The Great Purge. Part 6.

While I was home I made some serious progress on my purge project. I have been working on this very slowly for months. It has been a huge undertaking, but I’m glad that we’re getting it done. I’m sure there is a lot more purging we could do around here, but I think for now we have some other home projects that we need to tackle.

Part 1. Part 2.  Part 3. Part 4. Part 5.

I finally finished cleaning up my office. I need to get some things a little more organized, but I’ve definitely made a huge dent in this room that I feel so good about it.

Much cleaner!

Much cleaner!

I also finished up with my closet. I have a LOT of stuff but I also made a HUGE donation to Goodwill. With the new job I’ve made some changes to my wardrobe so I was finally able to part with some of the clothes that I know that I’m not wearing to this job or probably ever so even though I have previously been able to convince myself that I will wear them I know I will not and it felt good to get rid of that stuff. I also really enjoy making donations to Goodwill because the clothes are still in really good shape (or I throw them away) and someone else out there may be thrilled to buy something that I was thrilled to get rid of.

Goodwill Donation.

Goodwill Donation.

One evening, on a random whim, I also went through our pantry and our spice cabinet. I have been meaning to get it done because they were both pretty out of control and I felt like I couldn’t find anything or that we had food but never really had anything to eat. It’s so much better now and I’m glad that I actually got around to taking care of it.

Cleaning out the pantry.

Cleaning out the pantry.

I don’t think I realized how much purging I have really needed to do. At home we’ve had things piling up here and there and everywhere and I’ve been just pushing it off and out and around and ignoring it. I really don’t know why – or even how – I let this get so bad but man do I really regret it because this was a lot of work. It felt like it took forever. And it definitely, on and off, took a few months. I think it wouldn’t have been so bad if I had just completely focused on it and didn’t keep taking such long breaks but I think I would have gone a bit crazier if I had just done it all at once. I’ll probably end up doing a big Spring cleaning but we’ll see because I’m just going to try really (really!!) hard not to let my house get this bad ever again! But for now I’ll be taking a nice break from this great purge and turning towards some home renovations. Stay tuned for those – that should be interesting!

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Happy Monday.

I know, I’m not sure if there is such a thing as a Happy Monday but here we are on Monday and we might as well be happy about it, I suppose. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. I know we sure did. It was a busy weekend and it went by way too quickly.

November snow day.

November snow day.

We had a small snow storm on Wednesday afternoon. Sydney and I headed outside for a bit, but she didn’t seem to enjoy herself with the snow even though she kept asking to go outside.

Our weekend started Wednesday when we celebrated my birthday with the family. We went out to dinner at a new restaurant called Spinfire pizza and it was delicious! If you’re in the Ashburn area you should definitely check it out.

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

After dinner with the family we went out for some drinks at a bar my friend was bartending at. It was a quiet night at the bar with some delicious pumpkin pie martinis. It was a great way to spend my birthday eve.

Birthday drinks and dessert!

Birthday drinks and dessert!

Thursday was Thanksgiving and we had all the families at my inlaws house and it was a really wonderful day. The food was delicious, the company was wonderful, and I’m thankful we were all able to spend the day together as one family instead of trying to do multiple dinners in one day. It definitely made for a relaxing holiday and I’m hoping we can keep this new tradition going.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday we had a much needed relaxing day. We didn’t do much of anything during the day but we were able to meet up with some friends and their kids for dinner which was a much overdue visit and really a fun time. I had so much fun catching up and watching the kids play I didn’t even take a single photo. That’s how you know it was a good day!

Fresh hair cut.

Fresh hair cut.

Saturday we headed home after I got my hair cut and we spent most of the day just getting some random things done around the house and running errands. It wasn’t a very exciting day until we discovered there was a faint gas smell in our foyer & in the foyer of the neighbors (she discovered it first because it was only smelling up our foyer and we had been upstairs most of the day so we didn’t realize it smelled downstairs).

Fire department excitement.

Fire department excitement.

We ended up having to call the fire department and everything. There wasn’t a gas leak (we don’t have gas) but the house between our 2 houses has been empty and there were some workers in there doing some work (we don’t know what) and they left behind a gas generator that was leaking a little bit which is where the smell came from. It turned out to be quite the exciting little adventure but I’m glad it wasn’t a serious problem or anything!

