What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

So goes the old Frank Loesser hit. Never intended to be a holiday anthem, the song tells the tale of a suitor looking far ahead on the calendar as a testament an plea for enduring love. As we prepare for the new year, though, the question looms.

With a new variant driving COVID case numbers up, one acceptable answer is “nothing” — or at least nothing far from the confines of your own home. Gathering in large groups has again become a risky proposition, so a quiet night in might be the safest option.

If you do celebrate, keep parties small to avoid the risk of spreading the virus. A Zoom, Skype or FaceTime session is always a good option if you wish to see faraway friends and relatives faces unmasked.

Small gatherings are safest, with only the people you know have taken the appropriate precautions invited. Epidemiologists told The New York Times that those who are at low risk for serious illness and have received a booster shot can celebrate with less worry.

For planners who still want to ring in the new year in style, Reader’s Digest offers 20 themed party ideas that can keep things interesting for small groups of almost any age — game nights, pajama parties and so on.

Weather permitting, the safest way for groups made up of members of different households to celebrate is outdoors. A socially distanced bonfire, beach walk or campout might make a memorable way to ring in 2022.

Another option exists for those worn out by 2021: Get comfortable, order some food, binge-watch a show and relax. You may even choose to go to bed well ahead of the ball drop in Times Square.

Or you could begin a #clutter-free new year one day early by taking down all of those #holiday #decorations and storing the ones you’ll want to use next year. Set aside the extras and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free #donation #pickup.

Consider it an early start to your #spring cleaning and part of your #resolution to be more #organized in the new year. Happy New Year from the Vietnam Veterans of America and ClothingDonations.org!

Make Boxing Day Into Boxing Week

In the major countries of the former British Empire, the day after #Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day. A legal holiday, the event grew out of a custom for wealthy landowners to offer their servants and workers a box of edible goodies, gifts or a monetary tip during the Christmas season.

Stateside, many make the erroneous assumption that “Boxing Day” is on the calendar as a day people might set aside to box and store their Christmas #decorations for another year. In #quarantine times, however, the Organizing Blog would like to propose a modest compromise:

Let’s celebrate Boxing Day as a way to #declutter and #donate to a good cause. And since we have plenty of time at home due to pandemic travel restrictions, let’s take the whole week to do it.

The first step is to declutter. Start with the stacks and stacks of shipping boxes you’ve likely accumulated buying gifts from Amazon and other outlets. With online shopping up 40% from 2019, households are drowning in cardboard. Break down and #recycle any box that can’t be repurposed.

Next, conduct an organized destaging of all of your household holiday trappings, including wrapping paper, decorations, tree, lights, ornaments, and tchotchkes. Take your time and store everything in dedicated, labeled bins and boxes for easy access next year, or use these clever suggestions from HGTV.

As you pack up, toss anything that’s damaged or dingy. Dead light strands, cracked ornaments and worn fabrics aren’t worth saving or storing. Then, set aside any items that don’t provide a Kondoesque “joy.” These items may still be of good use to someone — just not you.

Finally, gather those unwanted and orphaned items together in extra boxes and bags and contact ClothingDonations.org for a donation pickup. Consider it a tax-deductible gift to the nation’s veterans, made in the true spirit of Boxing Day. You may not be landed gentry, but every little bit you give helps veterans access health care, housing and other resources.

Take advantage of a pandemic-era “Boxing Week” to get rid of the things you don’t want and show your appreciation for those who served. Happy New Year from the Organizing Blog!

Craft a Festive Holiday

Budding crafters know that all you need is creativity — and maybe a hot glue gun — to decorate for the #holidays in magnificent DIY style. Reader’s Digest has 50 foolproof ideas you can use to make your home into holiday headquarters, including jingle bell wreaths, rustic reindeer figurines and cinnamon stick candles. These and other holiday crafts can keep you and the kids busy while in #quarantine, and give you that warm holiday feeling that may be missing with so many travel plans cancelled this year.

Make Your Own Ornaments

Celebrating your first holiday in a new place and don’t have enough ornaments to put on the tree? Do what your parents did: Make a batch of salt dough to cut into festive shapes to decorate and hang on the tree! “Those homemade ornaments you made as a kid were the best,” Bustle says. “You can imprint thumbs, greenery, or whatever else you want, or cut out festive shapes like trees and stars using cookie cutters.” This is also a great way to keep the kids occupied make memories with the kids in the runup to Christmas.

Thrifting for Holiday Decorations

Holiday decorating doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Some of the best decorations, in fact, may be available at thrift stores supplied by generous contributions to ClothingDonations.org. “Thrift store holiday décor can sometimes make you feel like you’ve opened a time capsule from your childhood,” says blogger Brittany Goldwyn, “but there are always goodies mixed in.” If you use your imagination (and perhaps a touch of spray paint), your home can quickly exude holiday cheer.