As I clean out the house in preparation for our new little bundle of joy I am perpetually amazed by the sheer amount of stuff that exists within the confines of our walls. Every time I revisit the closets, dressers and drawers in my house I find something else that can be dragged off to the donation center.
Although I love reorganizing I absolutely hate seeing how much money I’ve wasted over the years. After moving things from room to room one too many times I finally decided to get rid of a box full of dishes, platters, plates, vases and candle holders. I hate to admit it, but most of these items were gifts from our wedding ten years ago. If I could go back in time I would definitely register differently.
In my mid-twenties I pictured entertaining quite frequently on all the fine serving pieces I selected. Now in my mid-thirties I cannot remember a single get-together that involved formal dinnerware. Most of our parties occur outside with disposable plates and party supplies. For the time being I kept the fine china, but everything else that hasn’t been used more than once in the last ten years was sent out the door. I cannot say for certain, but I believe I just piled hundreds of dollars worth of gifts into my car. For the record I cringed each time I pictured the sticker price of those items.
Some rooms have certainly been easier to organize than others. While the kitchen and dining room were relatively quick and painless; the craft bins have been a whole different story. What’s a girl to do with all that paint, gift wrapping supplies, thank you notes, colored pencils and a whole host of other miscellaneous stuff that seems to sit around in drawers just waiting to be used? I didn’t have the heart to get rid of any of it. It definitely feels like I will use these items some day and I like having some of these things on hand for last minute gifts bought and received. I got rid of a number of things, but kept quite a bit. I moved them to a new location, sorted and labeled everything.
Although I’m able to recycle my son’s artwork, (thank goodness he doesn’t get attached to those), I also gathered two plastic containers worth of play-doh, art projects, construction paper, markers and crayons. At least I know these will be used at some point in time. Then there are the bins of brand new toys I purchased for future birthday parties and baby showers. While I like saving the money for each event I hate storing everything for months on end. As our space becomes more limiting I believe the gift closet is officially coming to end. I’ve made similar statements in the past but this time I’m sticking through with it. Thanks to stores like Marshall’s and Ross nearby it’s always easy to find toys at bargain prices.
In digging through my son’s old baby clothes I was amazed by just how many little outfits I’d gotten rid of over the past three years. I gave two bags full of onesies and sleepers to a friend who delivered fourteen weeks earlier than expected and purged a few more things here and there along the way. The final count in the 0 to 6 month range is rather pathetic; just a handful of sleeping bags, onesies and sleepers. I certainly don’t regret giving those things away and since this child will be born in the opposite season, (spring versus fall), I have a feeling most items in the three to nine month range wouldn’t work anyway. My first child could wear the same outfit all day, which meant we didn’t much in the way of clothes. Let’s hope the second baby doesn’t get reflux either.
It wasn’t all bad news. I decided to return a few maternity items and unrelated office supplies. I found a number of maternity shirts on sale at Old Navy last week and decided to return the more expensive items I purchased at Kohl’s. I file the receipts to everything I buy so I just dug through my handy-dandy organizer and returned them to customer service this morning. I also found a bunch of unused pens and shipping labels that have been sitting in the drawer for a month or so. I located the receipt and returned them too; between the two transactions I recouped $75.
I still have a long list of nesting tasks I want to accomplish. There are quite a few closets, cubbies and plastic storage bins to process!
8 thoughts on “Nesting Progress”
I want to know what the handy-dandy receipt organizer is – mine is a large box from a liquor store, I toss things in and then spend WAY too much time searching when I need one…
Congrats on the new little one, excited for you!
I use a binder that looks something like this one. I write the name of the stores across the tabs. “Macy’s”, “Home Depot”, “Rite Aid”, “Target”, etc. I used to maintain two of these but shop more often on line and find that one works just fine. As soon as I come home I find the receipts in my wallet, purse and shopping bags and file them. It takes less than a minute or two and every time I go to the store to return something I know the receipt will be in there. Every so often, maybe every six months or so, I clean out the old receipts for stores where I know I can no longer make returns. I typically shred them.
You gave me a great idea for a new post :)!
Sounds like you’ve been busy! I definitely have too many crafty things that I’ve been holding onto but never use. But I have a two year old so they’ll probably come in handy soon!
If you’ve been giving your baby clothes away that means that you probably have friends that may be able to help you out now. Hand me downs!
Oh those craft bins drive me crazy, but they are helpful on rainy days. I’m not sure I’ll get back any of these things I gave, but maybe another mom will have some hand-me-downs for me 🙂
we’re in the process of geting ready for a move, and going through items that we haven’t used since we’ve moved in three years ago is eye-opening. I am definitely going to try to be a much more mindful consumer in the future, but it is always a battle I guess
Did I miss the big announcement? Did you two finally buy a house or are you moving to a new apartment?
The worst part of purging is finding items with the original tags still attached. I found a wreath in our attic space with the tag still hanging on. We bought a new door and didn’t want to put holes in it to hang things. With the wreath way up in the attic I completely forgot about it. I’m not sure if I could have returned it, (I don’t remember when I bought it), but it still irked me to see a $30+ tag on it!
Purging definitely gives me insight into things I buy but don’t use. No more holiday decorations for me! I’m keeping everything to a minimum.
For the art stuff, do you have any friends with kids at the appropriate age nearby you can give it to?
I’ve started phasing out the gift box myself, there are a few things I’ll pick up throughout the year as gifts because they’re unique but I spend very little time bargain shopping anymore so it’s naturally fallen off that way as well.
I’m going to hang onto the art stuff for my son, but I did decide to donate many of the toys to toys-for-tots this holiday season. I should write a post about that decision, but in essence I’d rather know that a kid got joy out of them today then see them sit in a box waiting for a special occasion!