might look worse! Darn. I started a new donation pile, which is good. I went through the bin with the linens and am going to donate several old sheets and towels to the cat rescue and that is also good. But the way I moved things around might not be as good (functional?) as I had thought. A whole bunch of gross craft paints are going to the local household haz-mat recycling. I also put a bunch of items back in their proper home, the tool shed. I don’t know why I’m so frustrated with this process. Ugh.

    Last year I read one of Peter Walsh’s books. One of the chapters covered paper clutter, like old bills or checks or old newspapers. I have approximately 8 boxes (that hold 10 reams of copy paper) filled with old documents, newspaper clippings, medical info, insurance info, family announcements and on and on. I went through every box and only got rid of maybe one box. It has been a year and I’ve not had to go back searching for a single document. I reckon that means it is way past time to do it again and make those appropriate decisions now. ;)

    Thanks for the super decluttering suggestions!

    • Michelle, I can see why you would get burnt out trying to work in the attic. Those places seem to just seem to gather more and more stuff and yet when you rearrange it and even declutter some it doesn’t look any better. At least you got some work done up there.

      Paper is a real pain. For a paperless society (ha) we sure aren’t there yet. I am so tired of hanging on to all that tax stuff. But I’m glad to say that I only have that and a few other important documents to keep. I love having so little paper any more.

  13. What a great post, Deb! Love your thought-provoking questions and I’m more inspired than ever to “keep up the good work”. Thank you very much for your contributions.

  14. I think my de-cluttering plans for 2014 include a complete reorganisation of our attic. A lot of my husbands things are stored up there in chaotic fashion. I would like to sort out what is there and store more ‘like with like’. That way, when he is ready I can gently suggest a few things he could consider de-cluttering.
    In the short term we also have a several small piles of books from a recent clear out we need to get out of the house to the local 2nd hand bookstore.
    We didn’t exchange any presents this year with anyone or each other so nothing to declutter :)

    • Doodle, good luck with organizing (and eventually decluttering) the attic. I hope once the organizing is done your husband will take one look and say “Why did I keep all of this stuff? Let’s get rid of it all.”

    • Doodle – I have been chipping away at our ceiling storage since I began decluttering and its finally reached a point that I think is acceptable, everything still up there is either useful, seasonal or hasn’t passed its ‘expiry date’ ie camping gear, we still have kids at home. There is few bits and pieces up there that could go now but it is too hot in the summer to be up there, so I’ve put it on the calendad for Autumn.

      I think you have the right idea to put like with like. It made it easier for me to get my hubby to agree to getting rid of things as we were able to see exactly what we had, duplicates etc

  15. There is still painting to be done around here and that is on the list of “to do” things and I have already compiled a few bags of decluttered items to take to the donation center. The time after Christmas and before the new year is a great time to declutter so that you can start the new year on a fresh slate. I usually do a good purge of the kid’s rooms, with their help, since they get some clothes as gifts and it allows for less worn items to be donated. I am also getting rid of more decorations, as I have come to find that less is more on the decorating front. Best wishes to everyone in the new year!

  16. I like the idea of reasessing what worked and what didn’t during 2013. I’ve pretty much kept on top of my decluttering as I’ve been doing it for years but there are a few little things I needed to deal with.

    I stopped participating in the birthday present-giving with 7 of my girlfriends and the world didn’t collapse and we’re still friends (though one friend admitted that she wasn’t happy about it but we agreed to disagree).

    I usually buy my kids a BIG stack of books for Christmas, but this year I toned it down by 1/2 and they didn’t feel deprived :-)

    I’ve decluttered one big bulky Christmas decoration already, and am holding on to several books to donate to the primary school Fete in February 2014, even though I’m itching just to dump them at the op shop.

    Fortunately my kids don’t grow very fast so all their summer clothes (not that we’ve really had a summer yet!) still fit so they don’t need anything new.

