4 min read

What Happens to Poinsettias After Christmas?

You're past your prime, Poinsettia!

A few days ago, I got the itch to get rid of the poinsettia I impulse purchased from Trader Joe's a week or so before Christmas. I don't like to linger in anything. Generally, I don't go in on holiday decor at all. I live alone and my home doesn't have much storage. But with 2020 being what it was, a bit of Christmas cheer felt necessary.

Now, it just feels stale.

Unsure what one does with their poinsettia plant come New Year's Day, I Googled it.

Iowa State University's "Horticulture and Home Pest News" advised, "Toss the poinsettia when you grow tired of it or it becomes unattractive." Uhm, rude. Just imagine our nation's landfills studded with the red starburst blooms of poinsettias.

Daily Press (Lol, this has got to be the most generic name for a newspaper ever) says, unfortunately, unless you're ready to put in quite a bit of labor, a seasonal indoor potted plant like a poinsettia, has a life "measured in months, not years." Wow, what a post-holidays bummer.

But their article did end with this bit of poignancy,

"The beauty with a poinsettia comes when they're in season, when they're in full, vibrant color. The rest of the year you have to be satisfied with their potential."

In a lot of ways, 2020 was a year that folks had "to be satisfied with their potential." Especially if you were a mom choosing between career, creativity, child or self, which is no choice at all. Or a 30-something finally rebounding from the Recession of our 20s, waylaid by the pandemic's theft of newly blooming opportunities. Or families having to decide whether love is being with or being away from one another.

My hope is that in 2021, we are allowed to enter into our full, vibrancy.

A Few Thoughts on Letting Go... of Things

While reorganizing my shoes one day, it hit me that I don't actually ever wear heels anymore. Yet, I was still occasionally purchasing them and dutifully swapping them out from where I stored them under my bed between seasons. Why? I'd changed without noticing it. I decided to donate those heels and free up space for who I am now.

Are there any vestiges of past selves lingering around your home? Is it time to let them go?

This is kind of like the inverse of aspirational shopping. Instead, of buying things intended for the person you want to be (Oh, hey there yoga mat!), you're culling the things that don't belong to who you currently are.

Related: I'm sure no one who knows me will be surprised to learn that I like to start the year with a fresh sweep of my belongings and do a nice deep clean to bring some (if only, visual) order to my life.

This is an overwhelming process that often looks worse before it begins to look better, but is absolutely worthwhile.

For months now, a leaning stack of clutter actively grew in a corner between my dining/kitchen area and office/living room area (it's all one big space). I wasn't too concerned initially because it's a pandemic and I haven't really been hosting anyone – So, who gone judge me, boo?

But at some point, I got tired of seeing that stuff taunting me in my otherwise orderly home. I also got tried of making Facebook posts complaining about Ikea, so I finally gave in and did the four hour roundtrip drive. And you know what? It was worth the time invested. Even if I did purchase the wrong color credenza. The credenza cleared up the mess in the corner and allowed me to free up some cabinet and counter space so I don't spiral into kitchen chaos every time I cook or after a particularly big grocery haul.

If you're planning to do a big purge (or just interested in a lil' one), may I share a few suggestions?

  • Start with what you can't use. Go through your pantry and fridge and toss anything that's expired. You can also get rid of any food items you took one bite of, hated, but felt too guilty to throw away. It's just sat there while you moved onto tastier pastures. And no, you won't magically have a guest over who will have a craving for just that thing (if we're even allowed guests in 2021, waaaaah). This same principle can be applied to your beauty and body things, as well.
  • Prove it. If you're having a hard time getting rid of that hair cream you didn't love but just know you'll use eventually, give yourself one week to prove it. If you don't use it regularly during that 7-day commitment, that should be all you need to know it's not gonna happen. Ever. I'm finally coming to terms with the fact I'm done with my veggie Spiralizer. It's been at least 2 years since I last used it – Off to a donation site you go!
  • Begin with a clean slate. I was pleased to learn this is how Marie Kondo does it too. To reorganize my countertops, I moved everything off then, placed things back on the clean counter where they belonged, rehomed the things that didn't belong and got rid of the things I no longer wanted or needed. It's less overwhelming this way than wading around in the mess while attempting to tidy up the mess.

Okay, that's all for now. I'll pop back up in your inbox later this week with a writing prompt that fits this theme.

What are your favorite declutter tips or tactics for heading into the New Year feeling fresh?

Stay safe out there,

Minda

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