Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Time for a LOTTA Reorganimization

WE OWN ENTIRELY TOO MUCH CRAP.

It's true. There, I said it. Think you're better than me? Well, you probably are. At least I'm man enough to admit I've got a problem. And I might even be man enough to fix it.

That's where I'm probably still in denial.

When we bought our house five years ago, it was the perfect size, or so we thought until we moved all of our stuff in. Shortly after we signed all the papers we discovered that we had already outgrown our home. Not really, but it sure felt that way. There simply weren't enough available nooks and crannies to put all our stuff. That's when "The Great Purge" began, and probably about twice a year I engage our home in a never-ending tango of "what stays" and "what goes".

The girls are the biggest problem. If they'd just stop frickin' GROWING, or needing NEW TOYS for Christmas and birthdays, we'd be fine. When they come to me whining about clothes not fitting, I try to convince them that capri "floodwater" pants and belly shirts are "in", but to no avail. So we buy them a whole new wardrobe and stockpile their old clothes until we figure out what to do with them, usually bagging them up and carting them over to Goodwill. We could probably do pretty well with a garage sale, but we're not garage sale people. Too much work. And too many weirdos poking around in your garage. It's just easier to bag it all up and let somebody else deal with it.

Or it was until the good ol' Federal Government began their charitable contribution crackdown last year. It used to be federally acceptable to guesstimate the value of your contributions, but I guess too many people were valuing their broken Mr. Coffee coffeemakers at $1000 a pop. I'm telling you, it only takes a few bad apples to spoil it for everybody. So now they want "documentation". It's not enough to merely write it all down...you've got to have pictures of all the crap you're giving away too! Suddenly the garage sale isn't looking all that bad...

Anyway, I give you all of that backstory simply to say that "The Great Purge of Aught-Eight" has officially begun. Only this will be the Purge of all Purges. As I sat and thought about our home I realized we weren't effectively utilizing our storage space. Man, that sounds anal! But it's true and it's driving me nuts! We have closets where we just threw crap "temporarily" when we first moved in that hasn't been touched in five years. File cabinets overflowed as well as bins of pictures and letters and cards. And then there's the issue of the girls' schoolwork: what do we save and what do we toss? It's a sort of self-damning experience to be judge, jury, and executioner to a 7 year-old's artwork, but we since we only have room for the best tigers (or is that a severely beaten chinchilla?), some of it's gotta go.

On Sunday and Monday (yes, it took me TWO days), I tackled the main file cabinet, shredding six bags of sensitive documents and tossing an equal amount of non-sensitive papers. My poor shredder was smoking! Yesterday, Diane and I teamed up, with Diane taking on hall closets and the kitchen pantry while I prepped and "documented" ten garbage bags of clothes and other miscellaneous household items, all of which were piled up in the garage, for transport to Goodwill (the garage sale will have to wait another year). Phase two will be the girls' closets, which is a lot of fun with the girls whining about us giving away toys they have NEVER played with, the guest room closet (what a frickin' disaster that thing is), and a few various "junk" drawers. There is light at the end of the tunnel! I'm always open for reorganimization tips, so if something has worked well for you, please send it along because I need help.

In more ways than one.

2 comments:

Greg said...

Up until now we've just moved into a new house whenever things got too crowded... took 8yrs to fill the last one :) Pretend you're moving and decide what you wouldn't want to pay a moving company to pack/haul for you.

Other than that I rely on my wife to be merciless once the closets are full :)

batterd ham said...

Thanks for the tip. I think "merciless" is the key word here...if you haven't used it, worn it, played with it, looked at it, or read it in the past year, it needs to go away. It's a good theory, that is unless you're talking about MY stuff. Then the Mrs. just needs to back off!