The 12 Days After Christmas: A Scavenger Hunt

In the days after Christmas, your house may be feeling a little stuffy and scruffy.  Pine needles fill the carpet, new toys and other gifts fill shelves and cupboards, and some of your holiday decorations strike you as messy rather than merry.

Why not have a family scavenger hunt for things you can declutter?  Start the New Year lighter and have some fun too.

road to the New Year

How to play

Did you realize that the gifts in the traditional song "The 12 Days of Christmas" add up to 78?  Now, some of those gifts are useful (especially if you're a farmer) – the pear tree, hens, geese, milk cows, and of course those five golden rings!  You'd have to feed and house all of the people (maids, lords, ladies).  And by the end it's a literal parade of pipers and drummers accompanying dancers and leapers.  What a celebration!

To find room for all of your new gifts, here's the list of things to remove:

1    piece of furniture that simply gathers clutter and dust

2    unused kitchen appliances (check for dusty items at the back of a cupboard or on a high shelf)

3    throw pillows

4    extra winter coats (or sweaters, scarves, or pairs of gloves)

5    jewelry items

6    knickknacks or pieces of wall art

7    products from your bathroom that you haven't used in a month or more

8    CDs, DVDs, and/or Blu-ray discs

9    books, toys, and/or games

10  clothing items or pairs of shoes

11    extra coffee mugs, food storage containers, duplicate cooking utensils, unopened/unexpired pantry items

12  items from junk/miscellaneous drawers

morning coffee
If any of these don't apply to you, substitute something else, such as excess hobby supplies (or all the tools for something you no longer care about doing), unopened boxes in storage, phone apps, or commitments that just make you busy and stressed instead of refreshed and productive.

Work together to find your 78 things, then donate, sell, or toss them before January 6 (the 12th day after Christmas).  Reward yourselves with a family hike, s'mores by the fireside, or something else you'll all enjoy.

Increase the fun by doing this with another family, and cheer each other on.  As a reward, get together for pizza and games or a movie.

Happy decluttering, and Happy New Year!

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  1. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing it.
    Linda Sand

    1. You're welcome, Linda. I hope you have fun with it.


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