Today, I decided to go back in time and review our Organizers NW blogs of the past. I came across this gem blog post (Giving and Getting Decluttered) from 2013 that pretty much sums up exactly what I want to say about organizing every year during the holidays.
As mentioned in that blog, part of gift-receiving is also about giving away old and unused gifts from years past in preparation for the new. This can be especially difficult for children to understand, but it is an important part of staying organized and keeping your home decluttered! It is also a great skill to pass on to our children (as opposed to purging toys without their permission). As Ann Landers said, “it’s not what we do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings”.
A great frame of mind for this process is to keep and hold the energy of benevolence toward others as you review household items. By giving away items that no longer serve and soothe you, you are allowing those less fortunate to really benefit from something they truly need. This concept, contrasted directly against your rationale for keeping it, will help to put the true need of the item in perspective. It is also a great frame of reference for reviewing items with children and teaching them how to be giving, and to let go.
The Declutter-your-home Checklist
In that spirit, I wanted to provide an easy list of items to start with. These are things that you might easily review and purge, without too much emotional difficulty. Once you complete this list, you may have the motivation to move on to more personal items such as clothing and books.
This list is also geared toward items in the home that you will likely receive more of this winter, and which are therefore great to review ahead of time. Finally, in the name of the season, I created this list based on items that can be donated rather than thrown away. Most shelters will accept bathroom items, even used. Clothing, especially warm winter items, are sorely needed everywhere, as well as canned food.
Keep the spirit of the holidays in your heart as you do this work – it will motivate and inspire you to let go of the old and allow new and beautiful things to come your way in the weeks to come and into 2016!
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below – we learn from you just as you learn from us!
Thanks for a great list. Do you have a companion list of what organizatios accept what kind of donations?
That’s a great question! We have a list of donation resources here in Portland on our website. I hope that helps!