Cleaning, Organizing, & Eco
Nothing lights a fire under your arse like making a public proclamation that you’re going to get rid of 100 things. So even though we’re not moving until mid December, we made our way from room to room paring down every single thing that we don’t love/need/use. The mantra as we went? No mercy. Because nothing is worse than packing, moving, and unpacking things that aren’t worth the time they took to transport or the space they’re eating up in the new place.
Here’s our getting-rid-of-it office pile:
Then we tackled the kitchen (Clara helped):
Here’s our outgoing kitchen pile (what you don’t see are a bunch of baskets and towels on the floor):
And here’s our den’s see-ya-later pile (cry not for the board games, they were doubles so we still have a copy of each one):
Our garage to-go pile:
Our basement done-zo pile:
And our big bedroom buh-bye pile (minus the baby and the dog of course- they stay):
And now for the full list of purged items:
- 11 pairs of shoes (10 of mine, one of John’s)
- 36 books (10 of which were cookbooks)
- 10 video tapes & DVDS
- 1 alarm clock
- 1 computer mouse
- countless padded envelopes & mailing tubes (from the days of our online print shop)
- 6 board games (some of which we had two identical versions, so we got rid of one)
- 2 yoga mats
- 1 radio
- 1 stocking
- 2 faux pumpkins
- 1 lamp
- 4 pillows
- 1 mirror
- 5 frames
- 54 items of clothing (including coats, hats, ties, tees, jeans, shirts, socks, etc)
- 4 plastic plates
- 6 ceramic plates
- 1 power screwdriver
- 4 outdoor chairs
- 2 welcome mats
- 1 rug
- 2 baskets of faux plants (they lived in the not-sunny-enough-for-real-plants basement)
- 1 floor lamp
- 4 plant pots
- 6 garden hooks
- 1 stencil
- 1 frisbee
- 4 old quarts of paint
- 2 buckets
- 2 metal tins (we came up with a new diaper & wipe disposal system- more details soon)
- 1 sprinkler
- 1 trash can
- 1 fabric basket
- 1 dark wicker basket
- 5 bath towels
- 1 nursing cover
- 8 baby toys & feeding supplies
- 4 glass cups
- 3 vases
- 4 pieces of faux fruit
- 8 wine glasses
- 8 mugs
- GRAND TOTAL: 222 items
Saweeeeeeeet. I mean on one hand it’s kind of embarrassing to admit that we were storing all that excess but boy does it feel good to get rid of it. Yup, that’s right. It’s all out of our house already – thanks to donating and selling every last item (we had an impromptu moving sale this weekend while we still had some steam and that no mercy attitude). We feared if things sat around for a while before we had a chance to donate or sell them we might have changed our minds and kept things that we didn’t need. And you know I have the patience of a 5 year old, right? More of those get-it-gone details coming soon.
What have you guys been purging? Have you identified any problem areas? We definitely held onto lots of books and clothes that we had no need for, but we were also surprised how many unnecessary kitchen items we were hoarding (many of which we had used exactly zero times).
If it’s true that cleanliness is next to Godliness, then selling our house is practically turning us into saints. Not that we weren’t teetering on clean freak status before, but I’ve always considered myself more tidy than clean (i.e. clutter’s a no-no, but the tub can go unscrubbed a little longer than I’d like to admit to my mom). But now that we’ve got strangers touring the place it has kicked us into cleaning hyper drive – which I should note is much needed considering that having a newborn all but halted it for a good while this summer.
Yes, that’s me breaking out the ladder to give a good wash to the outside of our sunroom sliders. Goodbye grime, hello sold house! Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but here’s hoping my ladder hopping efforts don’t go unnoticed.
I’ll spare you photos of our other cleaning adventures (polishing all of the stainless steel fixtures, wiping down all of the kitchen cabinets, vacuuming, vacuuming, and more vacuuming…) and instead will subject you to photos of some of the curb appeal-ization that’s been going down ’round here. For example, got mulch?
It took me three separate trips to Lowe’s to get enough of it to spruce up our plant beds (I don’t normally go for the artificial color-boosted mulch, but it was on sale for the same price as the regular stuff and I figured this was one instance where “long lasting color” could do me some good). At least by the end of the day we had a crisper looking yard staring back at us.
Speaking of the yard, I’ve also been in the process of re-growing grass in some spots that the hot weather killed this summer. It’s been going surprisingly well – especially considering that our county is on emergency water restriction due to a long sweltering summer. Now I’m just crossing my fingers that mowing over it as much as I’ve had to (to keep that “maintained yard” look that buyers like) doesn’t harm those wee sprouts too much. Note: we just seeded and waited for rain- no sprinkler or fertilizer usage was required. Thankfully we’ve had our fair share of showers in the past three weeks and we’ve learned that grass really wants to grow in bare dirt. So rain plus grass seed usually equals luck.
And when I’m not mowing, I can usually be found blowing the driveway clear of acorns. We’re in the middle of our annual bombardment, courtesy of the oak trees surrounding our house, so our driveway gets littered with ‘em quite quickly. Just check out the collection I’m working on at the driveway’s back corner where everything gets blown. Methinks the squirrels should hoist me over their shoulders and sing “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” for this service to them:
As much as keeping the house in ready-for-a-showing shape is exhausting, we have to admit that it is nice to live in an über-tidy house almost 24/7. And we’ve got our fingers crossed that the extra effort will pay off soon when it comes to wooing a buyer. Ok, off to remake the bed…