Well, it’s the last day of the year, and I’m happy to say we’ve got most of our Christmas clutter under control. It’s taken daily cleaning, tidying, and purging over the past week but it feels good.
How big was the Christmas pile?
Historically, Christmas in my family means a MOUNTAIN of gifts. Not just one or two per person, but several gifts for everyone. Full stockings, too. The stuff of dreams for a kid, but as a child of a hoarder whom also happens to be a parent, I see things differently now. It’s a lot of Christmas clutter. Don’t get me wrong. It was still a decent sized pile under the tree before my Mom and Sister added their contributions, and then there’s Santa, of course. The sheer volume wasn’t all because of my compulsive shopping and hoarding mother. I can’t blame it all on her, but her influence from my childhood certainly played a role. I just can’t seem to break the cycle, even though I’ve tried.
It took a couple hours to open everything Christmas morning. My 2 year old, Quinn, almost had a meltdown about halfway through. I think she was overwhelmed and stated “I don’t want to open any more presents.” She made it though, but I thought for sure she was going to fall to the floor with exhaustion. It would have been hard to find her again under the scraps of wrapping paper.
And the paper! Oh, the paper!! It makes me ill to think of the wastefulness of wrapping paper. I wish it was recyclable in my area. I know there are other options, like reusable gift bags and boxes, or wrapping them in fabric. I should do more of that next year. I also said that last year. In short, we filled 2 large garbage bags full of wrapping paper, and toy packaging. The bane of toy packaging deserves its own post some day.
The Other Waist
Let’s not forget about the food clutter. We had so many treats laying around, it was hard to resist grabbing one or two while walking past and eating mindlessly.
I realized I wasn’t even enjoying some of the cookies…I was just eating them because they were there. I feel a New Year’s Resolution comin’ on.
Don’t eat anything unless I truly love it and it nourishes my body or spirit.
Can you help hold me to that, readers? Did you make a resolution regarding any sort of clutter in your life?
No Vacation from Cleaning
Prior to my Mom & Sister coming to stay with us, Will and I cleaned the whole house. We tidied away whatever toys the kids had laying out around the living room, scrubbed bathrooms, stain-treated the carpet, emptied all the garbage cans, polished all the surfaces, and put holiday decorations up. It’s all the stuff we normally do, but we go a little more hardcore for special occasions. I don’t know why. Within minutes of company arriving, their luggage, bags, coats, shoes, and purses are scattered everywhere. Their dogs, their crates, and all their accessories crowd the hallways and entrances to rooms. I love my family, and we enjoy having celebrating the holidays with them, but house guests certainly add to the Christmas clutter.
The next few days were spent shuffling things around to get meals prepared. And we spent a lot of time cleaning the kitchen over and over with all the extra dirty dishes being generated. This frustration over last Christmas was the main motivator for renovating our kitchen. It was easier to spend time in the kitchen this year, but I’d still rather be playing with my kids and their new toys than do 3 loads of dishes a day.
Christmas Clutter Aftermath
To make room for the new stuff, Will & I took half a day while the kids were in day care to declutter. We went through toy boxes and their closets. We filled 6 boxes and 2 garbage bags of old, forgotten toys. The car was PACKED when we drove to the charity boxes we normally go to when we’re not expecting the Diabetes Clothesline any time soon. The charity box happened to be empty but we completely filled it with our car load. It’s a weight off my shoulders every time we do this.
Now everything has pretty much been put away. The cardboard boxes have been flattened for recycling. The new clothes have been hung. The new craft supplies have already been used or put away in the craft closet, and the toys have migrated to the kids rooms (mostly). It sure feels good to have our home sorted out again.
What was Christmas like for you? How did you spend it (if at all) with your hoarding relative or loved one? Did you exchange gifts? Did you do a big clean before AND after Christmas? And…do you have any Clutter Resolutions?