January is a month of renewal, resolutions, and generally crummy weather. After a month of extreme decorating, fevered shopping, abundant entertaining, and essential family time–our houses and our bodies feel like a tornado went through town. The extremes between the two months and the beginning of a new year lead us to resolutions because it’s the only thing that makes sense to take back control of our lives. With that in mind, let’s look at the positive ways the new year leads to new stuff.
I Love It, But Where Will I Put It?
Regardless of which December holiday you celebrate, you most likely received gifts from family and friends. If you have children, you may have more new items than old! While it’s a joy and blessing to receive gifts, January has come and now it’s time to find a place for the new stuff. As you find homes for the new, you inevitably find a lot of cleaning and organizing that needs to be done along the way. Don’t be overwhelmed! All you need is an organized plan of attack. Grab some boxes (or whatever else you can find) and divide items out by which room they go in. Put each box in its appropriate room and then tackle rooms one by one.
But Every Room in this House is a Hot Mess!
So, you’re ready to put items away and you discover that there’s no room, it’s unorganized, or the dust is one inch thick. Don’t despair, and don’t give up on your healthy resolutions to just curl up in the fetal position on the sofa with candy! Just take things one room at a time…however long it takes. I’m gonna date myself here and reference the television show, Clean Sweep. Hopefully you won’t need to do this outside on tarps, but the idea is the same–sort all that room’s stuff into keep, trash, and give. Be realistic about what to keep. Those jeans from middle school that are six sizes smaller are only making you feel bad about yourself; and that three-year-old sweater you’ve never worn might actually be appreciated by someone else.
Once you sorted it all out, find a place for your give items (maybe some large boxes in the basement), and throw away the trash. Now clean the room to whatever level you want/need. I don’t have a lot of time for deep cleaning throughout the year, so I do it all at once–dust, clean windows, vacuum hidden crevices, wipe down the walls, touch up paint, and replace light bulbs. If you’re happy with just wiping down the dust and running the vacuum, that’s cool too. Now you’re ready to move the new items in and mark one room as done! Repeat as necessary.
Time to Update?
As I go through each room, I often find that something needs repairing or updating. I make note of these items as I clean, but I don’t let it derail me from the task at hand. When I’m done with all the rooms, or just need a change, I’ll fix the things I can and shop for the replacement items needed. (This is when gift cards are the bomb!) You may be thinking it’s ridiculous to even consider shopping when your original problem was having more stuff come into the house. However, a trip to the Container Store can help you improve organization (especially if you have a smaller house with lots of people, like me).
Also, you have to replace torn sheets, lifeless pillows, and grungy towels at some time, and the best time actually is January. White sales have been around forever, well since John Wanamaker created this sales event in 1878. Of course, a lot has changed since then. The original white sale was specifically for white bed linens because business was slow. Today’s white sales include most home goods. While it’s smart for retailers in a month of dreadful sales, it’s also smart for you since some of these things simply need replacing from time to time. (And why not do it when it’s on sale???)
So, the new year leads to new stuff–and we can celebrate that. The crummy weather has kept you inside and on track. I hope you come through January with a home that is cleaner and more organized. Good luck on any other resolutions and have an outstanding 2016!