Thursday, November 18, 2010

clean sweep

I have been in an organizing/de-cluttering sort of mood the past few days. Kind of like nesting only without the pregnancy (it is a relief to me that this phenomenon still happens even when you're not expecting - during my last, LAST nesting period a little over a year ago I wondered how I would ever get anything done again). Our friends just moved, my mom's been working on her house, and I've been reading about it over here...a perfect storm, I guess you could say.

My main focus has been the unfinished basement. We are not pack-rats, but things were getting bad down there. Can't-walk-through-the-room, sign-us-up-for-Hoarders bad. I wish I had taken a Before picture but just trust me when I say it wasn't good.

My strategy:
  • Clear out all the little boy clothes to a couple of adorable little guys in my life. It can be a little emotional sorting through the baby Dilly clothes but I pushed through. I have one tiny bin of toddler stuff left but I am pretty much cleared out.
  • Organize my garage sale pile. I'm not generally a garage sale type gal, but I had one here last spring with some friends and we had a lot of fun people-watching, negotiating, and eating, so I'm game for doing another one this year. Plus I made almost $400 and got rid of a bunch of stuff I have yet to miss.
  • Craigslist, Craigslist, Craigslist. I love Craigslist. With minimal effort this week I have cleared out several medium-ish items that were just taking up space. Some people may find the whole thing creepy but I have met several quite nice people through the years. For example, this week I sold our baby swing to a couple with 6 and 8 year old boys who are expecting their first baby girl soon, and I met a nice young girl who works days doing environmental work (cleaning up the Kalamazoo oil spill right now) who was happy to take three bar stools and a spice rack off my hands.
  • Donate to people who might actually need it. We have a Love INC drop-off site nearby - I brought a load of stuff over there (including our old computer and printer that was taking up a lot of space) and brought a couple bags of clothes (for the Have It/Need It? room) and some good-condition nursery toys to our church (side note: I went through my pantry last week and loaded up a bag of stuff I just won't get to using in time to send with Dylan to school for a food-drive - if you think about it for a minute, you can usually find the right place for your still-in-good-shape stuff).
  • Sort out the luggage closet. We have more luggage than one family has any right to. My parents love to give us luggage for gifts - the kids will each receive six pieces during the early years of their lives, four duffle bags in various sizes plus two rolling duffles, all in matching colors, complete with their intials (gotta love my mom for that!). The beauty of this gift is that if you give kids luggage, it implies that you expect them to go places, and how cool is that? The downside is a very disorganized pile of bags in the basement. Anyway, everything is now contained. Viola.
  • Say good-bye to ugly gift wrap. I'm somewhat of a gift-wrap-aholic. This week I sorted through it all, tossed the beat-up, unattractive stuff, and separated the Christmas from the every day stuff.
  • Label!! So...I recently acquired a label maker. I realize this makes me a dork. I don't care. It's magic.
The After:


  1. I love this!!! Today was a day just like this! The kids wanted to play downstairs (in our mostly still unfinished basement), so I joined them playing... AND organizing, sorting, tossing, etc... It was wonderful :) They had fun and so did I! No laundry got folded, but I feel great about what we accomplished!

  2. You should totally do this for a living;)


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