5 tips to a more organized house for the New Year ~

Actually, I can make this a 3-step process:
1. Get everyone out of the house
2. Put a "everything is free, help yourself" sign in driveway
3. Leave doors unlocked
Voila! Nothing to worry about, minimalism accomplished!

Ok, ok, so maybe that seems extreme. 
For the new year, many of us are giving the side eye to a post-decorated, cluttery, this-hasn't-been-deep-cleaned-since-2003 mess, and are wondering where to start. 
A few tips I have picked up on over the years, maybe they can of help to a few of you ;)
1. Get all family members involved
If your children are kindergarten and up, hand each a laundry bin.
(I favor this over a trash bag, trash bags seem to scare the poop out of kids, laundry bins seem more inviting for whatever reason. Laundry bins scare the poop out of me, but, whatever works!)
Have them fill it with things they haven't played with in 3 months. Then, sit down an itemize each thing. Is it sentimental? It can stay. If they have no reaction to it? It goes.
2. Work at night
It may seem sneaky, but it often is the most effective way to purge a bit. I will go around at night and fill a bin or bag with things I haven't seen used or played with in months. Then, that bin/bag goes to the garage. After a few more months, if nobody has asked for it, out it goes.
3. "Yard Sale" things for a fun family activity
Kids will be a lot more motivated if they are working towards something. All those old stuffed animals for a day at the trampoline park? That Hot Wheels collection for Zoo Passes? You would be surprised what can all of a sudden be "let go" of for the chance of a new experience
4. Consignment Sales when new things are needed
If your New Year means less consumption, the growing movement of consignment sales might be your best option. Often you can find name-brand and trendy clothing labels, worn once, for a fraction of the price. Best of all, you aren't putting a demand on new retail sales. Your wardrobe is refreshed, money saved, nothing "new" is manufactured.
5. Donate, donate, donate
But always make sure:
- You are donating what the organization actually needs, otherwise you are creating more work for them to dispose of the items
- Donate things that you would take back in if you needed them. Dirty, broken, worn items are going to be an extra burden and visible sign of "neediness" to families who are experiencing hardships, so make sure your items are in great shape to pass on <3
Before you know it, your house will look like this 24/7
:::::dies of laughter:::

So, even if it doesn't, it will be a little more manageable, with plenty of room to live and love all of the people in it who make it a home <3
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