My darlings, I am all about tradition, and I am willing to bet you are as well. You have cooked the black-eyed peas and toasted with champagne, given a nod to necessary health changes (be they weight, flossing, or Kegel-related), and in a nutshell (no matter how transitory), vowed to be perfect in one way or another in 2011. Oh, I bet you have acquired those traditional post-holiday Sunday blues as well.
(May I digress for just a moment? I am a real fan of Sunday Night Football on NBC, mostly because of that great opening song performed by Faith Hill. I am watching it now as I write. So I ask you, if you work as hard at looking toned, hot and vivacious as she so commendably does why would you perform in front of millions of people with two inch long black roots in your flowing, blond mane of hair? Just one of the many deep questions I will ponder this new year.)
As for me, though I am not yet foaming at the mouth (I checked by asking Husband, who said no foam as yet, but rabid, aggressive symptoms well underway), I am caught up in my traditional New Year cleaning, purging, and shedding frenzy. The excess and clutter (not to mention dried pine needles) of Christmas have done me in. Anything not pinned down, consumable, or breathing (sometimes not even THAT) is subject to banishment in my annual pilgrimage to that elusive place, LIFE SIMPLIFICATION and it's twin locale, the ever-marketable ORGANIZATION. I can see you nodding your head in agreement.
Gone are the days when our homes consisted of little more than an uncomfortable sofa and star burst clock. (Though the sofa and clock probably both reeked of cigarette smoke, and I am grateful I don't have to rid my house or lungs of that stench, and for this I am grateful, gratitude also being on my resolution list.)
Since this ritual cleansing and purging has been going on in my home for years, I thought you might appreciate a few tips.
- On the days you plan to clean and purge, do not under any circumstances put on makeup and cute attire. It is best to just stay in your pajamas or your work-out sweats. If you look nice you will be compelled to go see a movie or go to brunch with friends home for the holidays. So looking nice is a real no-no. Trust me on this.
- It is also helpful if the weather is cold, cloudy and dreary. This will hopefully dissuade any visitors who will catch you cleaning in your pajamas with uncombed hair and a teeth-whitening strip. (Simplification does not mean you cannot multi-task).
- If at all possible, get rid of your family. Remember the wise words of Erma Bombeck: "Cleaning house with your family at home is like stringing beads with no knot at the end". They will also try to interrupt your momentum by asking you to make them lunch or do a load of laundry. This is especially irritating if you are not working in the kitchen or laundry room. Do not let them steal your mojo. Ask them to help in some way. That and the mad-dog look in your eye will probably do the trick.
- Have the Salvation Army Pickup number (or Habitat for Humanity or Vietnam Vets or pick-up charity of choice) on speed-dial, or at the very least, on your Emergency Phone Number list taped to the inside of a laundry room cabinet). You could store all of your purgings for a garage sale in the spring, but I am into immediate gratification and not a garage sale kind of person, so I never do that.
- Once you start, never sit down, though it is helpful to put on an old movie which you can occasionally stare at mindlessly as you plan your next area of attack.
Oh, one MORE thing. When your work is done (or at least the first floor), go buy yourself some flowers to fill the Christmas void. You deserve it.