Tricks of the trade shouldn’t be consigned to a couple of months each year. Yet for those of us ever in pursuit of simplicity, the holiday season presents an especially tricky two months to navigate. In our family, add a couple of birthdays into the mix and we have all the makings of consumerism tumult come November. What to do?
This year I’d like to share some simplicity hacks. (Hmmm, sounds like a hashtag in the making, #simplicityhack perhaps?) And I would love to hear your simplicity hacks, too. Here’s an example relevant to our household this very day.
A month ago, not in preparation for this post, but in anticipation of the clutter that inevitably makes its way into our home between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I decided to completely empty a junk cabinet in our kitchen. Everything went into a trash bag that I put in a corner of the garage. Then using Awesome Note, I created a To-do that would buzz one month later. The note reminded me of the previous month’s purge, asked me to assess whether or not the family missed any of the items, and prompted me, assuming nothing was missed, to go all the way and get rid of the stuff permanently. My wife and I also gave ourselves a rule that, while we wouldn’t bring up the topic of the missing stuff with our kids, if any of them all on their own asked for a toy that had previously been in the junk cabinet, we would go into the garage and get it out of the trash bag. Results?
Over the last month, one of three children have requested one toy. Our Bop It is now safely out of the bag and back in the house. For the last month the junk cabinet has turned into the tranquility cabinet. It has remained empty. And you know what? No one has cared. No one has even noticed. We haven’t even talked about it. In the last month our youngest daughter has scored her first goal in a soccer game; our middle daughter has put in fifteen extra hours a week of Irish dance practice preparing for the Oireachtas; our oldest daughter has learned how to do dressage courses; countless happy family hours have been had; lots of tween tears have been shed; and many more things besides. All this without noticing that there’s nothing in the former junk cabinet.
Simplicity Hack: identify a place in your house that accumulates stuff and decommission it throughout the holiday season. How many places can you decommission between now and Christmas?
Let me know your simplicity hacks. If you have an especially good one, I’ll share with the 100TC community.