I feel like it’s mocking me. It’s laughing at me in a sinister Grinch voice. It could be really cool or really useful. But it’s not.
It’s evidence of my inability to be crafty.
Here it is:
Three years ago I made that holiday card wreath at a MOPS meeting. Our MOPS’ crafts chairwoman reassured me at that meeting, despite the fact that I had previously told my group “I’m not crafty. I’m not DIY. I’m a buy-cute-things-at-Target-kind of mom,” I made this wreath. I was parental peer-pressured into it.
And even though I love receiving and displaying holiday cards, I don’t love this holiday card display wreath. But I’ve kept it and I used it. But not anymore. This week, I’m tossing it.
Without a second thought.
We all have holiday decorations, crafts and items that we don’t cherish. They may be a chipped cookie plate or that oddball robot dog that barks Frosty the Snowman.
This week is the week that you purge your broken, unwanted or worthless holiday decorations as part of NextGen MilSpouse’s You Got This: 52 Challenges to Make 2016 Your Bitch.
Week 1 Challenge: Post-Holiday Decor Purge
Challenge Details: Set aside between 1 hour and 3 hours to purge your holiday decorations. You can donate your unwanted items to your on-base thrift store, sell them online, give them to an unsuspecting friend or simply throw them away. The choice is yours.
Your Deadline: January 11
Bonus points if you post a photo of your post-holiday décor purge on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #2016IsMyBitch.
Are you a sentimental pack-rat like me? Here are 6 tips for conducting your post-holiday décor purge.
1. Start with the stuff that never made it out of the box.
The first step in your post-holiday décor purge is to look at the stuff that never made it out of the boxes. Look at it with a critical eye and recognize that if you aren’t using it, there’s a reason why. You have permission to get rid out it. Do it. Do it now.
2. Anything that’s broken, either repair it or replace it, but don’t keep it.
Movers break things during a PCS. My children will break things. Items break and that’s OK. What’s not OK is to keep damaged items. Stuff doesn’t last forever. Either repair it or replace it, but don’t keep it.
3. Keep only your favorites.
We’ve all been to that house where the grandmother displays every single piece of homemade holiday artwork she’s ever received from her grandchildren. Every Santa. Every snowman. Every sparkling star. Every. Single. One.
Take a page out the popular The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing book by asking yourself “Does this spark joy?” when looking at your holiday items. If it doesn’t “spark joy” then it doesn’t belong in your home.
When putting away your holiday decorations, keep only items that are an absolute joy to uncover each year. Donate the rest for someone else to appreciate. Then, store your favorites right. Pack complete displays together in labeled bins, wrapped in tissue paper or bubble wrap as needed. Take inventory so you know what you need for next year, then hit post-holiday sales for good deals. Specialty storage items are often on sale right after the holidays too!
– Meryl Starr, author of The Home Organizing Workbook
4. Pick a theme and stick to it.
Maybe it’s reindeer. Maybe it’s silver and gold. Maybe it’s pine cones. It doesn’t matter what holiday décor theme you pick, just pick one and stick with it. It will streamline and simplify your holiday decorations.
5. Let go of purge guilt.
One of my favorite purge guides, The Stuff Cure: How we lost 8,000 pounds of stuff for fun, profit, virtue, and a better world, describes how some people (myself included) feel guilty about getting rid of stuff. We feel like if we get rid of that crystal sugar bowl from grandma (that we never use) that we are getting rid of her memory. But you aren’t erasing memories when you get rid of an item that you don’t like, don’t need or don’t use.
Let go off that guilt. Take a photo of the item to help you remember it. Then get rid of it so it can be used and treasured by its new owner.
6. Put a limit on your holiday storage boxes and stick to it.
Currently I have 6 giant Rubbermaid containers labeled “Christmas.” In January, I’m always tempted to get organized by buying more giant Rubbermaid containers to contain to my ever-expanding holiday décor.
Instead, I placed a limit on my Christmas decorations. Six is my magic number. I won’t have any more than 6 containers, even though I’m tempted to have 7.
If you want to be super organized, use this holiday decorations inventory worksheet from Organized Christmas. Print 2 copies. Place one completed worksheet on the outside of the storage tote, so that you know what’s inside it. Place the other in a filing cabinet, make a list on your phone or computer or keep it in your planner, so that when you are tempted to buy new holiday décor, you can see what you already have before buying more holiday decorations.
That’s it. Your Week 1 challenge.
After you accomplish this challenge, don’t forget to brag about your brilliance to your friends.
Are you ready to make 2016 your bitch? Let’s do it.