15 July 2009

Baby Stuff and the Summertime Purge

For better, or for worse, we move often enough that my opportunities to sort through every item in the house are quite numerous. Having been in this apartment, a major change from the decently sized house we enjoyed in CT, a year, it was about time to give everything a good once-over. Combine the year deadline with the kind of organizing and nesting feelings that only a pregnancy can induce, we were off and running.

Coincidentally, I gave Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke, a quick read the other evening. While I was already on a pretty good cleaning and organizing roll, this book did help a fair bit. Now, I do have to say that the book is nothing revolutionary. The basic premise that you should pitch out stuff that is cluttering up your life is not too complex or new, but hearing it again was useful. Just as most diet books don’t contain earth-shattering advice, but the process of reading said book provides inspiration, this book motivated me to be a bit more aggressive in my attempts to clear the deck.

My primary goal was to get all the baby stuff sorted out, washed and packed back up so when we get a bit closer to the big day, all we need do is put stuff in drawers and stock the diaper stacker. Thanks to the book, I also used this time to get rid of a lot of stuff. I have boxes (and boxes and boxes) of lovely baby girl stuff, but some of it was just cluttering up the space. I had held onto lots of items that didn’t work for us, or were not my taste and so on. I never got rid of them because many were gifts from well-meaning and loving people, and well, I just felt guilty about it. Thanks to reading this book, I was able to, with a clear conscience, send them on to be used by others. Some went to a girlfriend who just had a little girl and could put the “wrong season” stuff to use in the right season and the rest, off it goes to various charities in the area that help women care for their children and families.

I extended the principle to my hobbies as well. I have sizable fabric and yarn collections. In those stashes was lots of stuff that I knew I would never use, but again figured that getting rid of them was somehow wasteful. Now the yarns I can longer look at are off to charity for someone else’s knitting pleasure and all the fabric scraps that were too small to use but I fell too attached to pitch them are gone. In addition to having all my stuff ready for our new little girl, I am ready to sit down and enjoy my hobbies in these few months I have left before the real chaos sets in.

Even better news, come June of next year, I can sort it all out again when the movers are coming and start fresh in a new place. I may be living a transient lifestyle, but man are my closets organized!