Sunday, August 29, 2010


The other night after the kids went to sleep, I ran to the mall to look for fall clothes. In the 40-ish minutes I had before the place closed, all I could find was a pair of leopard-print stilettos, a filmy black blouse with a ruffled collar, and a black and white pinstripe blazer.

I liked plenty of other things, but for some reason, I couldn't imagine them living in my closet.

This morning, I almost cried reading the real estate section-- and not just because houses in our complex are about $50k less than they were when we bought ours. I was just so JEALOUS of all the houses with spare bedrooms and unfinished basements and you know-- room for STUFF. We have run out of stuff room.

After breakfast, Ben and I both cleaned out the covered baskets of crap that sit on our dressers. Inspired, I also cleaned out the two baskets that sit on my bookshelf/desk combo. On a whim, I opened the cabinet under my desk, the dusty place where my copies of Planned Parenthood's archive from 1942-1973 lives along with boxes and boxes of Walgreens photo orders that I place and pick up every week but can;t put in albums because I don't have any ROOM for albums.

Until the moment I opened the cabinet door, we planned to throw on some clothes and head out for some grocery shopping, maybe a walk by the lake and some lunch before cleaning the house from top to bottom, like we always do on Sundays. Instead, I started making piles of is-this-trash-or-treasure? and Ben swore under his breath, went downstairs to retrieve a box of garbage bags, and flung open the boys' super hero toybox.

We can never plan a whole-house purge because if we did, we'd never, ever do it because it sucks and is awful.

Harry and Jack were super good, milling around piles, watching TV, and finally going swimming with my brother for a few hours in the late afternoon.

Ben and I? Were AMAZING! Like, 3 carloads of donations amazing and a whole carload of trash that Ben took to my brother's apartment complex dumpster.

Look! You can actually walk in our closet again:

And I hung up all my scarves, which made me notice that they are all pink and purple. Now I have a specific item on my fall shopping list-- NOT pink or purple scarves

There's room again in the suer hero toy box AND in the stuffed animal toy box, which means we are finally able to build! more! bears!

Ben hung drywall hangers to reinforce the hooks in the kids' toy closet, and now we can hang their heavy stuff again

And he cleaned out and sorted all the tiny toys in the basket organizer thingy

We even have an empty toy shelf! We NEVER have empty toy shelves

We were so inspired by our upstairs success that we did the unthinkable and purged our garage and storage room, too.

Our laundry room is still a mess of discarded baby gear and shelves, but we can actually WALK INTO our storage room, and if we need to seek shelter in the event of a storm, we don't have to throw a bunch of shit into the laundry room first (which is good because all that flying debris would not be safe, probably)

I do feel guilty for wasting a gorgeous day inside when I could have been at the pool, but my closets are so clean I almost don't regret it. And now maybe I can binge on some fall clothes.


  1. that is so inspiring! I do the slow purge--every time I go into my closet to find something to wear, I inevitably find something I haven't worn in a year and I throw it in a bag I keep behind our door. Right now I have two bags of stuff to take to Good Will.

    The toy issue is another story all together--I have to do that some day when Ethan is out and not at all involved or nothing will go---every time I suggest giving something away it immediately becomes his new favorite toy. LOL

    Glad the day was productive for you! I need to take actual stock of my "haves" and "have nots" for fall and see what I can find to spruce up the wardrobe for not a ton of cash.

  2. It feels so good to get the house purged it makes me NOT want to buy more stuff! I did the upstairs yesterday and still need to do kid clothes and toys in anticipation of birthday season, Christmas and the new baby. I got a whole bunch of stuff for the children's home and two bags of trash!

  3. Yesterday must have been a day for productivity--we did a thorough cleaning (and purging) of our bedroom--from actually washing the walls (who does that?) to vacuuming dog hair out from under the bed and dressers (how does it get there?) and sorting through everything that had been stored under the bed. All of this was in a valiant effort to start shifting the guest room (which is also home to off-season clothing and various other things we have no place to store but can't bear to part with) into a baby's room. It was a beautiful day spent inside and I definitely took a nap about halfway through, but I felt very self-satisfied when I went to bed last night! By the way... I love your blog! It cracks me up and sometimes I feel like it could be ME writing or doing the same things!

  4. You know, I also get the urge to purge when I get bummed about not having All We Want. Which is kind of ironic if you think about it, no? Good for y'all.

  5. I need to purge the toys around here. I have started putting the random "bits" into bins, and I hope to get them ready to sort soon. It is amazing how much stuff we can stuff into our homes!

  6. Anonymous10:31 AM

    so proud of you, it's definely not a genetic trait from this side of the family,but maybe a throwback to your Great Grandmother (she was neat) and probably looking down shaking her head at my closets..Bomma

  7. I am still glowing from the big toy purge I did a few weeks ago - seeing all that space and those half empty bins is so wonderful!

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