My kids are running in the opposite direction and stuffing things under their pillows and my husband is mysteriously staying late at work for the last week - it must be that time of year. The time when all of the toys from the holidays have started to break or lose my kids interest. When I question where in the ###***! all of this random stuff in my home came from and how on earth am I going to get rid of all of it. It's bi-annual cleaning time, and I honestly feel really bad for my kids and husband right now.
I start with my own mess. As I peer into my closet I am horrified at the condition it is in. My once neatly organized jewelry box is now stuffed to the brim with necklaces earrings and bracelets I haven't seen since before I had kids (even though I swear I cleaned it out last year). From there I tackled the usual suspects: kids clothes, pantry, toys and "surfaces". It took me a week and delaying some other things to get it done (this article for one), but it's done now and I am ready for another 6 months of clutter(ish) free living. Read on to see my after photos and to find out some of my favorite local places and events to rid your clutter.
01. Enter Amanda from Trends. She posted this amazing closet clean out challenge, which was the inspiration for not only this post, but the current condition of my closet and home. Although I didn't make her deadline, because, well, kids, I did ditch all of the things that I haven't worn in more than a year. Bonus here is I brought all of my old jewelry, shoes and clothing to Trends to consign and have already started raking in some cash to support my ridiculous shoe that I never wear any more habit. Pro tip, bring clothes in clean, on a hanger and in great condition. Bring jewelry in untangled and neatly organized (I put all of mine in those fold top sandwich bags. They will donate anything not in consignment condition to local charities, just one of the many reasons I heart Trends!
02. Let's talk kids clothes and accessories.. I have little tiny single socks hidden everywhere and despite having three girls, you would think I would be able to resist the urge to buy new clothing for my second and third girls. But no, the universe is not on board with this plan. They were all born at different times of the year and they are all different heights, so I have so many clothes and bows. While purging their drawers, I pull out all of the stuff that I don't love and put it in a giant bin to save for the Hephzibah Kids Resale Event.; they have a Spring and Fall one. Click here for more info. including how to consign, what they will take and how to shop the pre-sale.
03. On to the pantry. It has become a dumping ground for all of the foods that I wanted to "test out" or want to like but I never get around to using them. These days you can find the mac and cheese, tomato sauce and pasta frequently rotating out of their pantry homes. I do usually end up wasting some random bags with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar leftover from holiday cookie making, but I use this as a good time to rotate out any food that may expire before i get to use it. My favorite local place for this? The Forest Park Food Pantry or Sarah's Inn. They are always in need of food items after the holidays.
04. My kids stuff, it's everywhere and it has taken over my life. The little glitter shoes from LOL Surprise dolls, miscellaneous Barbie accessories and holy cow can we talk about the Lego pieces!? I have an irrational fear that if I get rid of a toy then a yet unborn child of mine will become obsessed with wanting it, so I resort to obsessively organizing, swapping, selling and donating all the toys. I packed a large bag to donate to our local playgroup at St. Luke. I posted a few items on the Oak Park Mom's Resale Page (message me for more info). When all of the toys must go ASAP, I defer to The Economy Shop.
05. All of the surfaces! They collect so many things, there is something so calming about just a lamp sitting on a table with nothing else to junk it up. I got rid of some old picture frames and played with my shelves a bit for some new eye candy in the house. I brought the small stuff to The Economy Shop and called in Divine Consign for the big stuff! Have you seen their new payment system Zibby and the MASSIVE space they are moving into!?
Stay tuned next month for the ultimate local guide on how to dispose of everything! From batteries and electronics to books and bras, this this is jam packed with all the info you need!