Spring Fever organizing

annkh_ndMarch 3, 2014

Hi all! I know this board isn't very active, but those who do stop in may appreciate what I've been up to.

It seems like I get obsessed with something every year around this time. One year it was a new couch; last year it was a new kitchen!

This year, I am in serious "Purge and organize" mode. I've made long lists of things I can do in every room of the house, and I've actually started on some things!

First is the Big Purge, starting with closets and laundry room storage shelves. I had my wedding dress and two of FIL's cowboy hats (no one has looked at them since he passed away 19 years ago). I'm going to donate them to our local theater company. The wedding dress (26 years old) is going to a woman who cuts them up to make American Girl dolls.

Those boxes took up an entire shelf in my son's walk-in closet. Now the shelf hold suitcases (that cluttered the floor of my other son's closet). Better!

Another big problem in my son's closet was a pile of cases for firearms. Our rifles and shotguns are locked in a gun safe. I got a cheap plastic coat hook (about a foot long, with 5 hooks), and mounted it on the end wall of my son's closet. The gun cases hang neatly from the hooks, out of the way and easy to find! I had tried to put them on hangers, but it didn't work very well.

Next I purged 3 grocery bags of VHS tapes. I don't even own a VCR any more, so they were pretty useless! The freed-up shelves made room for some things I brought home from my Mom's (she is downsizing from a big house to a small apartment). Score!

Oh, and I got rid of a large birdcage (we used it for pet rats). We aren't going to have pet rats again, so it's gone.

Best of all - I got DH to purge a dozen old shirts from his closet (I would have thrown twice as many, but it's a start). It was getting hard to hang up clean clothes.

Our church has a big rummage sale every spring, so things that are too good to throw can be brought there. The nice thing is that the church has a storage room for rummage items, so I can take things over there all year.

I have a lot more to do, but it felt SO good to get a start on it over the weekend!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good for you. A goal gives a person a reason to get up in the morning and a lot of satisfaction when accomplished. I do a little at a time when I see the need. I have a lot of free time so that gives me something to do. I am down to be getting rid of some of my dolls and my deceased husband's collector items like cars, motorcycles and bicycles. Small ones, not real ones. LOL He did have real motor scooters (Cushman's) but he sold those when he knew he couldn't work on the them or ride anymore.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Isn't it a great feeling? I need some motivation. I do the clothing thing pretty regularly so the closets are pretty decent but it is the THINGS. I gasped about the vhs tapes. I too have lots, and I just picture my kids (now GROWN and out of the house for several years) asking for them. Don't tell older daughter that I recently got rid of some magazines she had in her room. They were about 10 years old and didn't seem sentimental or anything to me...........so I finally tossed a stack. Don't you know last week she asked me if I could look for a certain issue. I didn't have th heart to tell her that I tossed them within the last few months. I just said that they were not there.
It's the reports, art work and all that stuff I have a hard time parting with but I don't know why. I do have a lot of space so that is not the problem but I need to get rid of lots of it..

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think you have to worry about your grown children asking for the VHS tapes, what would they play them on? Many years ago we took our tapes into a place that transferred them to DVD. Of course, we had to purge a lot of them. That celluloid tape doesn't last forever. But, what a huge amount of space saved.
Guess now, we'll have to take those DVDs in and have them transferred to Blue Ray. Just like you can't get a VHS player anymore, I think the DVD player may become extinct too.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 11:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OOOOOh, this makes me want to do the same thing! I think I'd like my family to leave the state for about 3 weeks so I can clear out, remodel and not have to negotiate "what goes!" Good for you!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've got the spring fever cleaning itch too! Get my hubby to throw away old t-shirts? PLEEEEASE...I need the secret. The idea for hanging the gun cases is an excellent idea too. I just bought a gun safe for all of ours, so I have a few of those littering the bottom of hubby's overstuffed closet. Too bad hubby shows no signs of feeling guilty as I start spring cleaning and he watches the TV. Maybe if I pull all the old t-shirts out and plop 'em on his chair before he manages to sit down? LOL! Purging and Organizing...I'm on board! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When you fold laundry (if you do?), "accidentally" tear the worn out t-shirts. Ooops! Sorry, dh - that one will have to be turned into rags!

In my house, there is no such thing as spring cleaning. It's an ongoing thing - always looking for stuff that can go in our box to take to the thrift store. When the box is filled, I drop it off at the store. It's easier to do if it's a constant habit, a way of life...dh wasn't that way when we got married - he was a packrat, and a slob. So this has been a real effort. But worth it...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't get my DH to get rid of t shirts - the shirts he purged were dress shirts that were beat up or stained, and a couple of old rugby shirts that weren't even good enough for the rag bag. He got two new dress shirts for Christmas, so I told him he had to get rid of at least 2 old ones!

Poor guy has to wear dress shirts to work most days (but not a tie).

