I already did a post on holiday minimalism, but I have learned or figured out a few things since:
- Ornament hangers are not necessary. Use a piece of thread or monofilament, whatever you have. Then you can stop buying those packages of little bits of wire which break, you never seem to either have enough of, or there’s too many. [I took the few I had off the ornaments, they’ll be recycled Weds.]
- I had an open box of tinsel, so I used it up. I also have an unopened box. I decided that I would never use tinsel again, whether I already had it, or not. It’s a complete waste of storage space to keep something that I’m against in principle. If I have principles, I do, and I should act on them. The full package is going to the dump’s swap shop Weds. too, with a mini Santa mug, and other odds & ends I don’t have any idea why I kept, many times for decades.
- Because the little cat daily has spells we call “crazy cat,” we decided not to put anything breakable on the tree. We have enough plastic, wood, and paper ornaments to cover it. No Christmas balls, but other things. Although it’s a bit odd not to have balls on the tree, it’s just fine without it. I have a new to us box of Christmas balls, which is also going away.
- The Christmas balls I am using are on a charger or in clear glass vases on the couch’s side tables. Two “artist” balls were broken in storage, they’re off to the dump, and most of the others are in the glass vases. Decorations? Yes. On the tree? No. Also less need for “other stuff” to decorate for the holidays.
- When my helper and I pulled the Christmas things out of the attic a while back, I had piled it up discreetly under the couch and one side table. After the tree was decorated, I returned the small boxes to where they’d been. I hated the visual clutter. I thought of putting all the small boxes into a larger box. I did. Then didn’t like the way that looked and “wrapped” the larger (small moving) box. (Like everything else, if I have something I usuallly have too much of it. That’s true of the paper I’ve been using the past 2 years. It’s black & white stripes. I got it to put on the back of bookshelves and/or cabinets, on sale. I decided if I used it that way, it would feel like a prison, so I was stuck with 9 rolls of paper. I have 3 left now.) Now we have this large “wrapped” package in the living room, under the tree, without a bow, marked “empty ornament boxes” and no printed Home Depot cardboard carton(s) to ugly up the place.
- What I learned from wrapping that box? That I can ditch the trunk where I’ve always stored Christmas stuff. Obviously, I don’t need that much room! I’ll look for and/or make a box with a lid, and make a pattern so all I have to do it wrap the lid next year and years later. The ornament boxes will have a permanent home, and it will be neat/tidy. It will be able to be put out under the tree year after year. I do NOT know why I never thought of putting the small boxes into a big wrapped one! (The little boxes always made a mess before.) No need to tidy the little boxes away, no extra step. Win!!!
- No gift tags this year either. I have this correction tape, it’s white. I used it for years for price tags and other things, used some of it as labels for foodstuffs (doesn’t work well in the freezer), and have the end of it now. (See comment about too much stuff in wrapping paper bullet.) I’m using it to make labels this year. Sticks right on the package, no strings, nothing to buy. I’m using a silver pen, but I had it already!
My conclusion from all of this is that minimalism is a process, not a destination. I will never really get there, but my mindset is different than it used to be, and it shows.