Clutter has always been a dirty word in my life. Growing up, “out with the old” was an unspoken family motto. At the outset of each school year I was encouraged to clean out last year’s leg warmers before getting my new stirrup spandex; before Christmas I donated my Cabbage Patch Kids to make room for Pound Puppies, and I always had to finish the Golden Grahams before I could crack open the Cocoa Pebbles.
Aside from the weird cereal rule (these days I have at least six open boxes at all times), this behavior has followed me into adulthood. About a year ago I downsized over half of my worldly goods to move from a large home in Phoenix into a one-bedroom in Orange County. I replaced my pool table with a fold up card table, I sold my second Christmas tree, and half of Maricopa County is now walking around in my college wardrobe.
Even though school days are behind me, fall has always felt like the time for a fresh start, and I tend to start my resolutions – and my de-cluttering – right about now:
DVR Clutter: Until TiVo can record three channels simultaneously, purging shows from my recording lineup will always be a curse and not a choice. Grey’s Anatomy out, Person of Interest in. Private Practice WAY out, Pan Am In. Playboy Club in, then back out.
Pantry Clutter: Time to replace anything with the words “tropical” or “lemon” with anything with the words “pumpkin,” “spice,” or “Count Chocula.”
Too-many-throw-pillows Clutter: Rule of thumb: The number of throw pillows on your bed should never surpass the number of friends on your Facebook page.
Closet Clutter: When your storage space shrivels from three-car garage to tiny-closet-that-barely-fits-your-Christmas-tree, there is no ceremonial changing of the boxes from summer to winter clothes. If you need new fall boots, you throw away the pair of flip flops filling up their coveted space on your shoe rack.
Gift Card Clutter: Buy up those last two songs, one latte and sixteen cents worth of bath products and make room for some new hardware in your wallet this Christmas.
Resolution Clutter: If you still haven’t started last year’s resolutions, spend five minutes in the gym, eat one head of broccoli, and read the first page of the Cliff’s Notes on War and Peace. You only have two months left before you have to do it all over again.
What are your best de-cluttering tips to get ready for the holiday season and New Year?