We joked about the decisions around a stove and a sink, but it has been a smooth process. And, I attribute it to the fact that we created a mini kitchen makeover as a test-run for our kitchen makeover.

BABY STEPS BEFORE YOU DOWNSIZE

January is the unofficial month to clean and organize. But, following the writer’s strike we have months to wait for our favorite shows. So this is January’s moment to downsize our stuff (and maybe other things).

January is also the start of snow and cold without holiday lights in the yard. This might explain why January is often when homeowners and renters weigh their options to renew a lease or buy their first home. For others, thoughts turn to a lock-and-leave lifestyle.

Downsizing does not necessarily mean a move. It might just be the need to downsize our stuff (and other things). HHere are my favorite tips for downsizing.

TIPS FOR DOWNSIZING

The great news is these tips work for spring cleaning. So if you love your neighborhood and your friends (freighbors) these tips work for you too! Or share this for someone who is ready to downsize.

CATEGORIES NOT SCATTER-GORIES

I like to focus on a few key categories of stuff. Let’s do this together!

Please please email me or leave a comment below with suggestions to add to this list.

HOLIDAYS

In the spring of 2020 when I-70 could have hosted a marathon in the right lane, I decided I needed snow-covered lighted garland.

I bought eight strands and waited for the deal of the year with an 80% discount. When the box arrived I opened it and uncovered the cheapest, crunchiest-looking garland.

So to practice what I preach I started with that garland. I suggest you start with the holiday that is directly behind you or the holiday ahead.

The following winter, I bought pink nylon Valentine wreaths, cardboard hearts, and pink and purple tulle garland at Hobby Lobby.

I decorated my porch like this friend’s midwest porch.

However, by the end of the week, my porch looked like it was in a burlesque show on Bourbon Street with pink and red netting blowing in the wind.

Some things cannot be unseen and I decided my neighbors did not need to see the tulle flapping in the February winds.

I added the Valentine theme netting – into the donation box.

WREATHS

How many wreaths do you own? Invest in one or two identical boxwood wreaths and add a sign or bows to introduce the smaller holidays that don’t need a dedicated wreath.

I put my unused floral wreaths in the Goodwill box. I plan to add a spring ribbon in April. I kept these exterior boxwood wreaths and two indoor boxwood wreaths.

I love boxwood wreaths. I do have a designated fall and Christmas front door wreath.

If you are not ready to part with your wreaths try this idea.

CLOTHES

Raise your hand (or leave a comment) if you pull something out of your closet and put it right back on the closet rod.

And, you have done this for the last seven years with the same clothes.

I have a Mascarpone color winter coat and I keep it because I love the orange scroll detailing in the lining. Yes, the lining. And then there is the other question- does it still fit?

Tip: If you have a spouse who has a sweatshirt that you want to relocate (like a squirrel) tuck it into the bottom of the Goodwill bag (they will only look through the top two t-shirts) and wait it out.

If it goes unnoticed it is good to go!

DISHES:

Just like Julia told us to save the liver, save your favorites. I love the ceramic baking dishes at Crate & Barrel. White dishware works year-round and do I need eight casserole dishes in a rainbow of colors?

We joked about the decisions around a stove and a sink, but it has been a smooth process. And, I attribute it to the fact that we created a mini kitchen makeover as a test-run for our kitchen makeover.

Take Inventory of your dishes and donate the ones that never leave the cabinet.

Full disclosure- I have pulled back a few items from the donate bin. I had a Pampered Chef griddle pan for decades and just before my husband took a haul down to Goodwill I pulled the griddle out of the bin. I had a repurposed idea in my head.

Now I can’t find the griddle.

Maybe my husband snuck it under a folded t-shirt before he left for Goodwill..

Over the holidays I counted 13 14″ Christmas trees. It is too much clutter. Baby Jesus was not born under a pine tree so why do I have so many trees?

I also have two to three Nativity scenes, but my favorite is this one. I kept he Nerf bullet in the nativity because it makes me smile.

CRAFTS + KIDS’ CLOTHES

Here is a fun post with ideas on how to integrate family heirlooms into the decor.

Instead, I love my son’s baby pajamas and they are on one of his childhood stuffed animals.

All the other stuffed animals? I gave to Chloe and Elliott for snuggles.

Reminders:

Start with one category, holiday, season, dishes, clothes or basement. Start small. Once box, set it aside in case you miss it is too much to let go.

PRACTICE: Put it in the donate box and wait.

If you have other suggestions please leave a comment or email me. I would love to update this list this spring!

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