Yes, Virginia. Santa did bring a lot of new stuff…

Now, what do I do with all this?!

Happy December holidays – I hope they were merry and bright.  And if you’re like most Americans, the gift-giving season was filled with lots of new stuff.  New clothes, toys, electronics, and housewares now fill our already overcrowded and cluttered spaces.  In an effort to show our love and generosity, we buy, buy, buy for those we love and that’s a wonderful sentiment to share our abundance.  The one downside of this, however, is that now we have even more stuff we have to organize, store, maintain and manage.  I know a lot of clients feel especially overwhelmed by all of this right about now.  So, what’s a first good step to getting organized?  Step one: figure out what you already have.  BEFORE putting away all the new items and just shoving them in on top of what’s in the drawers and cabinets, pull everything out – yes, everything.

Out with the “old”, in with the new

Did you get a new coat or sweater?  Lucky you.  Now donate the “old” one.  Repeat the process with the rest of the new clothes everyone in the family received.  And go ahead and donate that less than perfect item – unwearable clothes are made into rags and other textiles so donate it instead of throwing it in the trash.  Curate the games and toys already cluttering the playroom and kids’ spaces before adding the new gifts.  Anything still in good condition and just outgrown can be donated.  Ditto for housewares and home goods.  Check out this list of where to donate just about anything for some ideas.  Electronics that are still in a saleable condition (newer models, etc) should be sold immediately – the longer you wait, the more the value drops.  Try eBay or a FB marketplace near you.

Everyone loves receiving gifts; it’s human nature.  But don’t let the value and meaning behind the gift get lost when the gift becomes just another part of your cluttered jumble.