Give and then give some more

I have this nasty habit of making piles.  If you couldn’t tell by my post on unfinished projects, things get piled up and forgotten.  Most notably, there is a large pile at the top of the stairs.  It consists of a large box (i don’t know, maybe 3.5 feet by 2 feet by 2.5 feet?) filled with another box, topped with a box filled with several (a few dozen) folded boxes.  It’s a mountain of cardboard.  Adjacent to this, there is a broken suitcase, broken drying rack, a couple boxes of and a laundry hamper full of outgrown clothes, and bags of unwanted toys, etc.  You get the point, lots of things for discard and donation.

I’ve been meaning to sort it all.  Take things to the dump (along with the huge screen tv that broke and now we’re without one in the living room — which hasn’t been too terrible), organize things for donation, and generally clear up the space to declutter our house.  Like all things in life, it’s so easy to put it off than to get the motivation to start.

I got an email reminder the other day, “Big Brothers Big Sisters will be in your area!”  Honestly, there is always someone picking up donations in the area.  Between them, UCP, Kidney people, random strangers, I’m pretty sure if I just leave something outside, it’ll get picked up (We’ve had people wander into our garage and steal shoes. TWICE. We even caught them on camera once.  Weirdos, it was a group of 4? boys stealing womens footwear.).  So after seeing the email, I went ahead and scheduled a pickup for Wednesday morning.

I was hoping this would be the fire under my seat that would motivate me into cleaning that area up — or at least sort between what needs to be donated and what needs to be dumped.  I printed up a list of acceptable donations to get me started.

That’s about as much progress as I had done for the first 2 days.  Finally, after realizing I probably wouldn’t have the time to focus, I pushed myself to just do it.  I cleaned the toys out of the middle of the living room (I think this is why I have no motivation, there are so many steps to do before actually doing anything, I’m tired before I even start), then spread out the piles.  I went through all the clothes, sorting it by size and type, emptying pockets and neatly packing them away.

Ella was amazed at how big daddy’s clothes was.  I was amazed too, not by the size, but by the quantity!  In the end, he had 2 boxes of pants and 1 box of shirts.  I would say maybe over 20 pairs of jeans and khakis, and the same or more of button down shirts and dri-fit polo shirts.  These were all clothes that we pulled out of his closet from when he went down from a size 38 to a 34 and from XL to L.  Just the one size was very significant.  We’re very proud of him.

I went through my clothes, packed up all the maternity clothes, pulled out old handbags that I don’t plan on using ever again, organized the girl clothes, and all the toys that we planned to give away.  In the end, there were 6 boxes and 3 bags.  I’m sure if I make a pass through all the rooms, I can round up some more, but after telling my in-laws about the donation pick-up, they too wanted to give.  I only requested a medium pickup, so I have to limit myself to what I accomplished in one day.

I’m sure as the kids get bigger, they’ll outgrow a lot more toys and clothes.  I would appreciate any ideas on how to set these items aside for donation without having “piles” accumulate in the house!

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