clean + bright

10:33 PM

I'm usually the kind of person that tries to hang on to christmas well past when it's socially acceptable. I've been known to keep a tree up into the second week of january and sometimes the holiday china doesn't go back into storage until the first buds make their appearance on branches outside. But this year feels different. Perhaps because for the first time in a long time I am hopeful about what this new year holds for us, perhaps because I feel like it was perfectly wonderful little christmas season but I was ready to let go. The main tree was down before the new year and I little by little began to put the rest of the decorations away.
I also dove into cleaning and organizing our home in preparation for the new year. It always feels good to start the year off right with a clean, clutter-free and organized home. I used to be ruthless about this but then we had a string of years where I was either pregnant, postpartum, nursing, potty training or just had the worst case of mommy brain. In any case I thought I would share a few easy tips and suggestions for how to get your home in order.

- Donate: One of the first things I do is go through all of our things looking for items that someone else could still get some use out of. This means all the closets (linen included), all the toys, all the kitchen cabinets and the shoes (kids grow out of shoes at lightening speed it turns out). I am usually able to fill our entire trunk with boxes and bags. I do one big drop off and phase one is done!

- Purge: Next I go through the rest of the house with trash bags to catch all that useless stuff that piles up over the course of 365 days. From the nightstands I remove all the half empty tubes of lotions and creams, the candy wrappers (does anyone else do this??), the scraps of paper and other odds and ends. All the old magazines go, the holey socks, the empty bottles of shampoo and shopping bags. Phase two complete!!

- Organize: The third step involved going back to all these drawers, closets and dressers and organizing what is left. Now is a great time to stock up on bins and baskets at Target that will make you look and feel like queen Kondo herself! These are some of my favorites and I have them scattered all over our home. I use them in the kitchen, the closets, all the dressers and the office too. They're the perfect size for most drawers.

- Clean: Finally it's time to give everything an extra sparkle. My order of events is usually: dust, glass/mirrors, bathrooms, fresh sheets, vacuum and finally I light some candles to make everything look AND smell clean!

It's just four steps and before you know you it your day will feel a little lighter. Another thing worth mentioning is that the donate and purging phases usually take me a good week. I wish I could have hours on end to devote to this but instead I end up filling boxes during nap time or in the evenings. I've found that anytime a toddler spies an open door or drawer they think it's an invitation to discover hidden gems and the whole exercise becomes utterly useless. One must do this stealthily!

Here's to a cleaner, brighter and lighter new year!!

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