Room for the New Stuff

Holiday officeIf you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a very Merry one, and I hope, if you had the opportunity for some time off, that you enjoyed some down time with family and friends, hearth and home.

The thing about having a small space and celebrating Christmas is that you have to find the room to put the stuff you just got. Granted, we didn’t get much stuff, I asked for things I needed from Dale – a bottle of good smelling burning oil, some lotions, and sweats (my work wear). We also got a few other things and lots of candy and various food items. Still, all of this stuff had to find a home in the pantry and closets to keep to my mantra of “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

Some people purge items as they get new to keep clutter at a minimum. They adhere to the theme of “one thing in, one thing out.” That’s hard to do for food, you don’t want to throw anything out that is still good. It’s also hard for me to do with clothing as well. I’ve already purged what clothing I don’t need or no longer wear, and those sweats I’m replacing with the new only have a few holes in them, certainly not enough to reduce them to rags yet. They are still great for working out in the yard or even just lounging around the house.

I found yesterday that this is where the storage areas really come in handy. We store anything that should go in the house, but we don’t use everyday and have no room for, in the basement of The Belle Writer’s Studio. It’s just a short trek from the house to the office and I would rather make the walk and keep my sanity having an uncluttered house.

A friend of mine also gave me a great idea yesterday. She cleans out her fridge, pantries, junk drawers, and medicine cabinets before the first of every year. While my pantry stays pretty well purged, it’s always a good idea to set time aside every once in awhile and take stock of canned goods etc. and move the oldest to the front to ensure use before expiration. There’s also no doubt I still need to reorganize our laundry closet – which has shelves we use for storage – and the medicine cabinet.

Looks like I know what I’ll be doing on New Year’s Eve.

How about you? What is your way of bringing in the new from Christmas and dealing with the old? Do you purge at certain times of the year?

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18 Responses

  1. theshebearofeleven says:

    I get into the purging mood after Christmas, it’s something about the new year and starting fresh, I guess. I’ve been going through cupboards and am tackling a closet, today. I enjoy “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place,” motto. It’s a constant job at my house, though, as we still have 5 children at home. Kinda like shoveling snow while it’s still snowing!!

  2. RowdyKittens says:

    We have a very minimalist apartment. But since we’re moving, we’re doing another sweep – donating items that we won’t use in our new place (like our bike stand).

    I received a few gifts over the holiday’s that were unexpected. I ended up donating these items to a local charity, because I had no use for them.

    Most of the time I subscribe to the 1 in, 1 out rule. It’s worked really well for me. Another rule I keep in mind: if I haven’t used something in 6 months it goes to a friend or local charity.

  3. I love that idea of making the huge clean out a ritual on the first of the New Year. There is something so symbolic about releasing the old and letting in the new. Marking it this way is very nice.

    • Kerri says:

      You’re right, Meredith. I think the best New Year I ever had was 1999 heading into 2000. Remember the scares with the electric grids staying online, etc? We didn’t know what would happen, so I remember cleaning out and doing a very deep clean to the house. It was so nice to wake up on New Year’s Day to a world that hadn’t collapsed AND a clean house! 🙂

  4. MarthaandMe says:

    We just did a big purge and for the first time, the kids did their own. They each produced several bags of clothes to take to Goodwill and books to donate to the library. I have gotten to the point where I toss things as I come across them so I don’t need to do too much of a purge myself.

  5. We’re nearly done with a many-years-long systematic purge of the house, but yes … I do a major clean around New Years, and I’m also more likely to purge stuff in the fall. Rather than spring cleaning, I suppose I simply cannot face a winter cooped up with too much junk.

  6. Barb Vatza says:

    It’s the feeling of ‘out with the old and in with then new’.There’s always stuff to go thru but at year’s end it seems good to go thru as much as possible.After Christmas there is what to do with the gifts.Our closets can’t take much more so it becomes necessary to sort it all out.

  7. Bj says:

    I have begun to find ways to unclutter. I have to laugh because yesterday I took down the tree, then began sorting out what clothes needed to go to Goodwill, what I can sell in this spring’s garage sale (it is all in boxes, labeled, and out in the storage shed in the backyard), and things I need to take next trip to the cabin (also labeled, rubbermaid toted, and out to the shed). I got a lot done.
    Like Mary, and Kerri, I really think my belongings are part bunny rabbit! Leave one on the shelf, come back and there are four or five! LOL
    Have a great New Years!

    • Bj says:


      I scan a lot of documents into my computer, and then keep a backup copy of all of it on an external hard drive…takes much less room, always accessible.
      Also, found this weekend! Such a joy! Real books for not to much prices, download or read online…no bookshelf needed! I am addicted to romance novels (*sigh*) and they are only $4-5 each there. Just a thought for those of us who have book addiction but few shelves!

      • Kerri says:

        Thanks, BJ for the suggestions! I’ve went electronic with a lot of things. However, some documents need to be kept in hard form for some time frames. Story notes for journalists are still one of these things. The e-book idea is a good one, but as an author, I caution readers using some of these sites, as they are pirating copyrighted materials and authors are not receiving compensation for purchase of their works. The whole publishing industry is in a huge transition these days, still trying to figure out how to present works while offering fair compensation to the authors. From a writers point of view, I still recommend on buying the book and then donating it, or borrowing from a legitimate library until these kinks are worked out for the writers producing the work.

  8. Rosie says:

    I try to clean a few cabinets every new year as a symbol of cleansing. Now I am packing and moving things to storage. How did I get all this STUFF?

    • kerri says:

      I think that’s a great idea, Rosie. I do that with my office and file cabinets. I pack all of my story notes that are 3 years old, my 2 year old bank statements and business papers and put them away. I look at it as a new start to the business each January 1. Somehow, I never translated that to the house. Good luck packing. I have the same feelings every time I need to clean things out or pack!

  9. I am always reorganizing and placing what I don’t need in a large storage tub to give away. The more I unclutter, the more stuff finds its way into the house. I hate shopping because I know I might buy and bring more into the house.