I often have the conflict between not wanting anything unnecessary taking up room in the house, and wanting to have what I need on hand for when I need it. Sometimes I lean towards getting rid of anything I possibly can, and other times I lean towards saving what may come in handy one day. But in between I have fits of regret one way or another – like feeling sorry I didn’t save something I should have, and other times feeling there’s too much excess in and wanting to give away everything right away! Recently, I saw online photos/virtual tour of an Amish house for sale – it was so, so neat. Spotless, really. Not the kind of thing you should look at when you’re postpartum and feeling inadequate about the state of your house.
My house reflects that I haven’t been actively involved in the organization of things in the last 6 weeks to the degree that I ususally am and yesterday I decided that with the conference done, now’s the time to whip things back in shape! I started with the attic and clothing storage. Along with maternity clothing waiting to be packed away are non seasonal/outgrown clothes from the kids they don’t want to keep in their drawers (I always marvel how quickly kids seem to outgrow things!), but I haven’t had the boxes I needed to pack them up.
I’ve been asking dh for weeks to pick up boxes from the supermarket to use for storage (have to be there at 6 am to get them) but he actually has a life and many other things to do so the clothing piles have been building. Finally a few days ago we were in Home Depot together and when I saw a display of 18 gallon storage totes, I spontaneously asked him to put ten of them in our cart. (Dh looked at me and said, ‘is this because I didn’t get you those boxes?’ – but I laughed and told him a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do!) I really like storage containers because they look so neat and uniform, but they’re definitely not essential since you can use free boxes from the store for the same end result. Despite the lack of frugality in buying them, for me it’s a value to have things looking neat and organized. Our home isn’t large and we’re a lot of people with a lot of stuff – and buying nice storage containers is cheaper than building an addition or buying a larger house (not that either of those things are in the works right now!).
I spent a few hours in the attic yesterday and didn’t finish reorganizing everything (because then I had to take dd camp shopping – and I got a few more storage containers when out with her), but it already looks so much better! Those storage boxes lined up look streamlined and uncluttered (I chose one color for girls clothes, another for boys). I was brutal about going through the stored clothing and giving things away if they won’t be used in the near future. That means that I got rid of all of my clothes in the size I haven’t gotten back down to since I was pregnant with my 21 month old; someone can enjoy them now and I’ll treat myself to some new clothes when I’m back to that size. I also went through all the girls clothes that my dd8 is too big for. I’m keeping the baby clothes, up through size 2, but I realized that if I have another girl one day (and I really hope I have more than one girl – I need to even the boy/girl ratio around here :)), by the time she fits into these clothes they’ll be hopelessly outdated. I now have six large boxes of clothing waiting to be donated to a local clothing exchange.
Today I took a break from the attic and enjoyed some low key ‘Camp Wernerific’ activities with the kids. (Until this year it’s always been Camp Imma but this week I asked them if they wanted to rename it, and for now this is what they agreed on). Tomorrow if I get some quiet time I’ll get back to the attic and finish by organizing all the boots and shoes – it will be so nice to see everything in it’s place!