Tomorrow is our day to take down the Christmas decorations, and I cannot wait. I love Christmas, and I love looking at the lights and all, but I am really done with having a tree in the house.
My family is also looking forward to taking down the Christmas decor. They really don't seem to mind the amount of space the tree takes up, but Epiphany is an exiting day for them. There are snacks!
We celebrate Epiphany (the twelfth day of Christmas) by taking down the tree, receiving a small gift, and finishing up the Christmas treats. Diets do not begin January 1 around here! The kids have free access to any fudge, toffee or cookies that have not been demolished. Additionally, while we pack the ornaments away, we eat. I make finger foods, many that rarely appear other times of the year, to snack on while we pack everything away.
It occurred to me that the same strategy can apply to decluttering other types of clutter. Pour yourself a glass or cup of something lovely before tackling the linen closet. Make popcorn for the kids before asking them to choose which movies they want to get rid of. Then put on their favorite movie to celebrate, or do the same thing with board games. You don't have to celebrate every time you tackle an area, but by rewarding yourself as you go, the entire project will be less arduous.
The process of eliminating the unnecessary and discovering the essentials can be part of the joy of having less. Be gentle with yourself and your family, though. The clutter didn't show up in a weekend, and changing your lifestyle to a more minimalist, cleaner lifestyle won't occur in a weekend, especially if you want lasting change.