April // 9 Things I Can Do Without OR Purge OR Spring Clean
It’s been an interesting time in our house. As much as spring is the time when a lot of people get rid of stuff, we’ve been bringing a lot of new things into the house. Because when you’re getting married, people like to give you THINGS. So as much as we tried to limit our registry to things we needed or could replace, there were still requests (mainly from my mom) to add “more stuff” to the registry. Despite the fact that it’s not bought out. But whatever. So now that the wedding is over, our goal is to start moving things out of the house in preparation for seasons where we’ll be in and out of the house a lot more.
So now that we’ve got replacements for things, it’s easier to think about what to get rid of and why.
- Anything you hate – two years ago I bought us a second set of sheets so we could wash one and put the other on the bed. But the sheets I bought were awful: scratchy with a color that did not look as nice in reality as it did in the store. I would have been willing to get rid of those sheets long ago, but being given new sets to replace those awful ones makes the decision 100x easier
- Anything you don’t use – I have this duvet cover that I got from my sister and used for a while in my bedroom, but it wasn’t quite me. I eventually bought a new cover, and that’s the one I’ve used for 4 years at this point. But I’ve carried the second cover with me through THREE moves. Which is nuts. It’s currently living in the donate pile because while I’m not moving again any time soon, I don’t need it in my house taking up space.
- Anything broken or torn that you don’t plan on fixing or repairing – H had a pair of sweatpants that were too short on her that she still wore because she loved. We let that go, saying they were “just around the house” pants, until the moment they got huge holes in knees. Those suckers went in the trash so fast. Anything you let hang around the house in that state only makes your home a garbage-dump.
- Anything that doesn’t fit – with children it’s a little harder, because you can say, “Oh, but E will wear this one in a couple years” or “What if we have another child?” Sure. If the item is in good condition, and you have the room to store that many extra things, have at it. But for adults, who are generally going to stay the same size (disregarding situations like pregnancy), chances are you aren’t going to get back to the size you were before. Or if you do, it may be so long that the other style is now out of fashion. Again – if you’re happy using the space in which you live as a storage unit for unworn clothing, I’m not going to argue with you. But I’m getting rid of my old pairs of jeans which I haven’t been able to fit into in 5 years.
- Anything you have too many of – Before the registry items started coming in, we already had too many coffee mugs, and they were fighting for space in the cabinet, but not being used enough to merit their number. Add to that the fact that we were consistently using only three of them, because the others were too small, or had a peeling decal, or got too hot with hot liquid inside. We got a set of proper mugs, and suddenly had WAY TOO MANY. Out went the tiny mugs with no sentimental value. Out went the plastic mug. Out went the night-sky heat-sensitive one that was super cool, but also peeling. Out went the one the Boy was given for his birthday and he loved, but which no longer had its design because it had been put in the dishwasher a few too many times.
- related: if you have too many of a thing, and some of them have logos on them – I’m thinking wine glasses I got for free at winery tastings – those are the ones that can go. Sure, there may be nice memories associated with that time, but your dinner party will feel that much more grown-up if one person doesn’t randomly have a wolf on their wine glass.
- Cardboard boxes – I used to hoard shipping boxes when I had things sent because I knew I would be moving again in the next year, or just eventually. But now we are in our home for the foreseeable future. I don’t plan on having to move again for a long time. There is no good reason to keep cardboard boxes, so they go in the recycling each week. Except for the ones that the girls use for imaginative play, and even those have to be recycled eventually.
- Anything “disposable” doing a permanent job – we all are guilty of using the hangers that clothes came on, or wire hangers from the dry cleaners at one point or another to hang our clothes long term. But I’ve made a concerted effort recently to get rid of all my wire hangers and to buy some nice (and still cheap!) velvet hangers which don’t warp my clothing. Storing clothing properly increases it’s lifespan, and buying a set of 50 basic hangers is cheaper than buying yourself a new shirt to replace the one with permanent points in the shoulder from a wire hanger.
- Anything (specifically paperwork) that is no longer needed – this is one I need to work on. I’ve got a bench with a hidden file cabinet inside, and it needs to be purged of my old bank statements and other documents which are no longer needed or relevant. If you don’t know what to keep or toss, here’s a guide. I’ve got a shredder at home, but there are community shreds that can help you out. Google “Community shred” and your zip code, and you’ll probably find something.
- Things that will make you sick – this is where I’m lumping things like “very old sponges” (which should probably be replaced monthly), dirty air filters (which if not changed seasonally can contribute towards worse allergies), old makeup (which can attract lots of bacteria), and expired medications (which can lose effectiveness, or become harmful to use if they have a preservative). You know – because keeping things in your house that will make you sick isn’t a good idea.
So that’s my plan. It’s a slow and constant process. And I know we’re lucky to have an infusion of new things to replace so many that are going out the door, but even if we didn’t have them, it’s a list of criteria that I try to take into account in my life.
What are you getting rid of this spring? Any of my list items you disagree with? Or other things to add to the list?
Details: This post is part of Project Reverb 2017, which sends out monthly (and sometimes daily during a month-long challenge in December) writing prompts for bloggers. If you’re interested in participating, sign up here.