It all started this cold and flu season. Well, actually it all started when we had the first of our eight sons, 15 years ago, but that’s another story. This is the story of how I accidentally started a massive room-by-room over-haul of our family’s home and how we’re reaping the benefits. (And no, the baby shoving an entire orange into his mouth has nothing to do with this story, minus the fact that Vitamin C is an excellent help when sick. I was just struck by his persistence at keeping this orange that he grabbed and insisted on gnawing on until I took it away for fear he’d choke. So, I snapped a picture.)
So, we got the flu. Isn’t that all I really need to say? I mean, who needs me to give the entire account of 117 blankets, 54 towels, ALL the pajamas in the house, the forgotten pull-ups in the corner of the bathroom, and all the dishes that didn’t get done while I was cooking, cleaning, coughing, nursing, or sneezing? No one? That’s what I thought.
Yes, the flu struck, and it wasn’t pretty. It took me three days to put away the humidifiers, the nebulizer, the inhaler, the herbal remedies, and all four pages of the medicine log that my husband and I had kept on the kitchen counter which we used to avoid confusing one of the boys’ medicines. It was a good time. I felt pretty great just getting the kitchen and downstairs living areas cleaned up.
We opened the back door the first day that it was warm enough to let the breeze clear the air, parked the air purifier in the kitchen on full blast, and declared to all that today was the day we strip ALL the beds. And somehow, mysteriously, I had been able to keep much of the laundry done until…well…just then.
That was the day it began. My process of de-funk. Three weeks of almost continuous cold and flu, I was on a mission to not only clean our home, but organize it, too. And not just the normal organizing which typically includes putting the clothes away and straightening drawers and visible shelves, countertops, and desktops, and putting fresh sheets on beds.
I was already in this organizing mindset when the boys’ upstairs bathroom flooded…
into my master closet…
where I have a massive amount of clothes stored.
So, of course, not wanting to chance any of them getting wet, I decided to move them all out AND wash ALL of them immediately.
As I began pulling them out, I realized these were things I no longer needed, or were clothes that the boys had outgrown, or were simply a surplus of clothing I’d been storing.
I also noticed how many things were baby items that I simply never used. Having had this many babies, and especially all boys, I had become the Ultimate Accidental Hoarder. That’s right. Having one boy after another after another, I always rationalized that I didn’t need to get rid of any baby boy clothes, or any baby items in general, since they could be put to good use.
That’s a theory that only holds up for so long. Advance forward 8 boys and 15 years.
That. Is a LOT. Of stuff!
The clearing of that one closet, that is really supposed to house clothing and shoes for my husband and myself, catapulted me into sorting and organizing baby clothes, baby accessories, baby equipment, maternity clothes, baby blankets, diaper bags, you name it!!
There are a couple of other reasons that I can give for putting off this type of organization.
1. Getting rid of baby things can be an emotional thing, and sometimes it’s just easier to leave them in the closet.
2. And trickier, getting rid of baby items forces me to think about whether or not we’re having more babies, which isn’t something I’m focused on right now, so I thought I could put the closets off. I decided that whether or not we have any more children is not the point. We have too much stuff. If we ever have another baby, there is no doubt in my mind that baby will be provided for.
So? Away with the stuff!!
I’m working all day between meals, checking boys’ school assignments, cooking and cleaning, to gather, wash, dry, sort and package up an abundance of mother and baby items as well as baby and boy clothes that I hope to bless the mothers around me with in the very near future. I haven’t even found all the nursing covers (that I haven’t used since about four babies ago), several slings (I found I like to carry my babies in my arms best), and other things (like the belly support strap) that I know I have lying around to give some mothers who will use them.
I’ll update you all with my progress on this particular phase of our whole house organization project, and stay plugged in here, because we’re doing it all – every room in the house! The boys’ bedrooms are next! I shared on my Facebook page, that this is what we’re building for their new bunk beds. What do you think?
Are you starting your spring cleaning early this year? What organization projects are you working on?
And I hope you’re inspired, if nothing else, to look inside your closet and see if there’s something you can bless someone else with.