Christmas, Easter, Halloween or insert your favourite holiday/festival here. Either way they all can be key culprits of clutter.
In years gone by, Christmas took up two boxes. One tree and one box of decorations. Easter was a chocolate egg and that soon got eaten. Halloween was a hollowed out Swede with a scary face, that was thrown out when it went mouldy.
Fast forward to today. Christmas has grown to four boxes, including multiple fairy lights and a mock reindeer head wreath with bells. Easter now involves a selection of toy rabbits and stuffed chicks and a decorated easter basket for the eggs. And don’t get me started on Halloween – somehow I acquired a plastic chainsaw, a selection of false limbs, lots of makeup and a variety of outfits including a bat costume, assorted witches hat and a werewolf mask. Not to mention the numerous hanging ghosts, bats and light up haunted houses.
I admit it – I really enjoy decorating the flat. And I justify it by telling myself it’s for the benefit of the kids. Even though the overall effect is more tacky than ‘Tatler’, I can sit back and admire my handy work with a glass of something festive in my hand. The reality is my storage space is shrinking with every season. What could be used for more useful items – eg out of season clothes is now stuffed full of decorations which are used for a month and then gather dust for the other eleven.
The true cost is not just sacrificing space, but also sacrificing my salary. Each year I am tempted into the shops by colourful and imaginative window displays which convince me to part with my hard-earned cash. Every year my spending seems to increase as I aim for more and more elaborate displays and the question I have to ask myself is why? Why do I feel the urge to buy more clutter for my already clutter filled house, to gather more dust and to contribute to more debt? Is this really the meaning of Christmas?!
So this year my resolution is to keep holiday clutter to a minimum.
1. I resolve get rid of anything, tatty, or broken and just plain tacky, keeping only the very best items and donating the rest.
2. I will decorate just one small area of my flat – a feature display, rather than hang decorations from every available corner.
3. I resolve not to buy anything new. I can enjoying looking, but I won’t spend.
4. I will used the time I’ve saved decorating and shopping to do something seasonal with the kids instead – eg exploring ancient customs/traditions that don’t involve spending lots of cash.
By following this strategy I hope to save money, clear clutter AND remember the true meaning of the festival. Now that is a reason to celebrate!