Make Every Day Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day! British custom has it that the first weekday after Christmas is the day to acknowledge those rendering services throughout the year with gifts or gratuities. Servants and tradesmen have accepted “Christmas boxes” of gifts, cash bonuses, leftovers and secondhand items since medieval times, House Beautiful says.

Today, the United Kingdom and former colonies such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand celebrate Boxing Day as a shopping holiday, similar to Black Friday or a post-holiday clearance sale in the United States.

We’ve likely done all of the shopping we need to do for a while, and more shopping just means more #stuff to put away — or more #clutter. So let’s return to the “#giving” definition of Boxing Day and make it an everyday tradition from now through the new year.

It’s a great holiday for #minimalists, because it calls upon those celebrating to #give things away. Assuming it’s in good working order, the stuff you no longer use — wrong-sized clothes, extra kitchen and dinnerware, appliances, books, small furniture and so on — may have a second useful life in someone else’s hands.

That’s where ClothingDonations.org can help. Our drivers will pick up those extra things and resell them to #thrift stores to fund an array of programs that the nation’s #veterans rely upon. It’s a generous, safe and convenient way to observe the Boxing Day tradition of acknowledging others’ service.

You don’t have to limit yourself to a single box, of course. ClothingDonations.org will #pick up as many boxes and bags of #donations as you want to give. And if you’re still in the process of household #decluttering, you can schedule a #donation to match your progress as often as you gather a few boxes of stuff to #give away.

As the #holidays wind down, we hope you can make Boxing Day an everyday tradition — one that recognizes service and sacrifice while helping #declutter and #streamline your home life. Get started today, and make a new habit of observing Boxing Day as early and often as you want while getting organized for the new year. #BoxingDay

The Ultimate No-Clutter November

With #Halloween in the rearview and temperatures dropping fast, it’s on to November and the #holidays. ’Tis the season that you’ll see more #stuff than ever, as you give and get gifts, bake up platters of cookies, prepare your home for guests, get the good China out and put up the decorations.

But November can also be a month of measured austerity. The Great American Smokeout happens mid-month every year, and No-Shave November encourages cancer prevention and awareness. But there’s an unofficial cause you can take up in the effort to lead a calmer, more stress-free life: #No-Clutter November.

You can start with décor items that don’t get used, Organize Your Stuff Now says. As you #decorate for the fall and winter #holidays, take a good look at the stuff that doesn’t make the cut. You don’t need to save that stuff for next year — you aren’t using it, so get rid of it now. When you pack the decorations away again in January, they will take a lot less space.

Chances are you’ll be spending more time in the kitchen, too, making cookies, a dish to pass or hosting a full feast yourself. As you prepare, have a box handy and throw any shabby kitchen towels, hot pads and oven mitts in it. Do the same as you go through your drawers and cabinets; there are probably utensils that you haven’t used in years.

It’s also a great time to assess your cold-weather #clothing, much of which you’ll be getting out for the first time in November. “We recommend people #declutter their collection of hats, scarves and gloves,” professional organizer Diane Quintana told Homes & Gardens. “Look at these items critically. If they are in good condition but [you don’t] want to use them anymore, release them so someone else can benefit from them.”

To attack No-Cutter November aggressively, First for Women suggests, eliminate one item on Nov. 1, two on Nov. 2 and so on. You’ll eventually have a pile of 465 items that you don’t want or use, and you can #trash, give away or #donate them to ClothingDonations.org by arranging a #free #donation #pickup. By the end of the month, your home will be #decluttered and #streamlined — and you’ll be ready to meet the holidays head-on.

It’s Time to Take Inventory of Your Stuff

Businesses of all sizes regularly take #inventory to make sure they have supplies sufficient to function and enough goods to sell. But you, too, can take inventory of your stuff, and chances are that you’ll find you have more than you need.

Whether you own or rent, taking inventory of your stuff has an obvious benefit: If you ever need to replace #possessions following a flood, fire or burglary, you can file an insurance claim that requests the full replacement value.

To get started, categorize what you own and enter the details in a spreadsheet or app such as NestEgg. Take pictures of individual high-value item such as jewelry, artwork or musical instruments; document purchases’ serial numbers and save receipts.

If you find that you have more of an item than you really need, you can start to #declutter. You may find that you only need five pairs of shoes instead of 15, or two saucepans instead of five. You probably have just a few “favorites” in any category that get used.

The things you see as essential, have used in the past year and enjoy having are the things you can feel good about keeping, says the Minimal Mom. Anything that you’re saving for “someday,” your fantasy self or sentimentality is something you can get rid of.

If you really want to streamline, work one room at a time, says Cut Clutter With Scissors. Look at your inventory spreadsheet and photos and “ask yourself which items you would replace in case of a disaster or burglary. If you wouldn’t replace the item, you probably don’t need it.”

If those extra things are worn, torn or shabby, they can go directly into the trash. If they still might be of use to someone else, they can go into a box or bag for #donation. Contact ClothingDonations.org for a free #pickup, and you’ll be rid of them forever.

You can sell the more expensive items you no longer need, of course, and use the money to fund a special treat for yourself. But you’ll have less stuff to take care of on a daily basis, and fewer worries as a result.

Make a To-Do List to Stay On-Task

Sometimes, getting #organized is a matter of managing your schedule and task list, says The Spruce. Even if you don’t like to make to-do lists, they can help you stay on top of priorities and cut mental #clutter. Consider making your first in honor of National Get Organized Day (April 26). Jot down the projects or tasks for the day, and cross them off as you complete them — or move them to the next day’s list. You’ll feel more fulfilled and productive as you complete tasks and reduce the likelihood of running behind or procrastinating. Having a list and routine can also help create better habits and automate even the most boring, undesirable and avoidable jobs. #NationalGetOrganizedDay

Organizing Is Important to Your Health

#Disorganization can affect your mental and physical health, says Piedmont Healthcare. It may manifest as a symptom of attention deficit disorder (ADD), depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and exacerbate feelings of #stress, depression and anxiety. That’s why it’s important to celebrate National Get Organized Day this week and any other day of the year you can find the time to #declutter and #streamline your life. “An excessive amount of stress can actually lead to premature death,” Millennials in Motion points out. “Therefore, one could argue that staying organized can literally save one’s life.” #NationalGetOrganizedDay