7.01.2009

Summer Cleaning (And Some Ill Advised Sneakiness)

image via d*s

Despite the fact that I live in a major city with easy access to loads of charitable organizations that will happily accept my cast-offs anytime, I get a major thrill when once a year the Goodwill truck shows up in the parking lot of my office building. I use this annual visit as an excuse to tear through my house with garbage bags throwing in anything that seems slightly irrelevant. (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?)

This year, I filled 10! jumbo bags to bursting – actually Bryan was the major contributor (he was surprisingly on board, my sweet hoarder), as he singlehandedly filled six bags with the contents of his closet and dresser (clearly he hadn’t gotten rid of clothes in a while.) I filled two bags with my things and then (and this was the tricky part) two more bags with the girlie’s old toys.

Now for those of you with kiddos, I’m guessing you’ve experienced this, as I’ve heard it’s rather common… My girls never want to get rid of anything. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t played with a particular toy for years, once they see it again, it becomes their favorite. thing. ever. So I had to be strategic, sneaky even, and I filled a couple of bags while Bryan was giving them a bath and quickly stashed them in the trunk of my car. Catastrophe averted... Or so I thought.

Apparently, somehow utilizing her magic, all-knowing senses, Audrey figured out that I had donated a pink bunny named appropriately named, “pink bunny.” I have no idea how she figured this out, perhaps she takes inventory of her stuffed animals, which really wouldn’t surprise me all that much…apple, tree…

To say she freaked out would be a bit of an understatement. It was major. I tried my best to resolve the situation...First, I explained to her how lucky we were to have so many nice things and how important it was to share our things with people that didn’t have many toys or clothes to enjoy. She got that in theory, but was majorly pissed that I didn’t ask her what she’d like to get rid of… Touché. That kid is giving me a run for my money friends.

So, as a reward for sitting through this epic tale of purging, here are a few gorgeous and altogether minimal spaces I’ve come across of late. I’m feeling pretty confident these homeowners make frequent trips to the Goodwill. I wonder how they handle getting rid of their kid’s stuff…


image by joshua mchugh via metropolitan home


image peter murdock via metropolitan home


image via d*s

21 comments:

eco-stylista said...

This is exactly what I would like to see in my home, calm, organized, minimal spaces... well, it is not easy with small kids around. What I especially hate is having broken or damaged toys around which have no use but the kids still insist on having them. I agree you have to be sneaky. I usually keep the discarded toys for some time in the attic before giving them away..

Color Me Green said...

i always assume ppl with homes like in those photos clean the heck out of their houses and hide the mess before the photographers come!

Barchbo said...

Sigh. I am an inveterate hoarder, but I recently married a sweet, minimalist man. He is such great accountability for purging and sorting, and I LOVE donating to Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Assistance League of Austin, Dress for Success, and Salvation Army. Really, we are so blessed - I just took 6 bags last week!

If we ever have kids, I think I cannot even imagine the extra layers of accumulation - you're so brave.

Kristina Guilbeau said...

when in doubt...toss.

i hate clutter and love to purge the extras from my life. it is the absolute best feeling in the world to start fresh.

i can relate with audrey, my dad tossed all my old dance costumes that i wanted to pass down to emma. oh well, she didn't need those smelly old things anyway...

Kristin said...

I've never had a problem getting rid of stuff... usually I end up going too far and then months down the road I wonder what ever happened to __?

My sister has has the same problem with her kids, but what she has them do is each go through their toy chest and pick 10 toys that they no longer want and put those in a big pile to give to needy families. It's worked for her, and the kids have actually started to enjoy the big donation clean-out.

stacy said...

i LOVE getting rid of things!

as i prepare for our first child i have resolved to have a house free of any junk.

i have six weeks of tossing left - i see a large garage sale in my future.

Joslyn said...

kristin -- i love that idea...i'll for sure use it next time ;-)

Amanda Nicole said...

I am notorious for randomly doing away with things. If it's not bolted down, you'd better put a sticky note on it, because at some time or other I'll suddenly be sick of it and to the curb it goes. It's bad. I'm learning to ask the other member of the household first, but even then - nothing's safe.

hannah said...

gosh, i'm still trying to force myself to break with my little girl attitude of wanting to keep every 'pink bunny' i've ever played with. i got it from my father, he has a strange habit of hanging on to newspapers he hasn't finished reading- as in, every days newspaper from the last 20 years is stored in my parents house, and my mother secretly throws them out when he's not looking- creating a similar struggle !
anyways, those spaces are lovely.

Rachel said...

10 bags! I am so impressed. Now I'm itching for another cleanout.

Cassandra said...

I'm thinking they've got a closet in the hall where all the "clutter" is stuffed.

Kelly and Kelly said...

My kids are the same way! How do they seem to want what we want to get rid of even if they haven't touched it for months.

Simply Mel said...

I love to purge, and since we are moving in a month, I can't wait to really get down to the necessary essentials. Luckily, my 17 month old will not hold any grudges as I donate most of her things! Phew!

Doesn't it feel good to be free of clutter? Congrats!

fromtherightbank.com said...

Hooray! Isn't it the best feeling? We make monthly trips to the local Goodwill and it always feels so good to get rid of stuff that we don't need.

paula said...

I love to get rid of stuff. I just put tons of the kids toys out in the garage just to see if they will miss them. If not then out they go!

curiouscovetous said...

those photos are gorgeous! i love your blog, by the way. :)

curiouscovetous said...

those photos are gorgeous! i love your blog, by the way. :)

-Lindsey- said...

My mom used to give us a big box and say we could only keep toys that would fit in the box. Then we got to choose what toys went in the box. It might have been a bit drastic, but it worked for us.

orange sugar home said...

beautiful rooms and very funny story. I too have a hard time sneaking items out of the house but I keep them in a black garbage bag in the closet until donation day and just hope the bag doesn't rip open in front of the little ones!!

Suzanne : : S.HOPtalk said...

I can't tell you how many times I've gone down that exact road with my eight year old daughter. She keeps EVERYTHING. I've had to resort to sneakiness as well--and have been burned BIG TIME!

The last time, she found a stash of her things outside in our garbage can. Thankfully, I wasn't around, so she had time to cool down. Instead she hit me with the quivering lips and a "it just really hurt my feelings that you didn't check with me first, and that you threw away that (fill in the blank) that I made especially for you!" Ouch--that one hurt (and oh how she knew it would...I'm still not over the mom guilt).

Mrs.French said...

I suddenly feel smothered by all the clutter...good for you, bad for pink bunny... :) xo t