Holiday Decluttering Challenge

It's that time of year again - holiday decorations, shopping for gifts, receiving gifts, wrapping paper, and LOTS of food. With the holiday season often comes a lot of excess stuff. This can start to feel very overwhelming, especially if you are receiving guests. 

In the spirit of the holiday, "giving away" is a great way to stay organized. To that end, we decided to come up with a fun decluttering challenge for you. This should take no more than an hour, and will help you to eliminate clutter in a fun and fast way. It is an especially great activity if you have kids. 

Ok, here's the challenge. 

Step 1: Gather the following supplies: 
-Several containers - one for each person in the family. These can be bins, cardboard boxes, or garbage bags. 
-A timer or stopwatch (you should have one on your cell phone)
-A prize. (If you have kids, we know you have a prize squirreled away somewhere. If you don't, the prize can be going out to dinner or to a movie - that way everyone wins.)

Step 2: Gather all family members together. 
If you live alone, do the challenge with a friend at your respective homes. Explain that the objective to the challenge is to be the person who finds the most items to donate within 30 minutes (or an hour - whatever works for you. Don't make it too long if you have kids). Each person may only choose items to donate that belong to them. Suggested joint items must be agreed upon following the challenge.
If you have kids, explain the concept of benevolence to them. If they will be receiving Christmas presents, remind them that there are kids who can benefit from your donated items. If kids start this challenge with a spirit of giving, they will be much more successful (and the adults will be, too!). Make sure to tell them that all items will be reviewed at the end, and they can change their minds if they want to. 

Step 3: Set the timer for 30 minutes and...GO!
Spend that time hunting through drawers, cupboards, under the bed, through closets and anywhere else you think donations are hiding. If you are doing the clutter without kids, consider setting the timer for one hour. Get your significant other or friends involved and make it fun! Turn on music and make a party of it. 

Step 4: Reconvene afterwards and compare notes. 
Make decisions about suggested joint items and carefully review kids items to make sure toys contain the parts needed and that there isn't anything that you want to keep as memorabilia. 

Step 5: Donate and repeat! 
This can be a really fun exercise all year round. It's a great way to make decluttering fun for kids, and help them to anticipate the coming holiday. If they resist and struggle with it, than do it again on another day, without the timer, and try again next year.

Happy Organizing!

Portland Resources and Events

A Tip From Missy: Give the Gift of Organization

Stuck on what to give a friend or family member this year? Giving a session with a professional organizer is a wonderful way to support people in your life. Whether they choose to use it to clean out their closet, garage or office, just about anyone can appreciate this gift of time, space and peace of mind. Plus, we don't charge you until they cash in your gift. 

Field Trip: Tiny House Expo

As pro organizers, we love the concept of tiny homes; the minimalist lifestyle that accompanies them is a big draw. When people make the choice to live in a tiny home, they must whittle their belongings down to only the strictly necessary. 

But you do not necessarily have to convert to minimalism to have or want a tiny house. A tiny house could be a getaway vacation home, an additional guest home on your property and for some, an affordable housing option.  Read More
Organize Your Coat Closet and Give to a Great Cause!

Do you have coats to donate? Hope Sparrow Services in Lake Oswego is hosting their yearly coat drive and would be so grateful for any and all donations! You can drop coats (or canned food) off at:

14790 Boones Ferry Rd
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

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