What is it about the Spring that makes us all go a little la la for a good old sort out? There’s just something in the air – and it’s contagious…no sooner as someone mentions they’ve eBayed all their old toot and the cogs start turning, planning an industrious clear out of the house, drawer by drawer and cupboard by cupboard.
A Mum friend forwarded me this article on www.mother.ly about how a clutter free home leads to a more focused parent. I have to say I found it quite inspiring, and whilst it’s not for the faint hearted, it did build on my mindset of less ‘things‘ for 2017.
I guess it was on the cards that many of the baby centric gear around the house was going to have to go sooner or later – after all, our youngest is now two and a half, at pre-school and apart from the lack of potty training, our baby days are far behind us.
Whilst I’ve always been incredibly sentimental and emotionally attached to baby toys, clothes and maybe on a lesser scale, equipment, with each Christmas and Birthday the piles of things in every crevice of our home are getting a tad ridiculous.
And so, with a timely twist of fate, one of my best friends who just had her surprise third baby (and first girl) is first in line to a tsunami of baby girl clothes, and as the Mouse outgrows each size they are not being returned to the loft archives to rot into a bag of dust but passed on to a rather gorgeous new owner. Well, maybe a couple of things I just had to keep – for special memories sake. It makes sense – with no plans to revisit the uncertainties of extending the family, and our family extension project being more of the loft extension variety, we’d just be delaying the inevitable clearout.
Over the last few weeks we have been on a rampage of sorting out kids clothes. Bagged up for the baby, loaned clothes returned gratefully to their original owner. Tigs’ clothes packed away for the Mouse, and new bags of seconds we gratefully received finally able to fit in the wardrobe to replace them. Plus all her knew birthday gear which I’d been unable to shoehorn in since March.
It’s always bittersweet hanging a new season of clothes up in the Mouse’s newly emptied rails. It seems so unbelievable that the dresses her sister wore just moments ago, are now hers. It just doesn’t seem possible. Time is flying by too fast and these material things are just one of many reminders how their childhood is whizzing by. One of the blessings of having two children of the same sex is that you do get to love these beautiful items all over again – create new memories with them and, of course, laugh about how similar the children look wearing them two years apart.
It’s not just the kids clothes either; I’ve decided if I cannot find a hanger to hang an item of my clothes in the wardrobe with, then one thing has to go in the jumble. It’s working so far, and with my reams and reams of redundant work wear that’s dating with every month as a SAHM, I can’t see me wanting to wear a lot of it even if I were to be offered a dream job tomorrow.
We’ve also sold on eBay – old scooters, beautiful wooden toys and I’m seriously considering putting the travel system up for grabs too. With every branded accessory from buggy board, parasol, even mosquito net it’d probably do someone a good turn, that Joolz that we loved so much. Maybe it’s even time to say goodbye to the Pacapod Mirano too…although it would make a nice laptop bag?
Just this morning I entirely emptied the cupboard under the stairs, having gotten sick to death of the ongoing battle to close the door after the taking the hoover-out-coat-avalanche. Enough is enough. There were enough bags for life bundled in there to last at least four lives, and a variety of coats for each of the four of us for every weather eventuality hanging miraculously off three hooks. I’d had enough.
As with any hard core sort out, things always get worse before they get better. At ten thirty my despair was real as the house was littered with boxes, bags, random odds and sods. The kids thought Christmas had come early as they declared each trinket theirs to keep (as did the hubby). Mum however was ruthless – someone has to be. The point you wished you’d never started is normally rock bottom, and the only way is up from there. With each re-stacked shelf and door, drawer or lid that now closes you’ll be giving yourself a high five and you’ll have earnt that tea, wine or chocolate when your work is done.
One thing I have learnt for certain however, is that bags of charity donation toys need to be moved on fast – don’t leave them lingering around small fingers and eyes to probe, otherwise day by day your good work will be undone. And, certainly, never let the kids see you near their toys with a black sack or they will be traumatised for life. Be stealth, move after dark, and never let them detect you on your mission.
Shed, your cards are marked, and shoes…I’m coming for you.
There’s no denying that a little, or a lot, of decluttering does us all the world of good.