Sort through your pantry for packages with the remnants you didn’t use when preparing a meal. (I had a bag with maybe a cup of split peas leftover from when I made split pea and ham soup – a meal that wasn’t a big hit, so the chance of me using those dried peas was nonexistent.)
Make plans to use these ingredients, if you can.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Check your refrigerator for any condiments that have overstayed their welcome.
November 30th's book giveaway is Niki Brantmark's Lagom (not to little, not too much): The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life. To enter, tell me in the comments below. I'll pull the winner's name 12/01/18.
Interpret this day’s task as you wish. Maybe you’ll clear out some of the pens in your crammed-full desk organizer. Maybe you’ll simplify your errands by buying your shampoo at the grocery store instead of making a separate trip to the pharmacy. Maybe you’ll simplify how you accessorize your outfit.
As you go through your day, consider, “how can I simplify what I’m doing by skipping an unnecessary step or eliminating a task in its entirety?”
November 29th's book giveaway is Marie Kondo's Spark Joy. To enter, let me know in the comments below. I'll pull the winner's name 11/30.
You may have purchased the item for yourself years ago or maybe someone gave you the item; but, to be honest, you don’t really like it. It no longer matches your décor, or it doesn’t reflect your current interests or, well, it just doesn’t matter why. When your eye rests on the item, you aren’t happy to see it.
You don’t have to keep it. You don’t have to apologize to the gift giver. Donate it. Sell it. Accidentally knock it off its shelf. Free yourself from the obligation of keeping the item.
Today's book giveaway is Peter Walsh's Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? If you are interested in winning the book, please tell me in the comments below. I'll pull the winner's name on 11/29.
(Today's book giveaway listed below.)
If you enjoy cooking, chances are you have a stack of recipes you’ve torn from magazines or printed from online. Even though earlier in A Year of Decluttering you worked through printed recipes, chances are that between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays you’ve acquired a new stack of “Hmm, I’d like to try this.” I know I have.
Flip through these recipes, weeding out the ones you know you won’t make and leave the other recipes someplace where you’ll see them and make plans to add something new to your repertoire.
Did you buy the ingredients for any of these recipes? Plan when you’ll make the dish; or, if the thought of preparing the dis is no longer appealing, donate the ingredients to your local food bank.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Eliminate five pieces of paper from your files.
Want to win a book? Today I'm giving away Miss Minimalist Francine Jay's book, The Joy of Less. In the comments below, tell me that you're interested. I'll pull the winner's name on 11/28.
Yes, again. Find another item that you’ve been holding onto just-in-case and consider for how long you’ve been waiting to find a use for it. You haven’t. If you can replace the item for less than $20, in about 20 minutes, then it isn’t a rare item that can’t be replace should you ever find that you need it.
Here to see what book I'm giving away today? It's Stephanie Bennett Vogt's A Year to Clear: A Daily Guide to Creating Spaciousness in Your Home and Heart. Let me know in the comments below that you're in (your comment might not show up right away, don't worry, you're in). I'll draw the winner's name on 11/27.
I never had a Christmas tree until I married, so the only Christmas decorations that I had were the Snoopy and Woodstock ornaments that used to come with a miniature box of chocolates. (The winter I was in an apartment that had just the right number of cup hooks beneath the kitchen cabinets was my favorite when it came to hang them.)
Did you buy holiday decorations on a whim only to realize they don’t add to the holiday feel? If you “forget” to put those decorations out, will anyone notice their absence?
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Eliminate a holiday or seasonal ornament that has no sentimental value and that you don’t enjoy displaying.
The attic is a great place to store seasonal items, but often becomes a dumping ground for things that we think we should hold onto in case we need them again. But, out of sight is out of mind and we may forget that we have an extra set of sheets or towels tucked into a box in the attic and we go out and purchase new items for our guests.
Chances are you won’t have to open too many boxes to find something you don’t need to keep.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Eliminate an item stored in your basement, garage, shed, or any other storage area you have.
News stations and newspapers have segments on how to get the best deals on Black Friday, Shop Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, which makes shopping this weekend seem like something you have to do. It isn’t.
Invite friends over for soup and bread or even for a cup of coffee. Go to a museum. Take a walk on a local trail.
I know, I know – Deals! Bargains! Even if you are exchanging gifts with family, you don’t have to shop this weekend. Stores and websites will continue offering deals throughout December. Unless you really love elbowing your way through the crowds, enjoy some peaceful activities instead.
When my husband drops today’s newspapers on the table, there is an audible thud. It’s not that the papers are so full of news but chockfull of advertisements for this weekend. However, if an item wasn’t on sale, would you purchase it at its full price? If not, why will you buy it on sale? Is it truly a financial concern, and, if so, is incurring the debt a worthwhile decision?
If you are gathered with family, can you make plans for this weekend’s activities that don’t involve bouncing from store-to-store?
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.