Great design is all about editing; getting rid of what doesn’t work and keeping what does.
I think this week’s topic falls perfectly into this theory. Take a look under your Christmas tree. Inside those beautifully wrapped packages are sweaters, coats, socks, toys, books and new kitchen appliances and gadgets.
Now ask yourself: “Where the heck are you going to put all this new stuff? It’s a question all of us will be facing on Dec. 26.
After years of struggling with this issue, I’ve finally found the solution: Edit just before the sleigh takes flight!
This week, make room while doing something charitable for those less fortunate than you. I know I can hear you already saying, “I am too busy this week. I have no time for another task.”
Trust me – this is the best use of your time and the process is quick, fun and painless. It’s a family project.
You are going to break your entire house down into two areas; personal and common spaces. It will only take one hour.
Start by enticing your family with the glitter of the unwrapped packages. Explain to them that great treasures await, but first we have to make room.
Give each person a large shopping bag. Instruct them to go to their rooms and remove all the old, worn, unwanted items from their dressers and closets. They just have to remove enough items to stuff the bag completely full. Any items that are beyond being useful to others get pitched into a garbage bag.
Make it a game. Set the timer for 40 minutes for individual rooms and instruct them to ask themselves these questions regarding the things they have: Does it fit? Is it stained or torn? Do I ever wear or use it?
Ring some jingle bells and send off your little elves to pitch the old in anticipation of the new.
Next, the common areas. Each family member gets a cardboard box and an assignment, based on age, to tackle the clutter in playrooms, family rooms, coat closets and kitchen cabinets. Time to pitch all those plastic butter tubs and chipped glasses and plates. Recycle old magazines and newspapers.
Set the timer for 20 minutes and let the editing begin!
The reward? Take a ride to a local charity or thrift store to deliver the shopping bags of reusable items and then stop for pizza at their favorite restaurant. This will give you an opportunity to talk about how lucky your family is to have a home and gifts to share this holiday season.
On Christmas morning when all the paper has been ripped away and the cheers are dying down, you will know that somewhere else in town, others are enjoying this morning a little more because of the efforts you and your family made.
And on Dec. 26, you won’t have to hesitate when you say: “OK, time to put away all your new stuff.”