This week is actually week eight of the Christmas Clutter Countdown, however I am currently working on the week six activities! Here's a report on what I completed for weeks four & five. (You can view previous weeks here - week one, week two, week three.)
CHRISTMAS WEEKS FOUR & FIVE
The week four project was to set up a Christmas Command Center as a place to gather all the supplies you'll need for wrapping gifts and mailing cards. I already keep all my wrapping stuff together in my craft room closet except the Christmas wrapping paper and bags. Those are all in one box in the attic and I’ll get it down once I’m ready to start wrapping. I have all the supplies for mailing cards in my desk, therefore everything is located in one central area . . . so I really didn't have much to do for this task.
The week five file talked about the idea of “blessing gifts”, basically our attitude as we purchase, create, wrap, and prepare gifts for our friends and family. I love this idea, especially since I am making most of our gifts this year. I have times scheduled in my calendar to work on these gifts, so I went back and added the word “pray” beside each one to remind me that I want these gifts and the recipients to be blessed.
The other item on week five's to do list was to create Wish Lists for family members. I printed out Wish Lists for me and Robbie so we can begin filling those out as things come to mind. We’ll exchange them at the end of October. We always buy each other entirely too much but we love Christmas morning and take time with each gift!
DECLUTTERING WEEKS FOUR & FIVE
For week 4, I worked on cleaning and decluttering our two hallways. The back hallway contains three short bookshelf units that hold our games. These shelves had gotten overcrowded and needed to be organized (and dusted!). I moved the puzzles from these shelves to the cedar chest in the front room (where we normally work on puzzles), emptied each shelf, dusted, and re-organized everything. A few items went in the donation bag - one puzzle and ten packs of playing cards. One broken game and one broken toy were thrown away, and a few miscellaneous items made their way into my scrapbooking stash (flat letters from the broken Hangman game and a set of playing cards). Robbie also brought in the 8-foot ladder and I replaced the three burned out bulbs in that hallway.
The front hallway is narrower and does not have anything in it except our collage of family photos on the wall. I added a few photos that I’d been wanting to frame and updated a few of the photos. There’s a small closet in that hallway that is our catch-all closet and it was completely packed! I sorted through it and got it all re-organized. I moved the luggage rack to the guest room and a large candle to the TV/Exercise room. Several items went into the donation bag. There are quite a few plastic shoebox size storage boxes stacked in this closet that hold extra craft supplies. I recently re-sorted my scrapbooking supplies into color bins, so I want to sort through these boxes and add the items into my new system (or get rid of them if it’s not something I’ll use). For now, they are neatly stacked and all the random miscellaneous stuff in that closet is dealt with!
(Some of you may remember my goal to declutter and organize each of the five closets in our home. I started with closet #1 at the end of March and thought I would be done in a few weeks! Well, I did get closet #2 done shortly after and closet #3 was completed in early May, however I guess my mojo for closet organizing vanished which is why this closet was still in great need of some organizing!)
For week five, I decided to tackle the garage. I park my car on one side and the other side we use for storage and a work area. That side has two sets of shelves and a work table along the wall. Normally most items are on the shelves with just a few things in front of them – my bike, the recycle bin, etc. However, over the past few months items had migrated out until there was only a small walkway between my car and the stuff! Robbie helped me and we got it all straightened back up. Several items needed to go in the attic, some needed to be moved to the shed, a few things we threw out, several boxes went into the recycling cart, and we dropped off two small bags of donation items to our local community outreach center. We also cleaned out our little 4x8 raised garden which was in bad shape after the terribly hot summer. We tore out the cantaloupe plant that was overtaking everything! We still have two tomato plants and a pepper plant that look great and might produce now that the weather is a little cooler. Everything we pulled out went in the compost bin.
I am slowing but surely working my way though week 6 and will hopefully have a report on that soon so that I can concentrate on the week seven and eight to do lists!