Since marrying Brian, and moving out on our own, we have moved across the country twice, lived in three different apartments, bought a house in South Bend, and are now renting a house in California. In the early days, B.K. (before kids), when we were moving, it was fairly easy. We didn't have much furniture, a few too many boxes of what I like to call treasures, (because I hold a lot of sentimental value in physical objects), a few too many boxes of holiday decor, our cat and his belongings, and too many clothes than two people need. We would gather these items, throw them into a uhaul, (which at the time we thought was so rough) take them to their next temporary home and deposit them there. Boy oh boy, let me tell you that A.K. is an entirely different ball game. During the time spent in our precious little house, which I adore, in South Bend, we filled that puppy to the brim with offspring and too many things per human. Having a house that is yours, as well as one that has an unfinished basement, otherwise known as a warehouse for your crap (my mother refers to hers as "THE DUNGEON") takes holding onto "treasures" to a whole new level. At least it does for someone like me with hoarder like tendencies that has managed to spawn three sweet little boys with a family that loves to spoil them.
Moving from our house in South Bend was heartbreaking and emotional. Physically, it was a living hell. As I have mentioned before, my basement was a stock room for toys r us. It was also our laundry room and storage area for anything we wanted out of sight or simply wouldn't fit in our normal living space. Because that room had been near max capacity for some months, the crap I had little use for but absolutely could not get rid of and needed to store began piling up in my bedroom. It was most definitely a scene from a not so horrible episode of hoarders. The rest of the house was just consumed by toys. I was in denial about it as well. Brian was constantly telling me I needed to get rid of stuff. My mom and mother-in-law would come over and kindly mention that we "have a lot of stuff" as they glanced around at the piles of crap. Sadly, I didn't realize just how bad it was until I got to the rental house here in CA. We have unpacked all of our necessities, and are functioning completely fine. Yet, I still have a handful of boxes that I am so reluctant to go through because all it is is garbage that is cluttering up our life. Garbage that most of holds no sentimental value, but you just don't know what to do with. It's tempting to just trash all of the boxes. It's not good for the ZEN in the house. It's quite frustrating that I brought all of it out here, but at the same time, it's easier to go through a box at a time than to dive into a large room filled with crap. It's far less overwhelming and much easier to do when you have three human leaf blowers running around. So, the goal in this house is to live with what you need, and get rid of what is just staring at you from a shelf and has absolutely no purpose.
Items that will be filtered out and condensed are boys clothes. I do hold far to much sentimental value in children's clothing. I also take very good care of what clothing we have, so it is all in great shape. Even though we have three boys, we still tend to buy more with each one. Plus, with every holiday and birthday they get a few things here and there, which is welcomed. But along the way, I must take a minute to donate or garage sale those items that just keep getting shoved further and further to the back of the drawer. Rubbermaid will be sad the day I stop hoarding children's clothes. I have enough Rubbermaid totes filled with clothes that I could clothe a third world country.
I will also be going through art supplies. With my daycare/preschool background, I have gathered enough art supplies to supply an entire elementary school. That's a little bit of exaggeration, but now that we are at this house with a tremendous amount of wonderful cabinets and storage, as I gather all of the art supplies I have, it is excessive for three kids under five.
Toys. Toys. Toys. We have far tooooo many! This will be the most challenging. But it must be done. I don't know how I am going to hammer this one out, but I will hopefully manage. It will probably take some major Pinterest searching and internet suggestions about how to do it and what to get rid of, etc. without breaking your kids heart. Someone send in the troops!
That should be a good start at getting our clutter in order. I wish I was back home to sprinkle my clutter among family and friends that want/need it. I will have to find a great charity as I send our stuff packing!
I would love to hear everyones suggestions on how they keep their house under control! Post them on Crunchy Revolution facebook page or in the comments below!