MEM: The Great Home Purge of 2008

Image: "Power Poufs!" by decor8

I mentioned a while back that my sister-in-law and her husband are staying with us for a week. Well, they've confirmed that they'll be here on May 8th, giving me 2.5 weeks to get this place decluttered and in tip-top shape for guests.

They'll be staying in the kids' toy room, so we have to move some old toys out and move the futon from the family room there. One of the couches from the living room will go into the family room where the futon was, leaving room for shelves to be moved around in the living room. And yes, it's as complicated as it sounds!

Add to that the fact that we still have Roomie's old stuff from his Mom's house as well as boxes of unknown content strewn about that were rescued from last summer's water heater crash-and-burn in the basement.

Writing it all out now makes me just want to pitch all our stuff in the nearest BFI dumpster. But that's just not earth-friendly now, is it?!

So, for the next two weeks (actually, I started last week already!), the My Earth Monday assignment is to declutter responsibly, with as little as possible going into the landfill. I'll be recycling, reducing, and re-purposing. Here's how:

- old toys: non-cloth toys go to the Children's Hospital, stuffies go to Goodwill.
- kids' clothes: to friends with small kids, the consignment shop, and Goodwill.
- adult clothes: to Goodwill.
- kids' furniture: to consignment shop.
- everything else: to Goodwill.

If you can suggest any other place where this stuff is much more needed, please let me know!

When all is said and done, I'll be monitoring what comes into this house much more carefully to avoid any new clutter catastrophes!

It takes a lot more work than the easy grab-and-dump I was tempted to do, but isn't our Earth worth it?


  1. Not only is it planet-friendly, but hopefully someone out there will make use of the things you are finished with. There's nothing I hate more than throwing out something I don't need or want when someone else could benefit from it a little longer. Of course, it takes more time and effort to find a clothing bin or make a trip to Goodwill, and it usually takes me several MONTHS to get there!! But it really is far better than taking the easy option. This week we received a bag in the mail to put all our old clothes in for collection on Wed, time for a clean out of my own!

  2. I actually had Goodwill come over 4 times last year to pick up boxes of stuff from our basement and closet!

    I've been at this decluttering off and on for the past year, and this family visit is really the push I need to finish this off.

    It's just been such a long process that it's so tempting to just dump this last little bit... but I will stay strong. :)

  3. I know you don't care for CD, but I've made it a policy that when they call to say they have a truck in the area, I say "yes!" That said, the last time, I couldn't pull together a bag (not that it wasn't there - I just couldn't do it)

    I have just decided to get a bank of drawers in my bedroom to help manage some of the transitional clothing (sizes, seasons). I keep 'losing' things in rubbermaid boxes (shoes, spring jackets of varying sizes) & going out & re-buying them. I need them at my fingertips.

    I was resisting, because I didn't really want it all in my room, but when I bought shoes in a size I already had I lost it! My sister did a really cool thing with IKEA drawers that I'm going to copy.

    Find your clutter personality - I'm a "Perfectionist" I'm sure I can slay all the other demons but that one is formidable:

  4. There's a very good reason why even my diabetic friends won't use CD and encourage their friends to go with Goodwill instead. It has something to do with Goodwill benefiting from 100% of your donations, but CD only gets something like 20% of the proceeds.
    I'll ask Roomie if he remembers...

    Oh, I am TOTALLY the "Perfectionist"! I thought I'd be the "Rebel", but I still want a clean house - just not Clean Nazi like my mom. :)

  5. Cleaning Nazi is the opposite-bad of Clutter Monkey (regardless of the "personality" that goes with it!) Myself, I like a little dirt around. Makes it look lived-in (yeah, that's what I tell myself - let me have my moment)

    Do you have a source for the CD verdict? I found *nothing* on Google - for rating or assessing *any* charity, for that matter. I DID find someone that said "I don't trust ANY charity any more! They're ALL just out to scam you" ;-)

    Whoever shows up at my house and takes away my crap and gets some use out of it has my vote - even YOU! - oh wait, it's me showing up at your house & dumping... oops. I'd say "sorry", but (a) you use it (evidence on your next blog entry) (b) it's reciprocal ;-)

    Here in the 'hood, I've put broken furniture out back and had it disappear before garbage day. I shake my head, but it makes me happy! :-) If it's a big item that you think Goodwill won't take (i.e. TOO crappy or broken), try the back lane. :-S

  6. Hi Nenette..long time no chat!
    Check to see if you've got a Freecycle community near you...then join and post what you're going have out at the curb at such and such a time and day. People jump at things you're tossing out!


  7. I think the thing with CD and many other charities is that they sell the stuff to Value Village. VV is a for-profit company and they give CD so much/lb (no idea what the number is, but I think it's low), then sell it for a profit.

    I've started taking stuff to the Salvation Army. They have a store close by. I'm sure they'd pick up too, if I called.

  8. I'm ok with that. Unless I hear something like "they eat puppies": they call ME & force me to give away my crap. They get *something* out of it.

    ...and I get nothing - the good kind of nothing! ;-)

  9. @Deborah -
    Great to hear from you! I think my husband was going to do something with Freecycle... but we can just put something out on the lane and it'll be gone within the next couple of days. Definitely tempted to just do that than make things all clean and nicely boxed up for Goodwill or consignment.

    @myrtle -
    yeah, VV doesn't pay much, but because they give "some", they can tell people that they support CD. meanwhile, CD does all the work with the little money they do get going to overhead instead of research. Grrr...

    anyway, i was going to go with salvation army initially, but they didn't pick up (and Goodwill did)... at least that was the case last year, when I had boxes and boxes to go. :)

  10. I've been in purging mode for several months now and I'm still not done. I don't think it ever ends. So long as there are always things coming into my home there will be things going out. Speaking off I think I need to head to the used book store soon to trade my books in for new ones!