Next on my list is to paint my upstairs hallway - I loved the forest green when I painted it at least 10 years ago, but it's time to lighten up. One of the hall walls has become "Boy Scout Hall of Fame - my DH and sons are active in Scouting, and I started putting up 8x10 photos of every high adventure trip they took. Backpacking, scuba diving, dog sledding, National Jamboree, Eagle Scout portraits - the wall is overloaded! I have a new place for the Scout photos in the family , and I'm going to hang a small quilt in the hallway.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My sisters husband keeps every piece of paper that passes through his hands and every thing else. She even has to cut up her panties because he uses them for rags in front of neighbors. When her sons bought a new set of dishes for Christmas, she broke ever piece of the old set before her husband came home from work. When he saw what she did he said, "that must have taken you a long time". There are hidden problems in living like that. When one of their sons was divorced by his wife there was a custody battle over the kids. The daughter in law told the court the condition of grandma's home, the court sent a social worker to inspect it My sis knew she was coming and clean and moved stuff as she could. Still the children weren't allowed to come over.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Put those Scout photos in a album! The value of looking at them is probably gone, because everyone has been sated / saturated.

EmmaR, your poor sister!

I got motivated to finally get rid of a box of all the non-socks stuff that came out of my socks drawer. I probably didn't toss enough.

And now I want to tackle about a bread-box-sized space every day.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 7:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great start! I'm jealous that you did your kitchen last year. I've been procrastinating starting the kitchen remodel by going bonkers on organizing the house & garage. I really need to get that started.

Organizing does seem like an ongoing project. You can be done only somewhat. Life seems to be ever evolving, so the organizing needs to evolve too.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WIow! good for you.

This winter i went through my books and got rid of ones that I don't want to read again or refer to. (Well lots) I got rid of over 100. Many I "sold" to a used book store. Unfortunately they only give you a credit to the store, but I'm using it for gifts.
Its wonderful to know what I've got and where it is.

Now I have to work on getting rid of clothing that I thought I would make over to fit or be in style. Some of it I might do but mostly no.

My dh wants to keep newspapers and magazines. I do keep Fine Gardening so I understand. I bought some magazine bags that have zippers and clear plastic and organized my FGs on the bottom of a book shelf when I did the books. I am going to do the same with a bunch of dh's magazines but put them on shelves in the cellar that I haven't cleaned out yet. So I guess I'd better move on to those shelves next!

I was just thinking "after the snow storm" because much of it has to go to the dump and I got a call from my work that they are not opening tomorrow due to the storm. Now I almost feel that I have to clean those shelves tomorrow, lol!


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My husband had years of Cushman Magazines and he bought 3 ring notebooks and some special plastic strips that held the magazines. Then put the notebooks on the shelf in the garage. I don't save any magazines or paper back books. Paper smells after so long. One time my husband I were in the basement playing pool and he said, "Wow, what stinks?" I followed the smell just like a hunting dog would. LOL He had put some old magazines in the basement. That was before I told him not to store paper stuff in the home.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are going to my father's house every weekend to help them clean it. He is a hoarder, and has lived there for 62 years. They've already filled three dumpsters and are getting another one on Saturday. He has stacks and boxes of paper. He still had coats from college. (He is 92 years old.) He had gallons of dried food that he brought for the Y2K crisis! That food was 14 years old - we dumped it. He is upset about getting rid of stuff, but also realizes he should have done it long ago. His wife wants to sell the house and move to an apartment. She wants it done by April, but she is a bit of a hoarder too. Makes me want to throw out more of my stuff! We have been in the habit of taking a box or a bag of stuff to the thrift store every few weeks.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know what you mean color crazy. I am learning to get rid of more by looking with despair at my Mom's house.
I didn't do the magazines yet, but I did start clearing out the pantry!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I started scanning my kids' artwork/reports instead of saving it all. I have three kids and after all those years, it seemed crazy to have boxes and boxes of old paperwork. Also, all of the little pottery they made and other 3D items, I just took photos of and saved those pics too. I made disks of them and put them in our safety box. Now, because you can cloud things, you wouldn't even need to save them to disks, you could just dropbox them. I saved a few original, sentimental, sweet things the kids made and those stay on my desk and my dresser or are in frames. Everything else has gone the way of technology.

I REALLY need to do some more purging though of housewares and accessories--we are moving again and I am not interested in packing everything again!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OP here - I'm still at it!

I have cabinets above my washer and dryer, and they were black holes (stuff went in, but never came out). I emptied them completely, and tossed a LOT of crap! I'm embarrassed to admit that I had 2 quarts of paint from when I painted my bathroom in 1998 (I've painted a different color since then). I had 6 shelves, and when I put the remaining items back in an organized fashion, and added more things that made sense there, I still had 2 empty shelves! That was 2-1/2 hours very well spent.