Sunday we headed out to get our Christmas tree and we put the lights up on the house. It was such a gorgeous day that it felt really weird to be picking out a Christmas tree and hanging all of our lights but it really was quite nice to not be freezing outside all day!

Hunting for the perfect tree.

Hunting for the perfect tree.

And here we are now, Monday morning. It’s my first day at a new job and I’m full of excitement and nerves. I’m excited for the opportunity and I think it will be really amazing for me. I was at my old company for 5 1/2 years so I’m nervous to be starting over after all that time. I’m really missing my old coworkers, but I’m excited about meeting new people and learning new things! So for me it’s a happy, exciting, and nervous Monday but I’m hoping it goes well!

The Great Purge. Part 5.

Wow has it been a while since I’ve had a purging post. That’s because it’s been a while since I’ve done much in the way of purging around our house but recently I’ve gotten back in to purging because we’re hoping to move soon and purging our stuff will help me when it comes to packing.

If you’re curious you can catch up on my purges here.

Part 1. Part 2.  Part 3. Part 4.

(and yes, I have a problem. I know. You don’t have to tell me. I have WAY too much stuff but that’s the whole point of this effort – to get rid of all the extra crap I don’t want or need).

I went back and attacked my closet with some full force. I’ve been really “meh” with my wardrobe and decided that what I really needed to do is get rid of all the things that I’m finding so “meh” and also really “ehhhh” and all of the “wow that looks like crap.” Turns out there was quite a bit of excess in my closet.

This was my closet before.

Closet before.

Closet before.

I’ve made a lot of progress and so far I’ve managed a pretty good pile of clothes for donation, but I do feel like I have a lot of work left to do.

Ready to donate.

Ready to donate.

I also have a dresser that I want (need!) to go through but I haven’t quite done that yet. It’s next on my list but I’m already ready to avoid that just like I keep avoiding the poor office room that I started this purge project on.

I’m sure there will be a dozen parts to this Great Purge because I’ve got a lot left to do but I know I’ll feel so much better when I get it all done.

My little helper.

There were a lot of reasons I was simply thrilled to be having a little girl. I envisioned dress up parties, tea parties, playing with dolls, and just girly stuff in general. I also was excited at the possibility of having a little friend turn in to an adult friend. I consider my mother my friend and I’m hoping that one day Sydney considers me her friend too.

Also? I was thrilled at the potential little chore do-er and house cleaner. Yeah ok that sounds mean but I grew up doing chores (for allowance) and I think it helped me to (a) learn to EARN money (b) learn to save money and (c) it also taught me to take pride in what I did. Both of my parents worked full time and at some point my brother and I started staying home by ourselves over the summer and my mom gave us a chore list. We BOTH had chores around the house. Typically, we just split the list and got everything done in one day so we weren’t wasting precious pool time cleaning the house but we BOTH cleaned the house. I don’t see anything wrong with that. And I’m sure my mom didn’t mind it either. I also remember doing a lot more over the weekend those summers and I now suspect it is because my mom had much more free time to actually be with us instead of cleaning up after us. I also learned how to keep my room much cleaner than I had previously kept it because keeping my living space picked up made for a much easier day of cleaning.

Fast forward to adult hood and I still clean my own house (we don’t have a cleaning lady and I don’t intend on having one because I don’t believe that I want to spend my money to hire someone to do something I’m perfectly capable of doing myself). Some weeks we are much better at picking up around the house than others. Some weeks it takes a long time to clean because we’ve been gone or just extremely messy. It happens. I try not to dwell on it but I always vow to do better. And then there is, of course, my hoarding problem. Which is getting better at a very slow pace. I’ll get there. Eventually.

I think I’m currently Sydney’s “person” because she seems to be copying me more than she copies anyone else (in the way that toddlers mimic behavior). She is so very much me it is both hilarious and also not at all funny (hello stubbornness coming back to bite me in the behind). Since I do my own house cleaning she sees me do that a lot and she LOVES being my little helper. I was actually looking back on some old photos and I realized I have quite a few of her helping me do random, every day things.

When Sydney was little and she wanted to be on the move but wasn’t walking we loaded her in to this walker and she LOVED it. One day she also discovered that she could “help” unload the dishwasher.

10 months.

10 months.

She could barely reach the dishes then so she wasn’t really helping. But now? She actually helps. And she gets annoyed if I start without her. It’s definitely a slow process with her help, but I really do enjoy having her help me. The only thing I have to be careful of is that I’m going as fast as her or she will lick the dishes (why? I have no idea… and yes, I do remove the silverware tray before I actually let her help because knives are bad).

