The January Purge

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” – L.M. Montgomery

Ahhh January!

The holidays are over and while I do enjoy them there is just something about January. It is a new month, obviously, but it is more than that. It means that I have a new year full of possibilities and adventures in front of me. I will start new habits and set new goals. I will set myself up for success. I will get a new planner and make a large “to do” list for this month. This is the month that I get all “out with the old and in with the new”! I welcome this time of year and around our house we call it the “January Purge”.

I am getting a late start this year because our December was filled with sickness and our January has started out that way too. But THERE IS STILL TIME! January is a whole month. I can still start my year off on the right foot.

Maybe it isn’t like that for you? Maybe you don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed with the idea of a purge? Maybe, just maybe, you might be helped by someone like me who is crazy about making “to do lists” and getting organized?

Well, I’m so glad that I could help!

Here is the link to a printable version of this list. The printable January Purge Checklist

  1. Closets and Dressers – take a good look through your closet and ask yourself the following questions. A.) Do I wear this?  B.) Will I wear it this year?   C.) Do I need this or does it bring me joy? D.) Is the closet the best place to store this item? If you are not wearing it or going to wear it, if you do not need it or it does not bring you joy— It goes in the donate/discard pile. (Sometimes I will just remove everything from the closet and start over. Especially in the kid’s closets.)img_5489
  2. Medicine Cabinet– Look for expired or no longer needed medications. Also this is a great time to check to see what you are out of or may need to refill. It truly stinks to have a headache and be completely out of Ibuprofen. You may find that some of your medications have a couple of months before you need a refill. Take a moment and find 30 days prior to when you need the refill and write it down in your planner/ calendar. (Ex. July 1st *Call and refill EPI Pens.)
  3. Toys– Oh Lord the TOYS! We just had Christmas so my children are currently obsessed with the new ones…but what about all of the old ones? It is time for some of them to go. I make three piles: Broken (trash), Donate (No longer played with), and Keep (store so they can be rotated in and out as needed).
  4. Refrigerator – Everyone should do this often, but in all honestly none of us do it unless something spills. However ,this is the Purge so it is definitely on the list. (Wow! We still have that?! Comes out of my mouth a lot when I clean out the fridge.) Remember to check expiration dates as you clean and wipe down the doors and shelves. Most drawers are removable so they can be taken to the sink if that helps.
  5. Pantry / Kitchen – If you do the fridge you have to do the pantry too! I like an organized pantry area but life is busy and within a short time it gets crazy out of control. Also if you are feeling in the mood you might look through the other cabinets too… I mean how many  coffee mugs do you REALLY need?
  6. Office – My desk area became a catch all of stuff over the holidays and I am currently working at the kitchen table just to have some space. It’s time to put things back into place so that I can have a productive year. Get file folders and the shredder ready so that you can organize and put away as you go.
  7. Mudroom / Laundry Room – Both of these rooms get forgotten about. The mudroom could probably use a good sweep and mop after the winter weather. As well, the laundry room needs a good once over.  We tend to keep the cleaners and detergents up ton top of the washer and dryer so that they are up and away from the kids. Things inevitably get spilled up there. To help save my appliances I place towels on top of my washer and dryer. This way I just have to take them off and wash them. Place a clean towel and put the things we use back on top. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
  8. Garage– Ummm HUBBY!! No really this is his realm, but I do help him. Something we did last year was invest in the shelves that go on the ceiling and some bins. We put all of the holiday decor and the Christmas tree up there. Definitely made getting our the holiday decor out easier because all of the bins were labeled.
  9. Bathroom cabinets – Those under the sink cabinets catch everything in our house. So at least once a year we need to clean them out. We can’t be the only ones, right?
  10. Wallet – I go through receipts, business cards I’ve collected, and notes. A lot of junk likes to hide in my wallet.

This is not a one day project. I spend the whole month of January on this list. I take my time and do it right so that I will not be doing it again for awhile. I also have the advantage of a husband that takes a week off in January.  This is due to the fact that he is in retail. When the holidays are over they lift the ban on extra days off. Woohoo! So we use this time for our January Purge.

It is currently the end of the first week of January and I have cleaned out the kid’s closets, kid’s dressers and our “Shoe Box”. (I know that isn’t on the list. I wasn’t sure anyone else in the world would have one! But this is a wooden storage box by our front door where we keep the shoes we wear most often.) Now I have a ton of kids clothes and shoes to donate and I’m not even half way through the list! Tomorrow I am going to work on the pantry, mudroom and laundry areas!

Now I know that my house will not stay this organized all year, but isn’t a great way to start?

B.E. Happy and healthy this year! Happy New Year!

—Julia

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