December 17, 2013


Spring cleaning gets all the attention. But as soon as the temperatures dropped I get the urge to clean, declutter and organize my life. All the summer stuff becomes distracting, and I need to make room for my Christmas décor! The following are ways I winterized my life : )


This is an obvious one! Every season deserves some decluttering action. Things inevitably pile up, and nothing makes me feel more refreshed than clearing off counters and finding permanent spots for new things. Once the first frost arrived, suddenly the dying potted plants and watering can on our porch looked like a mess, so I took the plants to the compost and put the pots and can under our back porch. We cleared out the brush in the the garden and put away anything that wasn’t designed to survive a winter. The yard felt so much cleaner. A clean slate ready for next spring!


I like to have some breathing room in my closet so I can push the clothes from one side to the other and actually see what I have. This means I have to put the off season’s clothes into a tub in the attic. I usually do this late in the fall, leaving out just a few summery clothes for a mid-winter vacation. (We are going somewhere warm in February this year!) While I’m taking my summer clothes off their hangers, I pull aside anything I didn’t wear all summer into a separate Goodwill pile. I used to hold onto things for a long time just in case the perfect occasion came around to wear them, but in recent years I’ve gotten more strict with my clothes – if I don’t love it, it’s gone. It breaks my heart if I only wore something a few times, but at least someone else will appreciate a new shirt in great condition.


While I’m working on my closet, I take a few extra minutes to sort through my makeup, lotions, jewelry and perfumes. Inevitably there are always items I don’t want, so I toss those or give them to friends. Anything with a specific summer use (big bottles of sunscreen, for example) gets tucked out of sight until spring.


While my winterizing itch was strong this year, I spent more time than usual unsubscribing from tons of emails. Thank you to all companies who have a one click unsubscribe! This is also a good time to delete or organize old files on your computer or phone.


As a food blogger I accumulate more food samples than I could ever eat – jars and bottles of this and that. About once a season I go through and pull anything I don’t need. These get donated as well. {Obviously check expiration dates first!}


As I was writing our Christmas cards this year I updated my digital address book. Instead of getting the person’s address in a text, writing it on the card and getting it in the mail, I paused to copy the address into Gmail so I’d have it for the future. I also made a tag called “Christmas cards” so next year I will only have to look one place for all the contacts and addresses I need!


The most wonderful time of the year and also one of the busiest! How often do I say I’m going to “curl up with a book this winter” and never do it. As part of your winterizing plan, find a block of time in your week (or your day if you’re lucky) and actually brew some tea to sip with a book. I did this once recently and it was just like in the movies : )


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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ali @ Peaches and Football December 17, 2013 at 8:46 am

What a fun and overlooked topic for this time of year. But with so many people staying indoors because of the cold, it really makes sense to take advantage and clean house inside. I could stand to do some purging in the cupboards and after the holidays, I’ll definitely need to unsubscribe from all the mailing lists I inevitably will be on. It’s also nice to call companies and have them remove you from their catalog mailing lists if you’re not a fan of multiple mailings each week (it’s crazy at my house – and I prefer looking online).

It’s also just a good time to purge before you get a bunch of new stuff for Christmas. Who knows, you might find something awesome still with the tags that you can re-gift as well! Ha ha!!


2 Jackie December 17, 2013 at 8:48 am

Great tips! I really need to get rid of more clothes!!!


3 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

I love this list! Over the last few weeks I’ve slowly been pulling together my clothes donation pile, went through my cabinets several weeks ago, and unsubscribed from a bunch of emails. There’s still more to do but mostly I need to focus on taking time to relax and read. I’m hoping once the holidays hit and I don’t have to worry about work for a week, I can give myself that extra time. For now, I’m trying to at least give myself a bit of time at the end of the day.


4 [email protected] for Cake December 17, 2013 at 8:55 am

I spent an entire afternoon unsubscribing to emails I never really read and its the gift that keeps on giving, every morning I don’t wake up to 4343604 emails. It was the best thing I could have done. I am all about the organization. One small project a day makes a huge difference. Great list!


5 Marissa @ Barefoot Colorado December 17, 2013 at 9:11 am

I so need to do this! Thanks for the ideas!


6 Aurielle December 17, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thanks for sharing, Kath! Updating the address book, unsubscribing to those email updates that no longer serve a purpose, and curling up with a good book and a cup of tea all hit home for me! I really liked the idea of creating a Christmas card tab in Gmail. I’ll be tackling these items starting tonight!


7 Jana December 17, 2013 at 9:20 am

I just unsubscribed from a bunch of emails too, and it feels amazing! Sometimes I would put off checking my email because there would be so much junk to sort through, and I would end up missing important emails!

I also like the idea of the “Christmas card” tab in your phone….saves a lot of time for next year!


8 HeatherFromKC December 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

At the start of the year I turn all my hangers around backward, then when I wash and re-hang up that article of clothing I hang it up the correct way. This way at the end of the year, it is easy to see what you didn’t wear at all. Thanks for all of the great tips.


9 Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties December 17, 2013 at 9:34 am

Tea and a book is my favorite activity ever! I’ve also gotten obsessive about donating clothes. It’s way too easy to hold on to something for years and years just because you MIGHT wear it again… now I force myself to donate things often and I find I don’t miss any of it :)


10 Katie December 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

Thank you! I’m in the process of a winter declutter and am really serious about it this time. Especially in Minnesota I’d rather take the time to get rid of stuff in the winter, in the summer I want to be outside as much as possible!


11 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 17, 2013 at 9:38 am

These are some great ideas, I’m definitely unsubscribing to emails because I feel like I get so many more during the holidays! I also switched out summer clothes, I just don’t have enough room in my closet for everything!


