I told everyone I was spring-cleaning the house and everyone asked if we were moving apartments already. What happened to spring-cleaning for spring-cleaning’s sake? Anybody who knows me or lived with me know that I clear out my house annually of crap I do not use. The problem is the past three years we were busy with pregnancies and babies and I skipped three years worth of thorough spring-cleaning so you can imagine how cramped the house feels. And being the OCD-person that I am, the chaotic outer environment clearly reflects the turmoil within me. I had put everything on hold the last three years and I am finally ready to declutter mentally and physically and move forward from babyhood. This does not imply we are done with babies – I am keeping our baby carriers and cloth diapers in case we feel ready (or not) for a 5th one. But everything else needs to go.
The rule of thumb that we use is: if it hasn’t been utilised in the past year and/or will be used in the coming year, it is getting thrown, donated or sold. So I got huge cardboard boxes to categorise the items and plan to clear out a room a day until I have cleared the whole house. I even have boxes for documents because I plan to digitise important copies and store important physical copies of properly. So far I completed the kitchen and already used 80% of our boxes! To be fair, the kitchen has the most things. And I’ve been absolutely merciless. I don’t second-guess any item. Its down to pure utilitarian value at this point because we have so many kids and we badly need the space. So for example we have a juicer and an electric steamer that are about 2 and 3 years old, and they have not been used the past year and I don’t see myself using them the following year because we don’t drink much juice anymore and we use the stove to steam, so I am giving away these items to a good friend of mine.
I have 5 more living quarters to clear: the living room, master bedroom, common bedroom, storeroom and our corridor. Yep, we have crap along our corridor. The storeroom will be the most difficult because it holds a lot of items of attachment that we find the most difficult to unburden. We’ve cleared the store room several times already over years and its getting lesser and lesser as the years pass, which means we are getting better at letting things go.
A lot of the stuff were really from our former lives: stuff from my husband’s late parents (it was formerly their house), stuff from when we were teenagers, when we lived together in our 20s, marriage mementos, travel souvenirs, and the most recent, baby items. In a way, I am doing a pre-clearing out before our big move to make the eventual move to our new apartment less painful. I really wish for us to have a fresh start. We have been so used to working around the constraints of an apartment that was handed down to us that we can’t wait to finally make our own space and define it according to our needs as a family of 6.
So I think I’m off to a good start as far as the start of 2016 goes.