Wednesday, January 7, 2015


While we're still filled with holiday cheer (and all hopped up on candy canes and eggnog), let's take our positive energy and put it to good use clearing out the clutter in our lives in preparation for the New Year. (Hey! Put your mother-in-law down, that is not what we meant!)

It's called Oosouji, and it's a Japanese tradition of clearing out dirt and clutter in preparation for the New Year. Here's how you can try it too:

One in, two out.

No, this has nothing to do with your Holiday indigestion. You just opened a bunch of presents and they may even still be strewn all over your floor under the tree! Here's a good rule of thumb to simplify your life in the New Year when putting all your new things away: for every one present you got, find two items to donate, recycle, or trash. For instance, If you got a lot of new clothes this year, it's a great idea to go through your closet and clear out items that no longer fit or that you don't wear anymore. You can donate them, pass them down, or bring them in for consignment. 

Slow Down.

Think about the future you, and give her a break! Don't yank all the decorations down and heave them into mixed-up bins that will be a nightmare to sort out next year. Neatly packaged and folded items also take up a lot less space than jumbled ones--every time!

Stash away, stash away, stash away all!

Do you have children buried in new toys this year? So tell me, are they playing with any of the "old" toys they loved just a few days ago? Ah yes, you now have your very own island of unwanted toys. Consider putting some of the old favorites away for a few months while your kids enjoy their new stuff. This is great for birthdays too. You then take out the toys on an ugly, rainy day a few months down the line when everyone is "bored." You'll quickly find that absence really does make the heart grow fonder! And it's like Christmas all over again!

Clean-out the Cupboards.

Prepping for holiday meals usually involves a lot of cooking, lots of extra boxes of this or that and rare ingredients, and you're often left with lots of leftovers--some of which can be pricey! Take stock and see what you hurriedly shoved back into the cabinets. Make sure items that will keep are wrapped tightly so they don't go to waste. Have rare ingredients that won't keep? A great idea is to surf the internet for recipes. You might just find that the fresh ginger, left-over acorn squash, and jar of opened applesauce you have, could be the beginnings of a great post-holiday soup!

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