19 months.

19 months.

Somewhere along the way she really decided she liked cleaning up messes. Or wiping things (now it’s her face, the table, her hands, the floor… if there’s a mess that needs to be wiped she needs to do it). Here we are cleaning up something (or nothing) from the kitchen floor.

15 months.

15 months.

And here we’re playing with the swiffer and getting SUPER pissed that the handle keeps banging on the island, wall, and table. But she kept on at it. After this I did find a short broom that I had forgotten I had in the basement (hoarding for the win) so she will sometimes sweep up the floor with me while I’m cleaning the floors (sometimes though she does chase Buddy so she frequently loses her broom privileges).

17 months.

17 months.

At my MILs she has her own (empty) cleaning bottle for when the cleaning people come because she likes to help them with their dusting but then they can’t actually get cleaning done so she just follows behind them now cleaning on her own. It’s adorable and they love her. I think Wednesday is her favorite day because that’s when they come “to play.”

20 months.

20 months.

Sydney also likes to help with laundry. Mostly she just takes all the clothes out of the basket and hands them to me before I’ve even had a chance to fold the previous article of clothing. Sometimes she will even help me go through her clothes or put them away. I am using help extremely loosely here.

14 months.

14 months.

And if I’m extra lucky she’ll give me a head start on emptying out her drawers so I can put away the too small clothes ::sniffle sniffle::

23 months.

23 months.

This particular weekend she was being EXTRA helpful and decided that not only did I need to go through her clothes but I should also take the time to go through my closet… starting with my shoes.

23 months.

23 months.

She graciously threw all of my “neatly” organized shoes out of their “neat” pile and on to the floor in one big heap. It did force me to sit down and go through them – I’d been saying all weekend that since we had nothing to do I was going to go through her clothes and mine. Thankfully she can’t reach my hanging clothes because I really wasn’t interested in going through my clothes at this time but it did feel like of good to purge some shoes and re-organize them since the seasons are changing and I don’t need my sandals anymore ::sniffle sniffle::

 

 

 

I’m trying to find myself here in this blog and I figured what better way to find myself and to share my story than to actually share a story about something random rather than this activity or that activity. I don’t want my posts to feel forced and this doesn’t feel that way to me. I’m hoping to ebb and flow this blog between the various activities we do that make for “duh” posts, to random slices of our lives, to recipes, to whatever else I can come up with to share my story and connect my story to yours. 

The Great Purge. Part 4.

I wasn’t lying when I said this was a multi-part story. I’m in to cleaning and purging our entire house right now. My main focus has been on the exceptional job I’ve done hoarding in our office which really needs to be a guest room but is currently just a disaster. It’s shameful, but it’s real life.

If you haven’t read and want to catch up read about the office purging here.

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

The progress for the office has been slow and it got overwhelming so I had to move to something else. And that was just random purging wherever I saw an opportunity. That basically led me all around the house and with a crap load of… well, crap. And since my crap might be someone else’s treasure I loaded it all up in to my lovely vehicle and carted it right on over to Goodwill (and ok, there was actual trash so I did throw trash away because sometimes trash is trash and there is no getting around that).

First up, I said a much needed good bye to some old clothes that I haven’t worn in… I can’t remember how long which is why they are no longer my clothes. I can only focus on one “season” at a time and since it’s summer now I focused on winter clothes. What I end up doing is giving away whatever I really didn’t wear or what I decided didn’t fit from the season that has just ended because if I didn’t wear it then it probably means its been more than a year since it’s been worn and that means it’s taking up valuable space in my incredibly full closet.

Good bye clothes

Good bye clothes

After I got all good and motivated by my closet work, I headed to our basement. We have been in the process of finishing for like 2 freaking years but that’s a whole other long story of how we take our sweet, sweet time doing stuff. My dad finally said he was coming to finish the basement which meant that all the random stuff that had found a home in the basement had to find another home somewhere else. And for these particular things that somewhere was no longer my house.

Trash to treasure.

Trash to treasure.

And while I was going through the basement I found the actual trash. The stuff that I looked at and could not even understand why I was hoarding so much of it…

I’m talking about gift bags and boxes.

WHY?!

WHY?!