12 Alex @ Kenzie Life December 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

I love these tips! I’m definitely going to be winterizing and I have a particularly good chance to do it since I’m moving on Thursday. I have a lot of clothes that I need to sort through and donate and a lot of random school papers I need to either keep for the small chance of a future reference or trash.


13 Janet December 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

My goal is the toy purge to get rid of the stuff my son is no longer interested in to make room for a fwe newbies that Santa might bring. We have only one big toybox, and I’d like to keep it that way!


14 Christine@ Apple of My Eye December 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

Great tips! Living in California, though, I get to avoid some of these tips, but I love the idea of getting more organized and cleaning things out!


15 Elizabeth December 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

Great tips! I have found myself wanting to clean more in the Winter than in the Spring. I found when we take out the decorations for Christmas that I want to clean all of the closets. I love the tip on the email, I just unsubscribed from a ton of lists and it felt so good!


16 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh December 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

Great tips! I need to put some of these into use for sure!


17 Lynn December 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Probably because I live near Chicago, our annual winterize list is so much different except for the clothes and yard. It gets packed with clean up and put away lawnmower, check snow blower, put gas stabilizers in tanks, cover AC, change furnace filter, change batteries in thermostat, clean gutters, put shovels on back porch, put snow bags in car. etc.etc. Then it seems like the holidays are here. Some of things on your list fit better in January/February in my world (when we aren’t shoveling snow). We have hard copy lists for each season and just check items off as we go.


18 Ali December 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Agreed from a neighbor about 2 hours north! This stuff is for end of January through March (or during spring thaw when it’s too mushy and muddy to do anything outside). There’s so much to do to winterize the cars, snowblowers, house, plants, etc. that inside stuff has to wait so I’m sure I won’t break my neck on the sidewalks, my pipes won’t freeze, and my car will start. The one indoor winterizing thing I do though is the furnace check and cleaning – not going to miss that one!. :)


19 Ella P December 18, 2013 at 7:45 am

Same here, gals, high latitude winter “outdoor fun”…. 😉
My closets can wait, but the car & pipe & etc. have to run like a Grand Prix Ferrari!

Warm hugs,
Ella from Finland

Kath, lovely post. Is CutiePie Mazen taking part in the making? playing hide-and-seek in the wardrobe?


20 Amanda December 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Great advice! Where are you going on vacation??


21 Jesse December 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm

it does feel so good to start fresh every season. i’m a bit behind this year and feeling the chaos building up. time to knock a few things off my list!


22 Ali December 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Sunscreen isn’t just a summer thing! It’s important to wear it year ’round on exposed skin!


23 KathEats December 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I do wear a moisturizer with SPF on my face and hands, but my heavy duty sunscreens get tucked away.


24 Lindsey @ The Hungry Hydrologist December 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

What are you reading these days? I’m always looking for a good book recommendation!


25 KathEats December 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm

About to start Gods In Alabama, which is our next book club book!


26 @Simple Green Moms December 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I think being stuck indoors all winter makes it all the more worthwile to declutter before Christmas!


27 Amy Q December 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

This is a great post- thanks!


28 Florence December 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm

It feels so great to declutter even the little things like eliminating folders I don’t use on my desktop or taking all the pens and receipts out of my car. Storing summer stuff is a great idea…I HATE a cluttered closet but was a little resistant to removing my flowery dresses. They’re cheerful in there but ultimately just taking up space! Thanks for the advice!


29 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs December 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Great ideas — in this busy season it’s nice to add a little organization into one’s life!


30 Hannah December 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Great tips! I love the last one. Sometimes I need a little push to relax and read. Thanks!


31 [email protected] December 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I started to clean out my pantry for donations too now. Just too many samples of things I collected that I won’t eat. Either that, or I bring it to local races!


32 robin December 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm

That’s funny at work today( I work in an intensive care unit) we all were just talking how we would love a day with a book , a throw, and a cup of hot tea. Too bad we don’t gift ourselves and allow this to happen more often.


33 Melissa @ReThreads Charlottesville December 18, 2013 at 12:27 am

Great tips for winterizing – love it! As the owner of a consignment clothing shop, anytime someone recommends decluttering and cleaning out their closets my ears perk up! In addition to donating to nonprofits like Goodwill, I’m sure your readers would love to consider bringing clothes to a consignment shop, where they can possibly get a little store credit or money back for their once loved items. Cville has a number of great spots for consigning gently used clothing; if you’re not local, check out for a directory of some spots (though there are many, many others that aren’t on this directory!) It’s a great time of year to encourage “out with the old, in with the new” mentality! :)


34 Christina @ The Beautiful Balance December 18, 2013 at 12:40 am

Decluttering the house is the best feeling ever!


35 Ashley December 18, 2013 at 3:50 am

Love this! Would you mind to share with us your cleaning schedule for your home? It always looks so tidy and clean – I would love to know how often you clean this/that and also what cleaning products you use. thanks!


36 Fancy December 18, 2013 at 6:41 am

Great post! I request more like this one :)


37 Becky December 18, 2013 at 9:02 am

The day after Christmas is my annual sit & do nothing day.


38 Amelia December 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I feel more de-cluttered just having read this! My only problem is in a condo, we have zero storage space. So no place to put off-season clothes, old planters, etc. I end up giving stuff away ALL the time, but that usually catches up to me when the next season rolls in and I don’t have my old stuff! Oh well…someday we will migrate to a house :)


39 Pat December 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm

While you’re checking expiration dates – be sure to check your sunscreen. It does expire, and at best separates, and at worst, loses its potency.


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