    I’m not buying any more wool or craft stuff until I finish my current projects. I got a LOT of UFO’s finished this year and feel very pleased with myself.

    Happy new year everyone! And thanks for all your posts Deb, they are great.

    • Loretta, I’m glad you like my posts. Thanks. It looks like you are on top of things. I think it is great that you have so many items you are crossing off your list. Have a great 2014.

  17. This post is very timely…I have been more aware of the amount of decorations we have this Christmas than ever before! I managed to “gift” 1 whole bin of stuff as prizes at work for a party, I also did not unpack 2 bins of items…so clearly there are more things I really don’t need to keep in there!
    We are planning on downsizing our housing space in a year or two, and I have big plans to spend 2014 de-cluttering deeply! Its been about 2 years I have been on this minimizing journey, but with the idea to move to a smaller house, the urgency seems so much stronger.
    We have been in our 2000 sq ft house for 6 years, so you can well imagine the amount of stuff we have accumulated.
    The hardest part is convincing my hubby to join me on the bandwagon…he is definitely more of a shopper and hoarder. I am more of the spendthrift and minimalist.
    In January at work we are collecting donations for the local Cat Shelter thrift store so I have a deadline of Jan 12th as my first sweep of New Year de-cluttering begins!
    My biggest goal for 2014 is to clear out the garage so I can park 1 car in there, and have a gym set up on the other side!

    • Sher, welcome to 365 Less Things. Wow! Being able to “gift” a whole tub of things and maybe 2 more is great. I bet that felt good. Sorry your husband isn’t as on board as you are to get rid of things but we will hope that as he sees you doing it he will see the need and the benefits. Many times that works. Isn’t it amazing how no matter how hard you try things seem to creep in and fill your place up? I know there will be at least one more move for us when the time comes we need to move into assisted living or something like that . I am trying to work toward getting us ready for that and Mom is beginning to see the light. Have a great New Year’s and a great 2014.

  18. Hi Deb J – great post. I got mostly consumable gifts this year but also yet another mug (!) from one relative who gives me so many! I have packed a bag up of all the chocolates, biscuits and the mug and am giving them today to a family with young children. I don’t need the clutter on my hips! Luckily my DH agrees!

    Our Christmas decorating is limited to just one small fake tree with built in laser tip lights (brilliant – no strings of lights to contend with) and a few decorations. I actually used a few of my least favourite ones as embellishments on gifts! I usually leave the tree up till 5th January (12 days of Christmas) but am considering taking it down today. I feel like a fresh start.

    Well done on your articles, you write well. Happy New Year to you and your mom!

    • Janetta, I’m glad you like my posts. I enjoy helping Colleen. I love the way you are passing along the chocolates and biscuits. I don’t need things like that cluttering my hips either. We have been talking about taking down all of the decorations but the small tree that we put on a table. We are sort of enjoying it there. But it will definitely come down on New Year’s day or the day after. have a great New Year’s.

  19. When I first left home I had a small box (about the size of a six bottles of wine case) that held all my Christmas decorations. Thirty three years later I have considerably more. Granted I have a slightly larger house but even so we don’t use them all. In fact many of our decorations are garlands made from foliage from our woods so just get burned in the fire or composted at the end of Christmas. So decoration declutter is definitely in order this year. But I can’t take them down yet. They have to stay up until Twelfth Night :)

    Did you know that traditionally the decorations didn’t go up in Advent but on Christmas Eve (nor were carols sung in church until Christmas Day) and they stayed up through Christmas and Epiphany. Our Cathedral keeps the crib and tree until the end of Epiphany. I rather like it.

    • Gillie, I’m glad you have decided to declutter some Christmas decorations once Twelfth Night is over. Yes, I did know that the trees and things started on Christmas Eve. So many things have changed over the years and I’m don’t like all of the changes. I do like decorating after Thanksgiving because that makes the month of December more anticipatory of Christ’s birth.

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