New Year’s Purge
Jan 7
Bon Appetit starts a new year with food recommendations to cleanse your system. Gyms are offering memberships and motivation to get in shape. But me? I just want you to get some crap out of the house. Which is much, much simpler than a food cleanse or joining a gym.

We've gone over this before, but you probably didn't do any closet cleaning or purging at the time. There was other stuff to do, like brushing your hair or watching G of T. Anything but closet cleaning. Now, though, you have all your holiday mess to put away. Lights, tree, decorations, candles, gifts, food, wrapping paper, cards. All of it has to go somewhere. Do you want to shove it away alongside last year's holiday detritus? If you do, years from now someone will excavate your holiday closet and measure your life in the junk you've left behind. Like tree rings or layers of pottery at an archaeological site.

Here's a thought. For everything new that came into your house this holiday, get rid of one old thing. They do not have to live in the same category of goods: if you bought more lights, you can get rid of clothes. But do it on a one-for-one basis - one string of lights for one sweater. One toy for one pair of shoes. What should you do with all this stuff you're about to get out of the house? I will tell you. Get out some boxes and label them as you go.

1. Kitchen supplies: Did you receive a Ginzu knife or a new lemon zester, an electric skillet? Are your cupboards already overflowing? Then pull out something you haven't used in a year (bread machine? juicer? waffle maker?) and put it in a box. Label it Community Warehouse.

2. Sheets and pillows and towels: Did you buy new stuff for your guest room or bath for visiting family members? What did you do with the old sheets and towels? I bet you shoved them in a closet. Get those suckers out and put them in the Community Warehouse box.

3. Clothes: Did you get some? Did your kids? One-for-one, baby. Make a stack of clothing items that no longer give you joy and take them to your favorite charity or consignment store. Or sell on eBay.

4. Electronics: People in your house received new electronics. Games, accessories, phones, readers, you name it. Do not let the old stuff pile up! Sell on eBay, donate to Free Geek, take to Green Century for recycling. This includes cords and paraphernalia. I just emailed Green Century to verify they take Christmas lights. It's a burning question.

5. CDs and DVDs: This is a really good time to pull out some of the old stuff you haven't watched in years. For example, if your kids are getting older, it's time to get rid of the old Disney movies. And, that old Disney sells. Check prices and list your stuff to make some extra ca$h. Take your CDs to Everyday Music on Burnside. I just transferred all mine to electronic form and sold about 400 CDs for approximately $200. This covered the cost of hardware for electronic storage. Not bad. You can do the same.

6. Jewelry sells, and you very likely received some or bought yourself something (because your loved ones didn't come through - again) over the holidays. Pull out what you're not wearing and list it. I'm about to list old watches. They need to go.

7. Toys: Take them to a children's charity and spread the joy. You know your kids have too much stuff, right? So move some of the old stuff on.

8. Gifts: Did you read the Marie Kondo book about tidying up? My friend Eve's favorite tidbit of wisdom from the book is about gifts. The joy of a gift is in the act of giving, not in the gift itself. Once the act of giving is over, the joy is over - unless you happen to like the gift. If you don't like it, don't keep it. Remember the joy of receiving a gift, and pass the gift itself on to someone who appreciates it. Or sell it and enjoy the money. Does this sound harsh? It's not. Harsh is keeping piles of stuff you don't like in your house for no reason.

I keep suggesting you sell on eBay. Here's why: I have sold over 40 pairs of shoes, freakish amounts of clothes, jewelry, accessories, purses, an umbrella, my old Barbies, DVDs (one for $45!). There's more, undoubtedly, and I keep stumbling across new things to sell. I recently opened a drawer that was full of un-opened Wolford tights and hose from the days when I wore such things. They are all selling on eBay quite quickly (honest-to-God eBay pic above). Actually, there is something of a bidding frenzy going on. People want those pantyhose. I had completely forgotten about that drawer. And here's the deal: There's always another drawer of stuff to sell.

OK, you ready? Open the last of the peppermint bark. Make yourself a drink. Forget about the gym. And start sorting your crap for donation, recycling, or sale. Do not build an archaeological site in your house. Your kids will thank you. You will love your new uncluttered space!
(1) Comments   | Tags: re: Ducere: Clean
 

COMMENTS

Great advice! Thanks for the motivation.

By Beth on 07/01/2016

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