Thursday, May 21, 2009


Becky posted on her blog about an upcoming move for her family. The Loopers (Lutheran homeschool e-list) have also been talking about moves for military families.
If I counted right, I have moved 18 times. As much as I have moved, I'm glad it isn't even close to my age! I have lived in IL, SD, IN, OH, WI, and MN. One move we even lived in a motel for a month while we waited for our house to be available. Some of those moves, my parents just couldn't fit everything on the moving truck. I think my mom regrets a few of the things that were given away/sold at that point. But most of the things were just stuff, and it was good to clean out and get rid of stuff each time we moved.
Our last move, we moved 10,000 lbs. We didn't have kids yet. We didn't have much furniture. Ram's parents brought us some furniture and several boxes of books after we moved here. For each of our birthdays, Ram's mom sends a box, usually about 40 lbs. Can you tell we love books?
I dread the thought of us moving. I should be working on cleaning out since we have been here for 6 years and collected lots of stuff. But I just don't have time with 3 little Lambs to take care of. We are hoping we aren't done with our family yet, so we can't really get rid of the baby stuff yet. Part of the reason I don't clean out stuff is I don't know where to begin. Which closet do I begin in? Which bookshelf? My scrapbook supplies? My files from teaching (I think a lot of it is trash, but some might be useful to homeschooling.) The Lambs toys?
As much work that I have to clean out, I feel like I'm always cleaning out closets, especially as the Lambs outgrow their clothes and need the next size. I don't want to hang on to shoes and the Lambs clothes until I have grandchildren like Ram's parents did though.
Have you cleaned out stuff? What was your strategy? Where did you begin? Or did you just wait until the last minute when you moved? I welcome any advice! Sometimes I think I should do Flylady style and work on one drawer or closet etc. for 15 minutes each day. But would I really accomplish anything with this method? And where would I find 15 more minutes? I am busy from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. I feel like I need a strategy to get my "stuff" under control.


Karen said...

I usually de-clutter November, early January, and in June. In November, it's usually kids toys and clothing. I take the out-grown clothing (or wrong season) throw out the stained beyond use items and place the rest in a box that I label with sex and size. The toys I remove are either never used, broken, or too young. If I plan on a garage sale, the good items are saved. Usually, I just take the toys to Salvation Army or Good Will.

The January sorting is to make space for gifts (we also have 4 birthdays between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve). I let the kids help with the January sorting.

In June I sort out everything. Removing books off the bookshelves, knick-knacks, kitchen items, furniture clothing and toys. I usually take 1-2 weeks and do a room each day. Then, we have a massive garage sale. Anything that doesn't sell, I immediately donate.

You're at a tough time. When I had lots of younger kids and wasn't done with having children, we had a lot more boxes in the attic. Now that my youngest is 4, I was able to dump all the baby items and toys.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

It took a move for me to de-clutter. You're right, in 6 years you do accumulate a lot of stuff. While I was packing, it was three categories--keep, rummage, toss. I think that principle would work with any organizing! Now I go through the basement--a year later, any boxes I haven't touched get taken to Goodwill, no questions asked. If I haven't touched them in a year, I don't need the stuff inside!!!