Friday, December 2, 2011

Preparing the Home for Christmas...Michelle-style :)

I hate to disappoint, but this won't be a tutorial on how to hang your stockings with care, or how to trim your tree well enough to land a page in Country Living. No, no. I've got far more important matters to discuss. I apologize for having been scarce the last few weeks. We've been busy!

Pre-Thanksgiving I get a little bah-humbig-ish about Christmas. Mostly the part about my kids getting presents. I look in their closets and the toy room and think, "There is no way we are bringing anything else into this house." I don't even want to give them anything.  I want to send an e-mail to their grandparents telling them to donate to Orphans in Ecuador rather than give my children gifts. They have enough. Then my heart softens and I do what always makes me feel better: {Donating to orphans in Ecuador is still a very good option} Open every drawer and closet and find things to give away to charity to make room for incoming matter that will be here before we know it.

My 4 year-old daughter picked up on my frantic need to rid the house of unnecessaries. She joined me on a crusade through the house one afternoon even. She parted with this, this and this, among many other toys and books.  I was shocked. She informed me there were sick children in the hospital that needed them more than she. I may have wiped a tear from my cheek. I'd say in the last 8 weeks we've donated an entire van's worth of stuff. Like the kind of van that has NO seats in it except for the driver's seat. It was awesome.

Make your season a little brighter and someone else's and purge!

A few questions you can ask yourself:
1. When was the last time I wore/used this?
2. How long have I had it?
3. Will I be using this in the near future? (Be honest with yourself here. And truly guys, there are only so many white elephant parties you'll be going to this year).

Stop yourself before you want to say:
1. But I spent a fortune on this!
2. But I got this for SUCH a steal!

It doesn't matter. There is nothing quite so beautiful as empty space. Seriously.

If you really think some of your stuff indeed has value, definitely consider selling it. In fact, just when I thought I was done ridding my house of unused items, I was confronted with two realities when the Christmas bins and boxes were in the living room. One, I was in love with another Christmas Tree. Living .25 miles from Costco it was hard to keep my distance from it. I finally decided to break up with my old tree and sell it on KSL. It sold in 3 hours.  I bought my new tree that same night and felt pleased with my decision. The second reality I faced was this beautiful garland that once hung over my fireplace in Chicago now needed to go. I loved it, but hadn't used it in 2 Christmases. It was one of those things I thought I would set up but never did. So up on KSL it went. It didn't sell nearly as quickly as the tree, but still in less than a week. I now am relinquished of all feelings of guilt. No more garland to feel bad about not putting up for Christmas.

Farewell garland and tree. :)

Go on.  You can be strong. Parting with stuff can be a bit emotional and even painful for some. Start somewhere small and before you know it, you'll be running through the house wondering what else you can give away because it gives you such a rush.

Upcoming: Gifting made easier.  A little, anyway.

Happy December 2nd!


Julia said...

Thanks so much for this post Michelle, it is the kick in the pants I need. I'm going through the toy room today.

bookette said...

I just have to tell you...I was inspired by this post and started (again) to purge things from my home. I was slowed down a bit in Jan, but kept going, and I've been so happy every time I take another huge lawn/leaf bag of stuff to DI. Because, really, if I haven't worn that pink turtleneck even once in the last 20 years, why should it continue to take up space?