Sure, I could jack up the heat and run up an enormous bill.

Or I could leave the thermostat set at a balmy 62-degrees and actually see my breath in the living room. (Funny the first time but after that? Not so much.)

I could also go someplace warm but, eventually, I’d still have to come home. And that would bring me right back to where and how I am now. Sitting on my office floor, chattering, and awaiting the moment my 15 year-old wakes up, walks in, and demands to know why I didn’t wake him up for school. That would be, of course, because once again there is no school.

But I digress.

Forget fussing with the thermostat, the fireplace, or bundling up like that poor kid in A Christmas Story. I stay warm and beat the cold by de-cluttering.

Meet one of my new best friends.


This is my Aurora WM830XA shredder. I love this thing. See that pile of papers and checks? It’s the last of the DRAWERS FULL I had in my office. You start shredding and I promise, it’s like eating potato chips (only much healthier). You can’t stop at one piece of paper. I plug this sucker in, start feeding it, and I don’t care how cold it is, I immediately start to warm up.

I love these things, too.


Once I’m warmed up from shredding, I move on to other places in the house that need to be attacked.

Now you might be wondering how I know which spots to hit, so I’ll tell you. Clutter speaks to me. It calls me, taunts me, dares me to do something about it. I hate clutter and clutter hates me. In my house, in any house, that’s right, even your house. I won’t touch your stuff without your permission, of course. But trust me, that heaping mound of dust and dead bug encrusted “I’m going to do something with these someday, I swear” papers piled under your bedroom window? You know, the pile that’s been there so long you put a houseplant on it? That pile wants nothing more than for me to leave. Take my “Yeah, that’s a sweet drawing your 3 year-old nephew did but since he’s twenty-seven now and you still haven’t framed it, can we stop pretending, take a picture of it, and run it through the shredder?” attitude and go.

The kid in The Sixth Sense saw dead people. I see bursting cupboards and closets and file cabinets. With my eyes closed. Oh yeah. It makes me hot. Take that, oil company!

Just the other day I spent six hours in my basement. I made three piles. “Trash,” “Keep,” and “Give Away.” I only wish I’d taken “before” pictures. All the scary stuffed deer, turkeys, and foxes flopped all over the floor went into storage. (I know, I know, but they’re my husband’s, so I couldn’t throw them out.) I wore rubber gloves and closed my eyes and I still screamed when I touched them. Here they are in their new digs…



And yes, I screamed when I took these pictures.

When I was all done I had four huge bags of trash, three plastic containers filled with only the most important things to keep (including Chris‘s stuffed turkey who’s head popped off when I was moving it, with my eyes closed of course, and walked into a wall), and a few items to give away. I put these suckers up on Facebook and they were gone in no time flat.

wicker chairs

Oh, and I was down to a tank top, a pair of jeans, and sneakers, and I was covered in sweat. Dust and mega amounts of other grossness too, but still. Sweat. I kept the disgusting stuffed animals and I saved money on heat! (Looks like somebody’s earned a spending spree at DSW, right darlin’?)

Cleaning, organizing, de-cluttering. It’s my #1 way of staying warm this winter. In fact I’m off to attack another cabinet now. But first I need to know….

Do you do this too?

How are you staying warm?

Take a second and tell me. Thanks!