The Gift of a Declutter.

David Germon by David Germon Additional Needs

David Germon

David Germon

Husband, Dad and trainee special needs expert.

The Gift of a Declutter

With Christmas and New Year over, the focus switches to making 2024 a productive year of growth and good choices.

As can be typical in a household where ADHD and Autism is spread across the family, we can go a bit overboard on buying, putting up decorations and making too many plans. We love the festive season and all that comes with it, but this also means clutter, and overstimulation.

As the years go by, we’re getting better at planning this period as a family every year. Along with all of the pre-Christmas excitement we experience a lot of anxiety around items coming into an already full and overwhelming household which can lead to very emotional struggles and sometimes arguments.

There are three important stages of decluttering that help us through this period giving us the best gift of the period – Clarity, and the ability to enjoy what we have. The decluttering stages look like this:

1. The Pre-Christmas Declutter

This is one of our most important preparations for Christmas. This helps us to get through the season and enjoy the big day. Get rid of anything that is lingering or hanging around – remove anything that is likely to be replaced at Christmas – make space for what is inevitably going to come and fill your world.

2. The next declutter is just after Christmas

Now we know what we have received. Do the gifts replace anything? can we get rid of something older to make way for new things? Enjoy new clothes – sell or donate old ones, make strong decisions on old items if you need to find space for new ones.

3. Now we’re here, in a New Year

HOPEFULLY we haven’t already become overwhelmed and overstimulated and had arguments about it all (we have but, probably less disagreements than we would have had). It’s time to get clear for the year – declutter the Christmas decorations as they’re going away, things we didn’t use, things past their best etc. The house - does the kitchen need rearranging? - the cutlery drawer lives in the back of my mind, straighten that out - we’ve got far too many random mugs, they’re not coming to 2024 with us. Now is the time to straighten the lines.

Having a new year and new things and a new purpose is all very good, but its also an important part of the process that the old gets stripped away. Things like grief, trauma as well as ADHD and Autism can make this really difficult but the alternative of hanging on to everything is far too destructive. Here’s to a New Year of clarity, decisiveness and hopefully, peace.


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