Kick It To The Curb

Hi friends! I had every intention of posting this two weeks ago (yikes!) but I was leaving for San Francisco and between packing, working, and doing some last minute house and friend things the time just slipped through my fingers. I actually had a whole bunch of posts that I was going to have ready to roll while I was gone, but obviously none of those happened. C’est la vie I guess! I plan to post about that trip, but since I have a couple of posts half-drafted already I’ll get those done first and recap San Fran next week or the one after. So, without further delay…here we go!

A couple of Saturday’s ago I woke up hell-bent on cleaning and organizing pretty much everything. I think I even had a dream about it which caused me to wake up at 4am and toss and turn until I just got up and started cleaning right then! (Yes, I started cleaning my house at 4am.) I have no idea where the urge came from but I was just a clutter-busting machine all weekend. Unfortunately since I was so gung-ho I didn’t take many pictures of the process, and the ones I do have are from my phone so aren’t very good – so bear with me!

I pretty much started from top to bottom of my house. I typically focus a lot of attention on the main floor of my house because that’s the one other people see. This results in the upstairs rooms getting neglected since I don’t have time to deal with them too. I had piles of random stuff in my room since I first moved into my house (4 years ago)! I couldn’t believe it as I was going through things. My main thought throughout this whole project was – if I haven’t used/needed/looked for/looked at/wanted something in the four years that I’ve lived in this house, I won’t need it going forward so out it goes!

Fall Cleaning 2014

By the end of Saturday I had made big improvements in my bedroom. I cleared out the storage space under the built-in desk, emptied out a storage tote that had been sitting in the corner for months, moved a box of documents that need to be filed into the office where they belong, emptied out a huge basket filled with random things, and put things in their proper home that had taken up space on the built-in shelves. I threw out a ton of stuff but I also got to add a fair amount to my “donate” pile.

I also finally dealt with some clutter from my linen closet. I had a bag full of random “travel” toiletries and necessities that I collected over time. A lot of the bottles were nearly used up, old and grimy, didn’t work properly (ex: spray bottles that wouldn’t spray), or were just things I never use. I had thought about what to do with them all for MONTHS but I decided to just pitch the whole thing. I went through it and kept what I genuinely use but got rid of the rest.

I also have a set of clear storage drawers in the bathroom that had a random assortment of mish-mash so I went through each drawer, cleaned it out entirely and only put back what I use. I want to go back with my label maker and put labels on each shelf so I remember where I decided to put everything later on. I use this set of drawers as sort of an “auxiliary set” to the two drawers in the vanity in the bathroom so I want them to be organized but hold a lot of stuff. At the same time I went through the two drawers in the vanity so those now only hold things I use every day. This was a lot easier once the plastic drawers were cleaned and had room for new things.

At some point I popped down to the kitchen to grab something and while I was there I tackled my “miscellaneous” drawer and cleaned that out. After that I wiped down the stove and cleaned all of the burners. Basically as I moved throughout my house, I just started cleaning whatever I came into contact with. It was actually kind of bizarre. It worked out really well but I kind of felt like a little robot.

On Sunday I still had cleaning fever so after I mowed the lawn and weed-whacked I decided it was time to get rid of the woodpile in front of my house and do some other “tidying up”. When I first moved into my house, there were two maple trees in front of my house that weren’t in great shape. I had them cut down but decided to keep one tree’s worth of wood (that I split myself with some help from my roommate at the time) so that I could have fires in my fireplace. Well I have never once had a fire in my fireplace so after thinking about it and hemming and hawing all morning, I decided to just get rid of the wood. I put a “free” sign on them along with posting the free wood on Freecycle’s website and within a few hours a lovely couple came and took the whole pile! I was thrilled not only because I didn’t have to deal with the wood anymore (mentally – thinking about how I hadn’t had a fire, how I should probably move it because it didn’t look very attractive in its present location, etc. and physically – mowing/weed whacking around it) – but also because these people would actually use the wood!

I also managed to clean up my garage a little bit! I moved a bunch of tools that I want to keep but don’t use on a regular basis (shovels, rakes, etc.) into the shed so that my garage feels more open. (I also did some tidying in the shed while I was at it). This also freed up more space for the things I do use often. Eventually I’d like to put mounts on the wall for my bike so that’s kind of the end goal in there. The garage isn’t anywhere near done (or even done with the cleaning process) but it was definitely a huge improvement.

Overall I attacked a LOT of places around my house. I’m not entirely sure what spurred all this action – being on cold meds that act like caffeine to me, the desire to have a clean house before leaving for vacation, the fall-cleaning push, or maybe I’ve finally snapped out of my post-grad school lethargic slump – but it felt great. Even now after vacation I’m still really energized to get a lot of cleaning/organizing done and tie up all kinds of loose ends. It also helps seeing the results. Everything looks and even feels SO much better that it really makes me want to keep going.