The Happiness Project

A chronicle of my attempts to test-drive every tip, principle and scientific study that promotes happiness

How to Clear Clutter and Be More Festive, in One Stroke

I scored a rare victory!

Yesterday, I scored a rare victory: I hit on a solution that allowed me to satisfy several resolutions, all meant to make my home more homey, in one stroke. I was able to:

I laid the groundwork for this solution last year, and yesterday, I saw it pay off.

Last Easter, I had a brilliant idea. I realized that, of the dozens of stuffed animals that cram our shelves, many were bunnies. I went around the apartment and gathered up all the bunnies I could find, stuck them into a bag, and put them away with the Easter decorations. (We have enough stuffed animals that my daughters didn’t notice the mass bunny disappearance.)

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This year, when I was filling in for the Easter Bunny on Saturday night, I unpacked the several bunnies and sat them around the room (which took five minutes). I was impressed; it was an easy task, yet the bunnies’ color and whimsy added a lot to the holiday atmosphere.

Well, when my daughters emerged to hunt for their Easter eggs, they got a big kick out of the bunny explosion. My younger daughter played with the bunnies all day, even though she rarely plays with the stuffed animals in her room. These old toys were new and interesting, because she hadn’t seen them for a year.

I was thrilled: I gave myself a way to get neglected toys off the shelf, make them fun for my daughters again, and add to the festivity in our apartment—in a quick, painless way. Last night, I stuffed the bunnies back into a plastic bag, where they’ll sit until next Easter.

Very satisfying.

Have you found any quick, easy ways to make the holidays more festive? I love festivity, but I don't love chores.

* When the Flames Go Up is an interesting blog written by a divorced couple who discuss the challenges of co-parenting after a split.

* Want a copy of my Resolutions Chart, to see how I organized it? Just email me at gretchenrubin1@gretchenrubin.com.

Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, a book and a blog about her adventures learning to be happier.

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