So Christmas is coming and that’s looming large enough that you’ve put aside thoughts of making major changes to your life. The new year will come soon enough and then you can make all those life changing choices.
But making some simple and small changes now, today, will not only give you a head start on your resolutions but may well make Christmas a little easier too.
How so you ask?
Well any small changes you make now will impact on all your days ahead. So the question should be – why not?
As I’ll be temporarily out of commission over Christmas I’ve had to knuckle down and make some changes to my home to make that period easier. I’ve moved furniture to make the layout simpler and safer; I’ve decluttered where it’s made the most difference instead of faffing around clearing the sock drawer which somehow always pops into my head when the urge to declutter arises.
So what can you do in these busy days?
Make the deliberate choice to clear the visible areas. Your home will look better and you’ll have more room for the Christmas decorations.
Donate all the kitchen gadgets that normally don’t get used. With emptier cupboards you’ll have room to clear the work tops which will give you more room for juggling everyone’s dinner on the big day.
Each item you pick up needs a decision. Moving it to another room is quicker but finding a proper home for it means you don’t then have to move it again. And again. In hoarding circles it’s called “churning” by the way. Instead of getting rid of clutter we just move it round and round, churning our stuff. And often leaving our stomachs churning too.
This moment is the perfect time to make that small and simple choice to put yourself ahead of the game for once. To make your home the calmer, safer place you want it to be.
What small, simple changes can you make right now?
If you haven’t put up the xmas decorations yet then this is the perfect time to make a change. No matter how much you may love the decorations I’m certain that actually putting them up is a bit of a chore. As you look through your bag/box/bottomless pit of baubles and sparkly things pause for just a moment. Is this the time to have a more pared down look? As you pick up each item, have a proper look at it. Is it tired or scuffed or just not “you” any more? Get rid of it! You can make this year’s decorations a conscious choice instead of a rerun of last year and all the years before.
I’ll give you an example. Last year the bathroom flooded. The living room ceiling came down and the furniture and flooring was ruined. We worked hard to get things back to normal bu had no furniture back until X as Eve. I made the choice not to put up a tree. The windows were decorated and pretty things hung up once there was somewhere to hang them but NO tree. This year I made the same choice, without the necessity. The living room looks just as festive but there’s no dusty tree pulled out of the attic and it’s such a relief knowing I won’t have to pack it all up again next month!
How about the kitchen? Is there anything on the surfaces that can be removed rather than tucked away? Donated or taken to the tip?
And how about the mantelpiece? When I moved into my present home, the first house I’d owned, I’d come from years of living in tiny flats with no fireplace and therefore no mantelpiece. This house had an ugly electric fire in front of a bricked up chimney. I thought seriously about putting in a gas fire but then realised that it isn’t compulsory.The room is warm without one and the only reason to put in a fireplace would be for decorative reasons. I could spend the money on what was basically an expensive shelf or use it elsewhere. Elsewhere won. And in 20+ years I’ve never regretted the decision. So do you really need to put anything on your mantelpiece? Your answer could be a resounding “yes” and that’s great. But if you’re doing it just “because” then give yourself permission to get rid of the knickknacks. Plus, if your fireplace is normally quite minimalist then think of the impact when you dress it up for Christmas!
If you’re having trouble making the choice then let someone else provide the ideas. See here for my review of two of the most popular decluttering systems around.
So what small decisions can you make right now to make Christmas easier and give you a head start on your New Year resolutions? I’d love to hear your ideas …