The Balancing Act: Clutter Free vs The Holidays
If you are a long time reader you know that I’m a bit clutter phobic. As a result of my desire to keep my house neat and tidy I’ve purged quite a few unwanted items over the last few years and feel better every time I send a box off to goodwill. When a charity calls to ask for donations I can almost always scrounge up a box or two of unwanted items in need of a better home.
Luckily I married a man who also craves an organized home. Last Saturday after spending nearly three hours preparing and cooking freezer meals my husband decided to reorganize the kitchen cabinets. He pulled every item off the shelves, stacked them into categories, set aside those items we no longer need or want and placed the remainder of items neatly back inside.
At the end of the day we got rid of 17 wine glasses and kept only two. Funny enough we don’t even drink wine. We kept them on hand for guests, but most if not all of our friends prefer beer, so the glasses went off to the donation pile. We also got rid of eight drinking glasses that were purchased from random restaurants and establishments we wanted to remember. We realized we can remember them just fine without looking at a cup with the name on it, so they were wrapped and placed in a box too. There were also a couple of mugs, cups and other random containers that we decided could go.
Our cabinet now contains fifteen glass storage containers in small, medium, large and extra large sizes, two stacks of plates (big and small), four ball jars, eight drinking glasses, two mugs, four thermoses, three large serving bowls and one glass pitcher. These are all things that we use on a regular basis.
The misfits and unwanted items all sat in a pile on the dining room table. Among them were a couple of mugs I tend to use during the holidays. You know the type, over sized mugs with penguins and snowmen images that are just perfect for hot cocoa and marshmallows.
This got me thinking about the amount of holiday centric items I keep around the house. How many of these items actually make their way out of the box at Christmastime and how many just take up space in the basement and never see the light of day?
I certainly don’t want to get rid of all of our Christmas and holiday decorations, but I wonder how many I need to make the place feel homey and bright. Do I really need a door decoration for every occasion? Among the pile in my basement are those that read, “Welcome Spring”, “Happy Halloween” and “Merry Christmas.” I also have two Christmas wreaths and a pink heart shaped display for Valentine’s Day.
We’ve received a lot of holiday ornaments over the years, but less than half are actually hung on the tree each year. What about all those bowls and plates with Santa Clause’s picture and those perky reindeer? It seems strange to part with these things but silly to keep them on hand when they are used only once a year.
Why does the very thought of getting rid of this stuff make me feel like the biggest Scrooge? Isn’t it fun to decorate the house for the holidays? Am I taking all the joy out of it? Can I pare Christmas down to two plastic tubs; one for decorations and ornaments and the other for strings of lights for the indoor tree and outside bushes? I think I can.
I haven’t bought new items like this in years, but believe it or not I used to have a hand towel for every holiday. Seriously! I used to have a set with flags for 4th of July, pumpkins for Halloween, clovers for St. Patrick’s Day and little pink bunnies for Easter. I purged my home of those long ago and don’t feel any worse for wear for having gotten rid of them. I think it’s finally time to make a dent in the rest of my holiday centric decorations.
How about you? Do you store a lot of of holiday centric items in your home? Do you feel Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them?
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