Friday, January 4, 2008

Favorites Friday

Happy New Year, All! I've been enjoying my little blogging hiatus - using the time to read, hang out with the kids and host my sister-in-law & family after the Christmas visit to my folks' home. We had a wonderful holiday, beginning to end and I'm sad to see it end. I'm quite surprised by the number of people around me who have been chomping at the bit to "return to normal" and put an end to the Christmas festivities. One neighbor on my folks' street had their tree out at the curb by the 27th!

We almost never take the tree down or "de-decorate" the house until the first weekend after New Year's - we like to draw out the season as long as we can. But when I allow myself to return to our regularly scheduled programming, I mean, life :), I dive into a variety of projects and re-organization of my home. Not one corner is safe. My kids quiver in fear of what they will find upon returning home from school. The Boss gives me strict warnings of the zones I am not allowed to tamper with. I try to listen. Really I do. So, today's list is comprised of the first things I love to do to begin the New Year on the right foot.

Favorite Ways I Start to Re-Organize My Home!
  1. Tackle one kid's closet at a time - I look for outgrown clothes, broken toys, games with missing parts, duplicates of toys and clothes, and so on. When I can fill one 13-gallon garbage bag a day with either donations or trash, I am a content woman!
  2. Take inventory of my pantries and cupboards - I use this to refresh my memory about what I have and what I need. This has been especially important and helpful since Shaggy and Dr. Doolittle started growing like the proverbial weeds. Man, those boys can eat!
  3. Take inventory of my freezer - Planning to feed my gang and having reserve for surprises or company or friends who need a helping hand takes thought. Doing a regular inventory has been helpful, but I often lose track of what's "in stock" over the busy weeks from Thanksgiving till New Year's.
  4. Give the kids a break - In preparation for the big "de-Christmas-ing" of the house on the weekend, I try to cut the kids some slack with their regular jobs during the New Year's holiday. Especially if we are home with no company. As long as the bathroom is clean, I've found it helpful to give all of us a break from "regular jobs."
  5. Get all returns and exchanges done - I really push on this one, making sure that if the kids need something done, I do it before they return to school. It can make for a long day, if I have to bring all four. But this year, my neighbor invited the two little ones for a play date, so I threw in lunch and got to spend the entire afternoon with my two oldest. Two tasks got accomplished: a date with my boys, and all our returns and gift card spending done at once!
These are the things that help me put Christmas behind me gracefully and allow me to focus on the year ahead. I don't enjoy the mad dash to get to this season or the breathless pace that goes with that. I try to make concerted efforts to enjoy the process wherever I can. (As one friend says, I am steeped in traditions and I have one for everything this time of year - dragging out the fun and making memories wherever I can!) I love the "no school, it's Christmas break!" feeling that I still get when the kids are home for the holidays. I dislike the end of lingering over coffee and cookies, of sipping eggnog and watching old movies, and of preparing and sharing special meals with friends and family. Packing up all the gems that inspire "remember when" conversations and putting away the decor that illuminated my home and my heart can make me melancholy. These five things help ease that transition for me. They distract me from the abrupt departure of twinkling lights and sweet treats and move me forward. Onward, to a new year - cleaner and more organized than the previous, I hope!


On Fire For Jesus said...

I love to organize and clean out too. I did the livingroom, pantry, everything drawer. I've also made freezer meals for me and others! I feel like I'm nesting!

Heidi @ GGIP said...

I am trying to organize, but I can't say I've been successful yet! Great job.

Natalie said...

I've got the organizing bug right now too!

Promises Fulfilled said...

I have thoughts of organizing, but it is not really happening right now! I do enjoy reading what you are up to!

I wanted to let you know that if I do not post a photo of the little guy, I will email you one! So, you will be able to see him at some point! :)