A Winter Reset

  1. A new year. 

Gone is the glitter and warmth of the holidays, gone are the evenings sitting by the glow of the Christmas tree. When it’s time to put away the stockings, the funny Christmas sweaters, the little Christmas trinkets that you get out every year. When the advent calendars are empty and completed, and the countdown to Christmas has finished. When you take down the garland on the stair railing, sweep up the last of the pine needles from the Christmas tree, and tuck away your sprig of mistletoe for next year. Gone is the magic, the candle-lit coziness, the familiarity of home during the holidays.

The weeks following Christmas always feel a little empty to me. In a matter of 24 hours, the whole build-up to Christmas morning is just suddenly over, and it feels strange to keep the remnants of the holiday still lying around. We all have our set habits and traditions for when all our Christmas decor “has” to be packed up and put away, but whether you're a day after or a week after, it still feels empty.

All of a sudden, you can’t remember what used to fill the spaces where your favorite holiday decorations have lived for the last month. What did I used to have on this table? Was this shelf really this bare before? The house seems so dark without all the little twinkly lights. It feels like the rug was pulled out from under your feet, in a way.

Let’s take this opportunity of newfound emptiness to start fresh. It’s a great time to reset and take a good look at what we surround ourselves with and make some good changes. This year, I packed up all my Christmas décor and then took my time walking around my house with a trash bag and a “donate” box, ruthlessly going through every drawer, closet, cabinet, nook and cranny to remove some of the clutter that’s built up over the holiday season (and the last year, frankly).I was left with a pretty good starting point to do some reorganizing of the things I want to keep, the things that add value to my life and my home. This inspired me to take a good, hard look at my house, reevaluating my current use of each space and making changes to turn it into something more functional and less cluttered.

What better time than a new year to start with a fresh, clean slate in our homes? The holidays really do invite us to accumulate, collect and gather things around us. These activities serve a purpose and can bring us such joy, but ultimately there comes a time to let things go when new things come in.

I put together a list of a few ways we can simplify our lives and start fresh this new year! Let’s take advantage of the “empty” spaces we’ve created in the wake of the holidays and make something beautiful out of it!

  • Empty each kitchen cupboard and drawer. Wipe down the inside and only put back items that you use and want to keep. 
  • Go through hand towels and repurpose the worn out ones into cleaning rags.
  • Use baskets/bins to organize closets and under-sink storage areas. 
  • Vacuum out the couch cushions (and under) to get rid of Christmas crumbs and stray glitter from present wrappings
  • Wipe down bookshelves and reorganize the items you have on display
  • Move house plants into your common areas to freshen up the air and catch sunlight coming in through the windows
  • Stock your fridge with fresh, in-season fruits and veggies. Make a menu for the week.
  • Empty all the trash cans and take out the recycling. It helps to know there’s no clutter, even in the trash cans.
  • Find your “catch-all” areas or your “junk-drawers”. Some of us have multiple of these…time to clear them out!
  • Take your box of items to donate out to the car. That way they are out of the house, and they are ready to be dropped off during your next trip to town.

Step back, take a look at your home. It should feel lighter, less cluttered; in a way, it’s a brand new space. Now it’s time to add back in some cozy, homey changes to make the remaining winter months something to enjoy!

  • Swap the holiday candles set out with some fresh winter scented candles (think pine, citrus/clove, eucalyptus/sage)
  • I like to set aside some of my “tree themed” decor from my Christmas decorations to keep around the house during the winter months following the holidays. It still keeps the winter vibe alive without the hustle and bustle of the Christmas themed decorations.
  • Set out some cozy blankets near the couch or seating areas in your living room. It’s still the chilly months of the year, no reason to go without coziness!

It's a new year. Time to leave behind the weight of the last year and look forward with renewed focus and energy.

What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven't even happened yet. 

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