I decided last night that New Year's Day is my self-imposed deadline to finish de-cluttering and cleaning (the hard part -- though I may try to find help with that). We have a big potluck every year on New Year's Day, and I want this place looking great by then (not that anyone but me will notice the difference). Of course, there are people coming for Thanksgiving and for a lecture someone is giving at our house in early December, but that just seems too soon. Pictures here by New Year's!
While everyone else is out shopping, bringing junk into their homes, I'll be de-cluttering and rearranging. Part of me doesn't want to bother with a Christmas tree this year, and I LOVE Christmas trees. But they take a day to put up and decorate, and half a day to take down, and perhaps it's better to use that time to de-clutter. But then it wouldn't feel like the holidays. Sigh.
Someone came yesterday to get the ugly red recliner from my stepson's room, so now almost all the big stuff is out. (The recipients are thrilled -- I got a lovely note from them in my email this AM.) There is still a stepper in there (you know, like at a gym!), and a lot of little garbage (literally garbage, my stepson is a pig, throws candywrappers and plastic bottles on the floor in there and doesn't pick them up) and old clothes that I think don't fit him any more. He has to go through that stuff to see what to let go of. Unfortunately, at 16, he still needs help to do this (is this him, or is it a boy thing? I don't know, I only had a sister, and neither my sister, nor his sister nor I have this problem), or at least someone to stand over him. It can't be me, so that leaves his Dad. With any luck, they'll do that today. Then I can help my husband move his desk stuff in there, which clears off the dining room table just in time for Thanksgiving. Plus it should empty out the armoire which lets me move my craft stuff in there, which means more space in the bookshelves, so I can reorganize those so that all the political books are together, and all the spiritual books are together. (I already have the fiction and crafts and cookbooks together.) Do I sound excited? I am.
Oh, got rid of 7 kids t-shirts, a couple of magazines, a couple of mostly eaten bags of food that have been around so long they were stale, and a dead pen yesterday. It was a light day -- 13 items. I also put some more empty jars in a bag for the garage or the recycler --- we'll see what's down there later.
There are beginning to be breathing spaces on shelves in the kitchen, which feels better, calmer. I am not one of those people who wants everything clear and spare - it feels cold, not homey at all. But I am beginning to see that some breathing space on the shelves feels much better than having them packed, while still feeling homey.