If my Facebook and Twitter feeds are to be trusted, most of my friends are bummed that Christmas is over and 2014 is here. There’s a lot of post-holiday crashing going on — no more parties, peppermint bark, shiny presents, family visits, or Elf marathons.
But I have a confession. We’re moving into my favorite time of year.
Yes, I’m the crazy girl who loves the middle of winter. (Take that with a grain of salt, though — I live in Northern California, so our “winter” temperatures are in the 50s and 60s.). I love bleak and rainy days. I love boots and scarves and snuggles and hot cocoa.
And I especially love the new year and the fresh beginnings.
While I haven’t made any “official” new year’s resolutions, I do want to live more simply this year. Ryan and I are planning on starting a family in the next year or two, and I want to make space — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual space. It’s time to de-clutter and give us more room to breathe. I’m calling it a life more simple.
The Post-Christmas Purge
As I put away our Christmas decorations on New Year’s day, I grabbed a trash bag and a box for donations. I really thought about each and every thing that I was putting back into storage for the year. My more rustic ornaments made the cut and went into storage.
Everything that didn’t make it went into the donation box or the trash bag. I also cleaned out the plastic bins (good Lord, glitter) and consolidated where I could so it would take up (much) less space in our attic.
Here’s how I did it:
Unlike many newly married couples, we already have a full tree’s worth of ornaments — that’s what you get when you get married in your 30s! My mom has been giving me an ornament or three a year since I was young, all of them shaped like food (guys, my tree is amazing). Plus I usually pick up and ornament wherever I travel. Add in ornaments given to us as gifts, and our stout tree, Gus, was fully decked out this Christmas.
But there were quite a few ornaments that didn’t make it on the tree. If it’s broken, ugly, or not my style — basically, if I don’t love it — it’s now in the donate box or trash bag.
Like my Christmas ornaments, there were quite a few Christmas decorations that never made it into my house this year. And if I’m honest, they haven’t made it into my house in several years. Many of these were hand-me-downs from various family members and friends that just don’t fit my style or that cause too much of a Glitter Disturbance in the Force.
I thought about how I want my home to look during the holidays: simple, rustic, outdoorsy, gold, silver, white, neutral, a little glam. I’m not a particularly sentimental person, so getting rid of the, um, Russian Orthodox priest (?) nutcracker wasn’t a problem. If it doesn’t fit the vision — it’s now in the donate box or trash bag.
We didn’t get a ton of presents, which I’m more than fine with (we were gifted some Christmas money, though — guess who’s getting a new kitchen in early 2014!!). I love the things we got, but I wanted to make sure that I was getting rid of as much (if not more) than we were taking in.
I got six new books, so ten go into the donation box. I tossed in my old snow pants because Ryan got me a cool new pair that actually fits (I can’t believe the old pair fit at one point — I’m so much healthier now than I was in college!). A couple new board games replace some we don’t play anymore. Drank a whole bottle of wine to make room for a new bottle (okay, that didn’t actually happen. But I wouldn’t put it past me!)
And so it went, until my donation box was full. It really does feel good to have less now than I did on December 24!
“There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” — C.S. Lewis
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