Every once in a while, I get the urge to rid my life of all excess “stuff.” I’m not really a hoarder or a pack rat type, but with two kids in the house, clutter tends to build up fast. Especially with the kids’ stuff. There are tons of toys and books and things that Catie doesn’t play with or use anymore, but I find myself holding onto it all, just in case Lucy wants it someday.

This past weekend, I got rid of a lot of stuff. I cleaned out my closet and hauled out three large garbage bags of clothes, which I gave to Goodwill. A lot of it was stuff that’s now too big on me, but I had also been keeping all of my old “skinny clothes” that I thought I would wear again when I lost weight. The thing is, though, now that I’ve lost the weight? Those clothes aren’t my style anymore. I don’t like boot-cut jeans now, and I don’t wear shirts with long flowy sleeves because (a) I’m not Stevie Nicks, and (b) I still have to change poopy diapers sometimes and that’s just asking for trouble. So there was a LOT of stuff that I realized I really don’t need.

Then the girls’ clothes… well. I save all of Catie’s stuff so that Lucy can wear it someday. And that’s fine. But now I have boxes upon boxes of clothes that Lucy has outgrown, and I have no need to hold onto any of it.

Back in the summer of 2012, my mom and I had a yard sale and I sold a whole bunch of Lucy’s tiny newborn-size baby clothes, and it didn’t really faze me at all. (I got rid of my maternity clothes at the same yard sale, and I was downright gleeful about that – goodbye, belly-paneled pants!) But for some reason, getting rid of the toddler clothes felt like a punch in the chest to me. Maybe because I don’t have the same memories of my kids as babies that I do of them as toddlers – I’m not a “tiny baby” person, I’m a “18+ months” person. I think they’re so much more fun when they can walk and talk and show their personalities. So I guess that’s what made it harder.

And the thing is, I know I don’t want another baby – really, most days I feel like I’m barely hanging by a thread with the two that I have, and I honestly, truly, absolutely DO NOT want another kid. But there was something about the finality of it that got me. As I dropped everything off at Goodwill on Saturday, I had to look away really quickly from the pile I’d just set down so I wouldn’t cry.

I’m still cleaning stuff out. I’ve had a dresser sitting in my garage since I moved into this house, because I have no place to put it, and I finally listed it for sale on craigslist. (Note that we’ve lived here for two years now. That dresser has been there a LONG time.) And there are tons of toys in this house that both of my kids have outgrown, and a lot of families who do all of their holiday shopping at places like Goodwill and could really use them.

Plus, you know, my girls are both about to get a whole new pile of stuff for Christmas, so really, it’s not a bad idea to lower the current inventory in the toy boxes.

I’m not sure if it’s the holidays or what that’s given me this restless need to get organized. But it feels really good to offload a lot of this stuff.

One thought on “purging

  1. I’ve been sharing and donating quilting stash for a month now. It feels great to get down to just what’s needed. My closet is at the point where the unused stuff is gone, but there are still useful but undesirable things left. I feel the need to find replacements before letting them go. We have a storage locker and took some things out of it this weekend to get rid of as well. I can’t believe the crap we’ve hung on to, and I want to do even more dumping.

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