Today was a day for clearing-out! It's so satisfying to put all the Christmas items back into their labeled bins and stick them back on their shelves in the garage to await next year's holiday season. We took the tree down and I removed all Christmas decorations from the interior of the house except for my children's small (faux) trees. They will come down sometime after our daughter's birthday on January 9.
I also went through a huge lot of vintage Christmas ornaments my father-in-law dropped off at our house last Monday. I chose a small number of the ornaments to keep--the most interesting, singular-looking ones (glass bells, glass stars!) which gave me a surge of joy when I saw them, then created a bag to give to my sister, and the rest are going to the thrift store.
And finally I orchestrated an ambitious decluttering and re-organizing of the main floor of the house. All three bedrooms were ruthlessly tidied--the children's rooms in particular needed a lot of help--and the other rooms were totally decluttered. Tomorrow our lower floor gets the same treatment.
My tip for doing this with children around is to set a timer. Spend a set amount of time cleaning together, and then spend an equal amount of time playing (sometimes I will play *with* my children or read to them, but more often I just let them play because they are now old enough to do so--with toddlers, it's best if you devote the entire time to interacting with them!). It is amazing how much I can accomplish this way!
I love creating fresh space to usher in the New Year. It's energizing and so refreshing.