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NO-NO-November Week 2: Ditch It!

And just like that, the first week of November is gone. THE No-No-November 2023 pre-holiday life declutter is in full swing. Join

me for the rest of November in reducing, removing, quitting, stopping, and minimizing as many nonessential tasks, belongings, activities, habits, and projects as possible so that every minute of the holiday season can be enjo

yed to the fullest.

No-No-November No Week 1 was dedicated to minimizing time commitments. We abandoned pointless, unrewarding, or redundant tasks to make sure we have time for Week 2’s more traditional decluttering. Since we are just a couple weeks out from Thanksgiving, there will not be time to clean out the junk drawer, attic, or under the kitchen sink. However, focusing on 6 categories of clutter guarantees the biggest bang for the least effort.

1.) Ditch Big Things – The bigger the item, the bigger the difference it will make when it’s gone. The extra space will come in handy as you try to keep the house clean, set up holiday decorations, or keep your home office organized. Pitch that broken chair that you are never going to fix. Toss those icky pillows that are flat and discolored. Chuck the unused TV that is deeper than it is wide. It will be one less thing to dust.

2.) Ditch Entertainment Items – Sorting through your old toys, games, CDs. DVDs, gaming systems, and unused or outgrown sports equipment will certainly free up space. If you haven’t used them in a year, put them straight into a box to take to your favorite donation center. By donating these things NOW, they will make great presents for someone else during this gift giving season.

3.) Ditch Unused Clothing – Many of us will get clothes as gifts this holiday season, but excessive wardrobes are a universal problem. Thin out your closet now. If it doesn’t fit – it’s gotta go. If you haven’t worn it in a year (or two) – it’s gotta go. If it is torn or stained beyond repair – it’s gotta go. If it’s embarrassingly unflattering – it’s gotta go. Focus on winter clothes since any that get donated can find a new home right away.

4.) Ditch Bathroom Clutter - You may not have the time and energy to do a deep dive but a quick once over to rid yourself of products that just don’t work for you is a good use of time. Makeup that looked exotic on the model but makes you look like you have the flu should be trashed. Magic shampoo that only made your money disappear but not your split ends should be trashed. Dull razors that don’t actually have one more use should be trashed. And while you’re at it, say goodbye to expired ointments, sunscreen, or medications. Bonus: any holiday guest that likes to snoop will find nothing of interest.

5.) Ditch Food Junk – Food junk and junk food are not the same thing. This category makes the list because of the amount of holiday cooking that requires additional cabinet, counter, or refrigerator space. Anything you bought for a recipe that you decided not to try can go. The jalapeño flavored au gratin potatoes you bought by mistake (it happens) can go. Things you bought on super sale but you won’t use before the expiration date can go. Anything that HAS expired can definitely go. And lastly, I give you my blessing to ditch condiments that are upside down in the refrigerator door in anticipation of using the very last teeny, tiny drop. Bonus: food pantries are in dire need of donations.

6.) Ditch Your Hoarder Hoard - What do you unintentionally collect? Dry-cleaning hangers? Plastic grocery bags? Shoe boxes? Expired coupons? Cool Whip containers? At least thin through these collections. Remember, there is always more where they came from. Ditch them.

Week 2’s declutter isn’t meant to be an all-out top to bottom super purge. It will, however, simplify life, clear out some space, provide a little peace of mind, and give flexibility all while putting some usable items into the hands of those who need them. Donate, consume, or recycle whenever possible. Only throw away what is beyond its useful life. This isn’t all or nothing. Pick a category or two, do them all, or make up your own strategy. Keep your eye on the prize - a more peaceful, meaningful, and joyful holiday season.

See you in Week 3 where our focus turns to removing virtual clutter.


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