I haven't read that KonMari book yet, though I did purchase it (on my Kindle! Because no clutter!) and started reading it, and actually was interested and meant to keep reading, but then switched to my book club book and forgot to go back. And our house still has a lot of clutter and spaces to organize. But! On my maternity leave with Annika, I had some sort of delayed nesting instinct kick in and did a LOT of organizing. I ended up with bags and bags of stuff to donate. Lots of too-small baby clothes (I counted OVER ONE HUNDRED pairs of baby girl pants, which is especially amazing since Annika never wore pants as a baby), lots of too-big women's clothing, lots of stuff in great condition that we just never use before. So I bagged it all up and... promptly stored it in a closet. Because, well, I didn't know what to do with it.
But, with Annika climbing out of her crib and us getting ready to move her into her big girl room, we ended up going through the last couple of spots in the house that I hadn't organized (namely, the closets in the nursery and in Torsten's office). Torsten's office was pretty much where all our crap went to die, and it was a LOT to go through. It took a few weeks of a bit at a time, but we did go through tons and tons of stuff and organize it and get rid of a lot of it. Then I dragged everything to donate down to the basement, where it sat in a HUGE pile, glaring at me while I worked every day.
But then! My parents came to visit, and they made a road trip out of it, which meant they showed up with their giant minivan, so I actually had an opportunity to get rid of a bunch of stuff. I itemized and photographed it all first for tax deduction purposes, which actually didn't take as long as I would expect, and I set aside a few big pieces of baby gear that we paid a lot of money for and that weren't worth all that much as a tax deduction to sell, and then my parents and I filled their minivan with all the bags and boxes of stuff and drove it off to Goodwill for someone else to enjoy and benefit from. And lo, it was a lot, and lo, my house is so much emptier, and lo, it is all delightful and I am happy.
I then photographed the baby gear and listed it all on Craigslist and the first thing to sell was the crib. It is now gone, out of our house. Annika is peacefully sleeping in her new room (which is not entirely set up yet--she is still on a floor bed until she learns to stop falling out, and there's a bookshelf we still need to assemble, and we haven't done the decor yet, but once all those things come together I will photograph it all to share), everyone is in a big-kid bed, and the era of cribs in our lives has ended. And I didn't even feel sad watching it go out of our house. I mostly felt good that the crib, which is still in great condition minus some teething marks from Callum (THANKS KID), is going to be used by another baby. And hopefully that baby will sleep as well in there as both of our kids did.
In the meantime, onwards and upwards! Our baby phase is over and we are both supremely content for that, as we are both bigger kid people naturally (more about this in a separate post eventually). Lots of crap is out of our house, and now it's time for me to get back to that book and then start getting rid of other stuff that takes up space but that hasn't actually been designated as crap to get rid of just yet. Because there is a lot more. And the relaxing feeling that comes from getting shit you don't need out of your house, and passing it on to someone who may actually benefit from it, is unmatchable.
It's interesting... I was naturally neat as a kid and then went majorly downhill in college (I blame my freshman roommate, who was an absolute delight and is still a friend but was a total slob and brought me down with her), and as an adult I kept slobby habits for a long time and over the last few years have been very slowly climbing my way out of that hole, one habit at a time. By now our house is actually generally neat most of the time. We keep on top of the dishwasher. We vacuum regularly. We put laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer. And our closets are not stuffed full of crap. The ticket to this has been to set up organizational systems and stick to them. But, there are still a lot of places where we don't have a good enough system in place, or have slipped out of the habit of using it. Our pantry was beautifully organized and is now starting to slip. Same with our toy shelf, Torsten's workbench, and our upstairs hall and linen closets. Those are where I want to start. But I also want to get rid of a lot of stuff that has a place, but is never used and doesn't actually need to be here. That's the next step. Because I've learned that my overall stress level is much lower when things are neat and not cluttered, and Torsten feels the same. And we are getting there, one step at a time.
In the meantime, bye-bye stuff:
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