Home Improvement · Projects

Operation Purge

my “operation purge” (don’t think twice) project

So I got this awesome idea or maybe I should say challenge from a neat blog –  “Little Lucy Lu”… where she did a “40 bags in 40 days” challenge… she got the idea from the blog  “Clover Lane” .  I actually started a while ago – more than 40 days ago for sure, and I have not been keeping track of how many bags… but have been working on it here and there and doing what I can – when I can.  As you know if you read any of my other posts – we are expecting – SOON!  It is just us and the dog in our home right now and we have lived here just over a year.  I saw we, but I really mean I.  I moved in when we got married… so WE did not move into an empty house – I came into an already moved-into house which had its challenges I have to admit.  Not only did I have all of my stuff to move in, but there were already so many items in the house… it was already full and it was full of my husband’s mom’s belongings… it does not really make sense but his mom passed away not too long ago really, so her stuff was here as well as his and a lot of his brother’s things from before they got married too so I had a big challenge. So the past several months have been trying to sort and go through so many things but when I saw this woman’s blog post, I knew this would be fun and good and also give me that boost of energy to get through some more stuff, especially because in a matter of months, we would be needing a “nursery”…  No longer can I count on having a few extra places to clutter up and shut the door like it is not really there. That nesting won’t let me.

First some background on where we are living right now… The house was built around 1979 (i think). It has 3 actual bedrooms that seem pretty little, 2 super tiny bathrooms, a small kitchen, a missing pantry, no garage (but the end of the house used to be a one car garage that was filled in to be part of the house), small pocket closets, and a much better laundry space after our improvement project.

All that to say, our particular house model, or maybe the era it was built-in was not designed to have much storage space! This is a pretty good reason to declutter and get organized because we simply don’t have the space for extra stuff. I like when things have a specific space or place – It just seems good for the soul!

So back to “the challenge” of which I altered some from the way the two ladies did in the blogs mentioned above.  I still have a long ways to go in terms of actually organizing our stuff, but this was a great start and helped a lot with just getting stuff out of the house that we do not want/need/care about/ etc.

Over the past few months, I kept track of the places that I “purged” and by purged I did not literally throw everything away – however I did throw a lot away… I also dropped a lot off at the recycle center and thrift store or just gave it away.  I am not really the garage sale type – or at least not lately. I have done a few in the past, but something about sitting out there all day to make a few bucks having total strangers invade our place all day just did not seem worth it.  I just took it an hour or so a day … a little at a time with a general goal of getting it done by April. I know it would have been much better if I was more concrete or exact with my timeline or project, but it worked okay for my first go around. I had to do this on days I was in the mood to purge because if I was not in this mood I would keep too much “just because” (I may use it someday, it still fits, I like the color…. etc)

I am calling this “Operation Purge (with trying not to think twice) because my main goal is to get as much out of the house as I can – thinking too much about each item takes too long and keeps too much!  If I really have to think about it a while, I probably am fine without it.

Behold: my list as I worked through the house! I don’t necessarily have 40 bags, or 40 areas, but rather whatever I could get from each of these spaces or categories was purged! Here we go! I don’t go into much detail here… I’m saving you! 🙂

1. Fridge – this made more trash than I figured.  I did not have much “out of date” or buried in the back as I don’t just operate out of the very front of the fridge, but there was definitely things to get rid of.

2. Freezer – We just have the freezer above the fridge set-up, no spare deep freeze or anything and most of the time it is maybe half full.  Again, I found things to get rid of here too.

3. Pantry:  Of which I said that we do not have! I cleaned out my stuffed kitchen cabinets that I have deemed as the pantry.

4. Kitchen cabinets: We don’t have very many of these and I am one that loves kitchen stuff.  I have lots of dishes, cooking and baking items etc. so space is very limited.  What we did here was buy a nice commercial style metal rack from sams as an over-flow of the kitchen that I could organize extra food and kitchen items on. Needless to say, I did more organizing here than purging.

5. Under the kitchen sink – here I had several paper and plastic bags to recycle. I had lots of cleaning supplies that I had never touched – not completely because I have not done deep cleaning in a while – but because I keep it pretty basic and some of the items had been under there for years and years before I arrived.

6. My closet – this was quite the task let me tell you because I not only got rid of a pile of clothes, but I also packed up my “pre-maternity” clothes as I grew out of them (that is a scary phrase).  If I put it on and it did not fit right, I folded it and put it in a tub – as a tub was filled, to the storage it went.

7. My other closet – as I already led on to before, our closet space is tiny, so I had some clothes and shoes in one of the spare bedroom closets. I had this to go through as well.

8. His closet – I set aside all the shirts I had not seen him wear since we had been married or the ones that were too stained or worn out to keep – this was super easy and it actually made quite the pile – more than one trash bag to be exact! I did ask his permission (I am pretty sure)…. 😉

9. Chacos items: aka doggy stuff – Chaco will completely destroy most toys we get him and so I had pieces of toys in his box that I tossed.

10. Bathroom (hall) – there was also quite a bit hiding out in the bathrooms that I could toss – felt so good! The cupboards under the sink are really low and deep so I can see how stuff had been shoved to the back for years and then forgotten about.  It is not even practical to store stuff here so I pretty much cleaned it all out and left it empty.

11. Bathroom (master) – yep, more trash and cleaning supplies, cups, old sponges, toothbrushes, broken hair-dryer, an electric hair cutter and more… it all went!

12. Laundry Room – socks that had not been reunited with their buddies in too long, some old bent up hangers, random detergents, softeners and a bunch of old stuff from years ago!

13: “Office”/ spare bedroom #1: needless to say… more clutter – and a lot of things that were belongings of a relative – but this room will get a lot more work after it is empty because this will ideally turn into a guest room.

14: The “temptation room” – this is where my “spare” closet is/was but is needing to be the nursery.  This is where I had many items stored – boxes that I had not unpacked yet, my china packed away still, tubs of winter clothes, my bike, camping stuff (basically a random supply of stuff). It is labeled the temptation room because it was always a mess and whenever chaco would follow me in there as a puppy he would find something he wanted to smell, pick up, chew on or snatch up and sprint around the house – his little game.

15. “Storage room”: This is one of the spare rooms that is connected to the laundry room. This used to be a small garage at the end of the house that was filled in to be part of the house.  This is where we had out TV and some spare couches for a while.. but also easily gathered clutter.

16:  Hall pocket closet: I sorted through linens and whatever else was there for who knows how long…

17. Yard: I finally threw away that sprinkler that had been ran over a few times, some flower pots and managed to pull a few weeds in the process. I was done doing yard work when the mosquitos noticed my presence.

18. My clothes: I think I gave away close to 4 bags of clothes!

19. His clothes: The thrift store scored on this one… we went through them together and he let a lot go!

20. The towering stack of papers: I feel like everyone has GOT to have one of these at their house, but I never notice anyone elses…. mine seems to look at me like it wants to eat me for lunch.

21. Junk drawer: does everyone have one of these? period.

Well that covers most of the house at least… and I have had this blog in process awhile so sorry if it was long and boring but I actually had some fun with this… and it represents hours and hours of work! It was a challenge to let go of a lot of good stuff – not just junk and trash but it felt so good to get it done!  So, I encourage you to create a little or big project for yourself and try to have fun with it rather than stress to the max over it! Get the family involved and do it together!  We now have an empty room, ready for our sweet boy to make his own… and also an overall less-cluttered-home and boy, do I feel better!

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