Starting the new year fresh: 4 things to purge

28 December 2018

Let's harness all this "new year" energy and put it to work. In this interview with Annie F. Downs, (my favorite singer) Jon McLaughlin said that growing up, his parents made him and his siblings clean the entire house every Christmas Eve, probably because they were just taking advantage of all the excited energy the kids had. Well, that's gonna be me. For myself. With the new year.

Basically, this mini-checklist is for me (so I have a list somewhere to come back to!), but if it inspires you to get rid of some things, too, then that's a bonus. There's something satisfying about getting rid of stuff that you don't need, especially when that stuff earns you $35 as you meet up with a stranger in a coffee shop parking lot because you're selling an old chair online. Hypothetically, of course.


I've talked about how our house is little (literally only 1,100 square feet), but it goes beyond not wanting clutter to pile up. Really, it all stems from wanting to be a good steward of what God's given us. Jesus tells the story of a guy who puts 3 guys in charge of different amounts, and each was responsible for what he'd been given. Of course, the story is mainly about us being ready for Jesus' second coming, but the point remains that we have to be faithful, responsible, wise with what we've been given...which I'm applying to our little home.

5 categories of things to get rid of in the new year: 

  1. Broken, used up things: This is all the stuff that's been laying around because I might fix it or use up the rest of it....but, let's be honest, I haven't yet. For example...
    • Mostly empty bottles of shampoo that I've moved on from and am never going back to
    • Broken toys, toys that are missing essential pieces, etc. 
    • Candles that are basically burnt all the way down
    • Sippy cups that ARE NOT ACTUALLY NONSPILL (my personal pet peeve)
    • The cans of food that have expired in the back of my pantry. Oops. 

  2. Things I don't use: the stuff that's functional, but unused. For example...
    • Miscellaneous, unused furniture that we're still storing. I borrowed the idea from Beth at Oak + Oats and have been listing things on Facebook marketplace that's been cluttering up Aiden's room and so far have made $135! I am embarrassed to admit he's had a La-Z-Boy recliner and a computer chair sitting around his room for the past year. 
    • All the baby gear that my friends don't need and I don't want to hold onto. (I'm looking at you, baby-hiking-backpack and enormous activity table. You're headed for Facebook marketplace/the thrift store.)
    • Clothes that don't fit, clothes I've stopped wearing, clothes I'm saving for "what if I get invited to a retro-themed 70s party," etc. 
    • MUGS. We had 21 mugs, so I kept my favorite 9 and got rid of the other 11......in a white elephant gift exchange with my small group. (Sorry, friends.)

  3. Things I don't need: This is similar to the category above, but it includes all the stuff I use so infrequently that I might as well not even own it. 
    • A waffle iron, for example. We barely use it, so it got donated. 
    • 1,000 sweaters. I might like owning enough sweaters to never repeat one in an entire month, but it's just not worth the space it takes up. 

  4. Things that don't have a place: This is a tip from a friend who studied interior design. If she doesn't have a place for an item in her house, then it doesn't stay. So if someone gives her a pack of pencils, they go with her office supplies. But if her husband brings home something that doesn't fit in any organizational category.....it's gotta go
    • Random toys in the kids' rooms. We have a bin of vehicles, a bin of instruments, a bin of construction tools, etc. I'm looking to get rid of all the random toys that float around the house and make the place look cluttered because they don't fit in any of our organizational systems!
    • Anything else that's been floating around and needs to GO!





For more new year inspiration, check out the 2 questions I'm asking myself each new year

Do you do any new-year cleaning? (Is new-year cleaning even a thing, or is it just spring cleaning...hmm...) What are some of your new year goals?

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