Minimalism After Christmas - Minimalism Part 2

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Christmas dinner has been made, the dishes are cleaned up, the kids have crashed from their sugar high, family members have gone home, the presents have been given and received, you took my advice in accepting gifts in the spirit of gratefulness {Minimalism Part 1}.

Now what?

The house feels a little more full than it was a few weeks ago. It’s time to ring in a New Year and get back on track with normal lives. And your “normal” happens to be “minimalistic”, but getting back on track feels like a pretty daunting task, if we’re being perfectly honest here.

Where do you start?

I’m glad you asked. Let’s walk through a few of the more stressful and daunting areas together. Maybe it’ll make your post-Christmas/New Year a little more minimalist-attainable!

 

1. Start a Toy Rotation

Immediately after Christmas is the best time to start a toy rotation! Your kids are excited and distracted with what they got for Christmas and won’t notice if, say, the train tracks that they haven’t touched in a few months gets put away.

Kids don’t need a lot of toys all at once. Too many toys at one time isn’t just stressful for you, parents. It’s stressful for our children too! Just put them away for a few months or until the kiddos start to get bored with what they have out. Old toys that they haven’t seen in a few months will seem like new toys and you can put away the toys that they’re bored with for a few months.

When it comes to storing the toys they're using, personally, I’m a fan of the Montessori philosophy when it comes to toys. I don’t love toy boxes, where toys just get tossed in and tend to get lost, broken and forgotten about. If the toys are on open shelves where they are seen regularly and can’t just get shoved out of sight, they are more likely to be played with and (this is the part parents love) more likely to get put away!

So how many toys get left out?

As many as fit in a manner that is pleasing to the eye on your shelves. My boys are in a phase of legos and small action figures. I obviously don’t have the legos on shelves! But the larger toys are. The smaller things are in containers that slide under the beds. For us, this system works very well!

 

2. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry.

You bought special food not only for Christmas Day, but for the days surrounding it. A few days ago, your refrigerator was overflowing with food ready to be cooked and shared with people you love. Now it’s full of leftovers, half a turkey carcass (Am I the only one who can’t stand that word? Yet, here I am, using it!), and random plates of mostly eaten pies.

Your fridge needs to be cleared out. I’m not saying to throw everything away, but eat leftovers for a few more days and throw away the food that is expired or moldy.

Why is this so important though? Out of all the things that you could be minimizing, why the refrigerator?

Have you noticed how much time we spend in our kitchens? It’s a lot! And our eating habits affect how we feel. So what happens when you open your fridge and you see chaos and everything is smushed together? You and your family start saying things like “We don’t have anything to eat!” when actually, you do! You have a lot to eat. But it’s not arranged in way that is telling your brain that it’s good to eat!

An organized refrigerator goes a long way in helping you make healthier food choices. And the same goes for the pantry. I know that when I can see what’s going on in my pantry, it makes meal planning and prep so much easier!

Minimalism isn’t limited to our things, it definitely can and should reflect in our food, or rather, how our food is stored.

 

3. Start a clothing rotation

So you’ve started a toy rotation and cleaned out your fridge, the 2 biggest stress-inducers immediately following Christmas! Yay, you! Now for the thing that’s a stress-inducer for the rest of the year - your closet.

Whether you’ve already started on your minimalist journey or you’re planning on starting, your closet will be one of the biggest single projects you tackle.

Not necessarily because you might have a lot of clothes, but because we get so emotionally attached to them! (If you don’t believe me, go to your closet right now and choose the 3 oldest pieces of clothing you own. Now throw them away. Can’t do it? Hmm… Interesting.)

Yes, you should go through your closet and take out everything that is torn, doesn’t fit well or you just haven’t worn in the past year. But you still have that bracket of clothing that you wear, but not very often or maybe that you’ve worn a lot and you’re getting tired of it. And these pieces, although loved, are making your closet feel cluttered and distracting from the pieces of clothing that you want to wear and give a chance to  love.

Pull those out of your closet, pack them in a box and put them away for 4-6 months. Just do it. They don’t have to go far or out of reach. But just out of sight, out of mind for a while.

When you open that box up in 6 months, it’ll be like past you gave the future you a gift and it’ll be awesome! You won’t have to spend money on it and they are all pieces that you’ve loved before. Now, as you awaken those sleeping pieces of clothing, box up another set that need a break.

Congratulations! You have a clothing rotation going!

There you have a few of my favorite tips in getting back on track after Christmas! I hope it’s helpful as you return (or resume in striving for) a life of minimalism. Happy Minimalizing!

 

Read for from Mary here.