It’s January. Christmas is in the rearview mirror. Hopefully your Christmas tree is either hauled out or packed away until next year. You might even be looking forward to Valentine’s Day.

Last week we talked about New Year’s resolutions, and if you remember the discussion was mostly about processes rather than outcomes. This week we’re going to talk about one process you’re probably not considering, since (for some reason) it seems to catch people by surprise almost every year:

Christmas itself.

It sounds weird to think of Christmas as a “process”, but hear us out. Most people buy gifts for somebody, be it family, friends, or a needy person. Most people have some sort of family gathering. Many people have other traditions for things they do at the holidays as well, whether that’s doing Christmas caroling, attending certain events, driving around and looking at the Christmas lights, etc. And when you’re thinking of processes, all of those things are not only processes themselves, but they contribute to an outcome of “Christmas celebration”.

Right now, you’re close enough to the actual events that you can remember what “Christmas celebrations” entailed this year, but far enough removed from the events that you should be able to think them through without being too caught up in the moment. If you’re like most people, there’s absolutely zero chance of you remembering all of this stuff next year – so this is a great time to do some planning.

This is especially true if you’re staring at a big pile of holiday clutter – whether that’s a physical pile of junk, or a mental “pile” of stress.

If you’re staring at a bunch of actual, real-world junk sitting in front of you, what about your Christmas celebrations caused that pile to exist? You might have a positive tradition of re-evaluating your stuff and de-junking this time of year. Good for you! Or you might realize that your parents bought way, way too many things for you and your kids – and you might not want that to happen next year.

If the junk is mental, what’s causing that? Were there things you wanted to do this year, but didn’t get the chance to do? Make some notes for next year, while it’s still fresh in your head. Were there things you got sucked into this year (one too many holiday parties, maybe?) that added more stress than joy to your holidays? Make some notes about those too.

Now look at your notes. What needs to change for next year? You have ten whole months to make those things happen!

Talk to your family about starting a holiday de-junking tradition. Have that conversation with your parents about the “too many gifts”. Make a note on your calendar for next November to plan some more time to go look at Christmas lights. Make a note that you decided not to go to your co-worker’s Christmas party, because no matter how awesome it sounds, everybody just winds up getting drunk and you find yourself regretting going. Whatever “positive change” looks like for you, take a couple of positive steps to make that happen.

As Dave Ramsey has said, “just a reminder – Christmas is on December 25th this year.” He’s obviously talking about planning a budget, but the exact same advice applies to decluttering both your space and your life. This is a predictable event, and you can plan for it.

And of course if you have a big pile of actual junk, we happen to know of a good junk removal company that can make it disappear. Just give us a call! Whatever you’re dealing with now though, we wish you the best in getting it sorted out and having a happy, healthy, clutter-free 2022!

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