Oh, and I got rid of a shelf full of textbooks that we haven't looked at since college (30 years ago). I kept the few that I have used. Anyone want a set of notes from a 1986 bacteriology class? The shelves I've freed up now contain books I want to keep but not display, so my display bookcase is much neater.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been working on part of the pantry. One of the sections with doors then I may tackle the open shelves. I have a bunch of boxes on my counter of pudding and pancake mix that will outdate soon, so we have to eat them!
I also threw a bunch of stuff away or on the compost pile depending on what it was. What was I thinking! That is the problem with an old pantry with tall shelves that I can't see to the back of. So far on a lower shelf the extra spice section, nut butters and cereal is all nice and organized (most of my spices are near the stove). And the area where all these mixes were is empty while I decide what to put back in and how to keep track when i can barely see. I'm considering putting my roasting pan up there and maybe my pressure cooker because I use them only a few times a year. Then I could put mixes and baking supplies like cocoa in more accessible cupboards in the kitchen. (I have only lower cupboards in the kitchen.)
The shelf above these that I've been working on has cook books I've been keeping for sentimental value, but haven't looked at in the 7 years since I moved them and things like matches and muffin tin papers.
I need to buy another cute stool to keep in the pantry because my dh took the one I had in there to the cellar because it is just the right height for one of his projects.
What do other people keep on high invisible shelves?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have 42" cabinets in the kitchen. They aren't as deep as your pantry, but I still can't see them (I'm 5'4" - my stool i my friend).

I use them for bigger stuff I don't use much - at least if it's big, I can see it. You idea to move your roaster and pressure cooker to that space is excellent. I like to think in terms of "prime real estate" in the kitchen, though sometimes it's hard to think past what's always been there.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 11:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nice idea to give the wedding dress and hats to the theater folks! Sometimes it's so easy just to take everything to Salvation Army and the like, but when we hit on just the right combination of item+place that can really benefit, it's a great thing!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 1:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I need to do a big purge. In a 1000 sf apartment with a family of 4 any clutter instantly makes spaces feel horrible. No attic, basement or garage to stash stuff - so it ends up in the master bedroom or the living room. We are doing a big kitchen reno so I've had to move a ton of stuff around and a lot of it is stuff that needs to GO. I don't have weird collections or complete junk, but just a situation where I can't hang onto to stuff that people who have larger homes can.

Moving isn't an option right now. We just have to make the space work and I need to get ruthless. I feel ashamed about the stuff and how much I've procrastinated on this. I need to make a fresh start here, a place where I've lived for 12 years, had two children, a divorce, and a new marriage. My family deserves it, and I deserve it.

I need to do some Craigslisting, and can I tell you how much I hate Craigslist? I had to sell my old WORKING Volvo that I listed for $400. I gave all the details of its condition (old and beat up but clean) and still people came and spent ages inspecting, test driving, and yet didn't buy. What did they expect for $400?? The parts alone were worth quite a bit.

Thanks for reading.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm still at it! I started tearing into my sons' bathroom closet Saturday, and we ended up having a storm day today (Monday), and I'm still at it. I've just about filled our big garbage can, and I have another good pile for the rummage sale.

I made enough space in the closet that I'm moving things in there that make more sense there than elsewhere. Now I have new space in other spaces. I am almost running out of rooms to declutter! When my sons get home from college, we'll go through their closets more intensely.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I spent Saturday cleaning out our storage closet in our condo building's basement. Last fall, the association upgraded from these open wooden cage storage unit to completely enclosed closets with doors. Which was great mostly, but the workers who built them removed our stuff from storage and put it back in when the build was complete. Luckily, nothing went missing, but there were some extra things that turned out not to belong to us, plus the workers shoved it all in willy nilly.

We ended up donating our camping equipment. We haven't been tent camping in ten years! If we go again, easy enough to borrow the stuff from a sister. Also, ditched the artificial tree. I hate seasonal decorating and it's not like we have family over for the holidays.

Everything is in it's place and accessible again. So much better. Next project, the kitchen cabinets (again).

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love hearing everyone's stories!

I still have a major garage project ahead of me, but that will have to wait. We got a foot of snow yesterday, and I can't work on the garage until everything has melted. We were just to the point where we could see some grass in the yard! Oh well, that's spring in North Dakota.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 1:02PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Can I get rid of my wedding gown?
Hi everyone. We went to spend the weekend with my parents...
How to get your kid (young, or young adult, or adult) to declutter
On one of the other threads (the "madwoman"...
Get rid of cookbooks, and cook more?
About a year ago, I got rid of most of my cookbooks...
Organizing vs. Cleaning?
Have discovered in the last few weeks that I get a...
Best life lesson I ever learned
Best life lesson I ever learned was at 25 years old...
Sponsored Products
West Leather Chair - Brighton Lemon Grass Yellow
Joybird Furniture
Large Quilted Jewelry Box
$199.00 | FRONTGATE
First Aid Steel Wall Mount Storage Box in Red & White
| Dot & Bo
Black Aria Six-Drawer Chest
$134.99 | zulily
Fire Magic 53917-SR Single Access Door - 17 x 24 - Right Hinge - 53917-SR
$283.05 | Hayneedle
Priage Select Tight Top 8-inch Twin XL-size Spring / Foam Mattress
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™