Mark Roemer knows holidays are much easier to manage when you start with tidy cupboards, an organized closet, and a cleaned-out storage room. You’ll be able to find anything you need without fuss when you’re rushing around prepping for the season, with your Christmas décor in easy-to-find containers, serving perfectly packed and available dishes, and your favorite holiday outfit close at hand. And note that everything you donate to a charitable organization is tax-deductible at the end of the year! Keep reading for items to discard ahead of New Year’s Day, and to discover how to make the holidays more enjoyable.
Expired Pantry Goods
Take absolutely everything out of your pantry and check every item, then throw away everything that has surpassed its. Wipe down the shelves while you’re at it and make a mental note of the staples you have on hand to complete your holiday grocery shopping list.
Dirty Tablecloths That Just Never Seem to Get Clean
Take your tablecloth collection inventory. Pay special attention to those who are used a lot and concede (finally) that the wine stain will never go away. Toss out or donate tablecloths that you no longer use, and for Christmas dinner, buy yourself a brand-new one.
It’ll be time to trim the tree soon! As you take your ornaments out of storage, take the time to give them a once over, and take out the broken ones that can be replaced. Yeah, it’s hard to throw away ornaments that bring back good memories, but you’re just hanging on to trash if they can’t be repaired. Even if you’re not celebrating Christmas, now is an excellent time to get rid of something that’s broken or dingy, or that you really don’t like anymore, by going through other seasonal decor.
Mismatched Food Containers
No doubt the meal you make will have leftovers. You will want to make sure that your guests have something to take home at the end of the night. To prevent the desperate, last-minute search for available receptacles, take care of your food storage containers now. If you find any container that no longer has a lid (or vice versa) all you need to do is toss them out. Alternately, you could always donate any extras that you do not need.
Mugs You Don’t Use
It is possible that you have too many mugs in your cupboards. But letting them go is so hard, isn’t it? Having said that, there are certainly a few that you have not used in a long time and you wouldn’t miss them in a few months. In the recesses of your kitchen cabinets, dig out the rarely used mugs and donate them to a nearby soup kitchen or church.
Recycle the ever-growing pile of dust-collecting periodicals in your living room. Keep a few of them on hand for guests to peruse, whether it’s in the den or the bathroom, and part with the rest. Don’t worry; there are more on the way if you have a magazine subscription!
After about six months, most types of makeup are past their prime, especially mascara. Over time, makeup can play host to any number of bacteria. This is made possible by contact with the human skin and then warm and wet temperatures in the bathroom or the bottom of your purse. By throwing away your fading makeup you will be able to stay safe and beautiful with a new supply of trendy makeup that is just waiting for you to pick it up.
Do you have a box in your closet brimming with old phones or music devices? If you don’t need them anymore, they are just taking up space. Why not find out if they happen to have any trade-in value before you drag them to your town’s next electronic waste event? In return for old electronics, Apple and some telecommunications companies give money back or rebates.
If you find that your bookshelves are overcrowded, it may be time to ditch some of the books to a homeless shelter, used bookstore, or even the local library. Of course, keep those volumes that hold a special place in your heart; your favorites should remain right where they are. But instead of wasting money and space for more books, consider visiting your local library for the latest editions, either in real or e-book form.
Winter Clothes That No Longer Fit
Review your winter wardrobe and discard anything that is no longer in style or no longer fits. Donate things you don’t need or want during the cold winter months to those who will make good use of them.
Kids outgrow their toys incredibly fast. Although retaining your favorite toys may be tempting and can serve as a reminder of your children’s childhood, why not donate the unused playthings to young people who do not have gifts waiting under the tree? Pass kindly used toys along and throw out some that have been loved a little too hard. Feel free to pick out a couple of things as keepsakes as you sort through.
Extra Craft Supplies
You probably have a surplus of crafty things on hand if you’ve worked on some DIY projects this year, which you probably won’t use again. Donate the extra glitter, paint, and bobbles to a struggling classroom. Ring in the new year with a room poised for new crafting adventures.
Is kitting something you find yourself doing a lot? Do you love the needles’ calming rhythm? Before you launch your next project, take inventory of your yarn collection. If your living room or wardrobe is cluttered with an abundance of yarn, consider donating the excess to local knitting circle charities that can use your cast-off yarn to knit things for those in need.
Do not go into 2021 with a cluttered inbox. Get started now by sorting your emails one by one, and when the ball eventually drops, you’ll feel like a weight has risen off your shoulders. Delete junk mail, respond to messages you’ve been involved in, and sort everything else into folders that have been labeled. Inbox zero is not wishful thinking. A bit of concentration, commitment, and time is all it takes to have a clean inbox next year.
Mark Roemer wants you all a Happy Holiday Season and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year. Take the above list to heart, and you will be well on your way to having a grand holiday celebration and even better 2021!