Thursday, 7 January 2016

Post Christmas Declutter

I am being firmer this year than ever before. Christmas is a time for love, and happy memories - but not pointless sentimentality. If I do not like it, cannot remember why I have it, and it has cracked/torn/frayed or is shedding needles, fur, or glitter, then it goes! [to recycling, rubbish or the Charity Shop]

  1. Lights - We have ditched a large box of old lights - nothing special about them, and they were not LED, so not as cheap to run. Wilko had a great selection of inexpensive ones - and we needed some battery powered ones for the staircase as there is not a convenient socket in this house. Minimal outlay, good result.
  2. Cards - ruthlessly recycled. Just a few kept for a craft workshop I am doing soon, and a few others to make next year's cards [I didn't use all this years, so will not need many come December 2016]
  3. Gifts - none of my gifts this year are 'unwanted' - many have been delicious edible, or 'requested' [my watch, my perfume, a particular book] or useful tokens. But I have shamelessly re-used fancy gift bags over the Christmas season as I have delivered things to family and friends in the past few weeks. And the arrival of a lovely new Cath Kidston Mug is a good reason to get rid of one of my older, less loved mugs to a charity shop. 
  4. Decorations - As the decorations come down, they are being pruned. To be truthful, they were also pruned 'on the way up' four weeks ago. For about 8 years I have hung a home-made funky-foam snowman on the tree which was a gift from a former pupil - but I cannot remember who it was, and it is looking very tatty now, that is going. And I need to make space for my newest Nativity - a delightful Matryoshka set from Liz [the largest piece has 3 faces - all different magi]
  5. Baking supplies - there are one or two pots of 'sprinkles' which are almost used up, they can definitely go. I discovered that I had far more Christmas petit four cases than I realised [I got some very cheaply in an IKEA sale in 2013, and I shall never need them all] I was able to give a bagful to a friend who makes wonderful chocolate truffles. I ought to go through my Christmas cookie cutters as well, I suspect there are some duplicates which need a new home.
  6. Candles - or to be more accurate - tealight holders. I put them all along the mantelpiece and there seemed to be dozens.  Bob rightly said there were too many, so I put some back in the box. Some are frankly not that attractive - metal ones have tarnished, plastic ones with chips ... the Dickensian Cottage [which I thought ugly] went straight to a CS earlier in the month - I hope someone else loves it. I am only keeping the lovely ones. 
Having a different house to decorate has helped - some things never made it out of the box this year, and I shall have to seriously consider if I do want to keep them for the future. I threw away our ancient door wreath before we moved - but did not buy a new one. Instead, in the porch, we hung our old Swedish light wreath vertically and clipped just one red silk poinsettia to it. [for years that wreath hung horizontally like a chandelier in our conservatory, with red and silver baubles hanging down] It looked great in its new incarnation. Bob likes the minimalism. 

Have you acquired any new decorations this year? have you got rid of any old ones?
Do you hang on to ones which have special memories?


  1. I still have the very elderly, and showing it, Angel that Francesca made in primary school. She is stored in a tubular box and will stay there. This year was the first one for over 20 years that she did not top the tree, she is just too fragile.

  2. "cracked/torn/frayed" - I'm a bit worried that I'd be first in the bin if that criteria were applied!!

    1. On the contrary Gaz- you meet the "old, loved and brings back happy memories" category, so you would definitely stay!!

  3. We do have a few sentimental decorations, but we hardly decorated at all this year so most of the ordinary baubles are going to the charity shop as I can't see us using them again. This time we decorated more with lights and candles than anything else.

  4. I have pruned my collection too and now most of the ones I kept have sentimental value and remind me of the friends who gave them to us or the reasons why we bought them.

  5. Such a good idea. I am suddenly faced with the prospect of having to do serious culling as I've just got an email from my landlord giving us notice as he needs to move back in. I am so utterly depressed and overwhelmed at the prospect.

  6. I am not in charge of decorations. That is Head of House's department. He never prunes either.

  7. Barring the wreath on the front door, we didn't decorate at all this year as we have recently acquired two six-month-old kittens.They climb everything even remotely climbable and I decided that I couldn't cope with them wrecking everything. I suspect that I will probably prune our decorations when I get them out again next Christmas.


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