Protect your palace from what you ask? Invaders? UFO’s?
The answer is…stuff.
Your home is your palace, and this Christmas I intend to protect mine.
I am posting this now, because in a few weeks there will be an onslaught of presents arriving in our home. Given to us with love and kindness, by the people we love the most. But, if I am really honest, I dread the thought of more stuff.
The truth is I don’t need more organisation in my home. I am super organised. I label craft boxes to show their contents, my children’s shelves are labeled to show what item of clothing goes where. I have excel files when preparing to go on holiday so nothing is missed.
But I am NEVER finished tidying, NEVER finished creating new organisation methods and every night find myself sitting on the sofa with a basket of laundry beside me. The root of my problem: TO MUCH STUFF.
I have read Marie Kondo’s famous art of tidying up. I applied the method to my clothes. Yes, it worked. In fact it was a new lease of life. I am now greeted by a beautifully organised closet, clothes I like and that are comfortable. Since applying the method I have never had the “I don’t know what to wear feeling”.
I have every intention to apply the Kon Mari method to the rest of my home, because I honestly think having too much stuff it is the root of a lot of stress, tension and time-wasting in our home. But first and most importantly I have to protect my palace from stuff.
Think of it like this: if you had a burst pipe, it would be futile to put all your effort into mopping up the water. Your first priority should be to stop the flow of water.
Here are four things I am doing to protect my palace this Christmas:
Take out last years decorations before you buy any more: Shops are full of beautiful decorations, table settings and all things Christmassy. But in my shed, I have five large plastic boxes full of decorations. So this year, before I headed out to browse the decorations aisle, I had a good look through my storage boxes and cleared out some faddy pieces and decorations that were tired and past their sell-by-date. OK, this means stuff might come in, but I am filling a gap, not adding to an existing pile.
Discuss presents with family: I will admit, this is not always easy. I struggled with this approach at first and came up against resistance! But we have turned a corner, my Dad suggested paying for my children’s summer camps next year and also to give a small gift on Christmas day, probably some books. My Mom is doing something similar. My Aunt is buying cinema vouchers and so her gift will now be a day out for us. See where I’m going with this?? My husband and I will have our stockings filled by Santa Clause, but we are not buying gifts for each other. Instead we will use the money for a weekend away. What we used to spend on Christmas presents will go a long way on cheap Ryan Air flights and off-season accommodation in the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Have a get together with friends instead of swapping gifts: This is great way to take serious pressure off and prevent bags of more stuff. I wrote a full post about gift-less presents here.
Use what you get: When we tidy up on Christmas night, (or St Stephens Day 😉 ), I gather each family members presents and put them in a gift bag. These bags eventually get put in their room. It is not unusual for me to find a bag in June with a few unused presents. This is not a case of disrespect, nor a disregard for the kindness that was shown to us. Before we get a chance to use what we have, we are buying in the sales, or a birthday rolls around and yes you guessed it…MORE STUFF!! So read the book, soak in the aromatic bath salts, spend the voucher. What ever it is, USE IT!
The truth is I love Christmas, but not because there are truck loads of presents under the tree.
I love when we dress up in cheesy Christmas jumpers and visit family who are not afraid to sing Christmas carols out of tune and repeat the chorus because everyone only knows the first verse. I love that we all pile into houses that are too small to fit everyone, but squeeze we do!
I love pulling crackers, telling the silly joke and wearing the paper hat. I love that being on washing up duty can be the best fun of the night. I love that we make a special effort to help those less fortunate than us. I love seeing Christmas trees with twinkle lights in windows.
I love baking reindeer biscuits for the christmas fair, while listing to Mariah tell me once again what she wants for Christmas!
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