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Thing Families Should Do in January

The 1 Thing Every Family Should Do in January

I'm not a fan of New Year's resolutions, but there is one thing I've decided for which January is the perfect time to tackle, and you and your family should, too. I get it; you're probably not in the right headspace as of now to add anything to your to-do list, current or future, but hear me out. Spring might have gotten the reputation as the perfect season for a good clean-out, but in my mind, January is the better time for a good purge, especially when it comes to kid stuff.

I understand that adding anything to your still-very-messy plate in January is a bummer. After all, you've just come off the busiest, most stressful/joyful time of the year to be a mom, and you need a break . . . and a nap . . . and a maid. Your house is probably still full of wrapping paper and pine needles and toy boxes, and you know you're stuck inside that mess for approximately the next two and a half months, waiting for Spring.

But January is also the time when your kids have gotten a new influx of toys and goods, meaning your already-clutter-filled abode is now bursting and your kids are too distracted by the flashy and new to be as devoted to the tired and old as they usually are. Now's the time to pounce with donation boxes and garbage bags and get rid of the stuff no one needs hanging around anymore.

I plan to tackle my January cleaning room by room, and there are a lot of spaces in my home that need help. I'll enlist my daughter to work on her bedroom. She's usually willing to part with clothes that are a bit too snug or no longer in her regular rotation, so those will get divided up into piles to pass on to friends and Goodwill. I'll do the same, only solo, in my son's room because he could care less about clothes unless they have Batman on them (and those items he'll wear even when they're two sizes too small, so I have to sneak them out).

With the clothing conflicts fought and won, I'll move on to the major clutter war: the toys. My daughter is a stuffed animal hoarder and has hundreds of them, all of which she claims to love and need, so it's going to be tough fight. My strategy is to make her go through all the toys in her room and let her keep only the toys that will fit in her storage bins. The rest go to Goodwill. Fingers crossed there will only be minimal tears involved.

The final battle will take place in the basement, where all of my children's toys eventually go to die (OK, just to be forgotten). This is a solo project, which I know I can only accomplish when they're out of the house. There's going to be a lot of carnage — chewed-on toddler toys, tiny Lego pieces, and plastic objects of unknown origin flying into garbage bags, never to be seen again; Barbies and baby dolls and dress-up clothes landing in donation boxes to go to children who might actually appreciate them — and my kids don't need to see it (mainly because they'd try to convince me to keep all that crap).

I'm hoping by February, my house will be a happier, less cluttered place. It's a big job, but now's the time to do it.

Image Source: Burst / Matthew Henry
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