I have NO idea why I keep pretty much every gift bag or box that comes through our door. See that big baby shower bag? Yeah. It’s full of ALL the bags I got from my shower. I kept like 2 because bags are expensive and sometimes it’s good to have one or two on hand, but there is no need for 20. Don’t even get me started on the fact that 2 of those bags holds holiday bags – we’re talking Christmas because I never get rid of Hanukkah bags because they are so hard to find. I also decided I didn’t need 50 or so (probably not an exaggeration) gift boxes. I kept some because I don’t really want to go buy them every time I randomly need one, but most of them went straight for the recycle.

At this point our basement is practically empty, which is incredible, and actually almost finished… which is also incredible. Our house feels just as full which kind of makes me sad because I am getting rid of (what feels like) so much stuff. I have a ways to go still but we’ll get there. And I’m learning a valuable lesson in not hoarding things because not only am I doing this but I was inspired by my parents and their efforts to thin out their house after SO MANY YEARS of my mother being just as bad as I am and I do not want to be there. Ever. So purging it is. Thanks for hanging with me!

The Great Purge. Part 3.

So while I was writing random blog posts in July because a link-up told me to I was also working on purging the heck out of my house.

To recap you can read Part 1 and Part 2.

Basically… I’m a hoarder and it’s a problem. But I’m trying to fix it. It’s a lot of work and I’m so sad that I have kept so much crap.

My parents are participating in the Route 11 Crawl this weekend and they typically put some of the money they make in to Sydney’s savings account so I what a better “goal” than to load up the tables with as much stuff as I could. I feel really great with what I’ve gotten rid of (ok… and also a little bit sad because my stuff… ). But this stuff has been hiding in closets for at least 4 years (which is as long as we’ve owned this house). Some of it has been hiding longer because it was in storage before we moved in to this house (because when we moved our stuff in to storage we didn’t know where or what we would be living in when we would move it out so we kept more than we needed but we didn’t know we were doing that).

I’ve made some pretty good progress on our my closet (of shame) and now it’s all about organizing my scrapbooking stuff because that’s about what is left in that closet. And we’re not talking little random things I may one day (never) scrapbook. We’re talking markers, stickers, glue, tape, etc. that I actually use in making my scrapbooks.

Progress. But not complete.

Progress. But not complete.

And since I took this photo I’ve cleared out most of what is on that wire shelving thing. Some of it has gone to donation, but some of it just landed on the office floor and hasn’t quite moved.

This is going to be a long project.

The top of the closet.

The top of the closet.

This also looks much better. I really should have updated these photos because that shelf is practically empty but oh well this is what I had and I’m no where near this closet or my camera so this is what you’re getting.

A lot of what was up there is stuff from our wedding (think toasting glasses, cake cutting set, a small box with some trinkets like my garter, a single favor, etc.) I have a hope chest that I haven’t really ever stored anything in so now my wedding mementos and my scrapbooks that I’d really rather not share with my child until she is MUCH older (think being 21…). I don’t feel like I’m moving crap from one place to another even though that’s what it sounds like but I’ve decided that is going to be THE place that I can store my mementos and the only place. I think it’ll help me really keep what I want and not just keep everything because I’ve assigned a random sentimental value to them.

So there you go. Some small progress… but slow and steady wins the race.

…I hope…

The great purge. Part 2.

Why hello there. I’m glad to see I didn’t scare you away with my crazy town hoarder post last week. If you have’t ready Part 1 you should start there.

This week I’m talking about my “closet of shame”

My office is looking better so I moved on to my closet and now my office looks like crap again thanks to that stupid closet throwing up all over my office.

One step at a time has never been my finest thing I suppose…

Anyway… my closet. (seriously. I know I have a problem)

Closet of shame.

Closet of shame.

Oh look… that’s just SOME of the closet. Turns out closets are hard to photograph. Want to see the rest?

Hoarding. It's a serious problem.

Hoarding. It’s a serious problem.

I call it the closet of shame for a reason.

For one I don’t actually have anywhere to store this stuff. I really do a lot of scrapbooks and they’re ALL in this closet because I don’t know where else to put them (we don’t have a lot of shelves or anything in our house… maybe that is the problem). And with scrapbooking comes scrapbooking supplies. There aren’t really that many so I can’t blame this entire closet on stuff I actually use. Because then there are things that… oh I so do not.

It’s difficult to tell but I actually put a shelf organizer in this closet to give me more space to cram stuff in. It’s full of picture frames I don’t use. They’re empty (well, some are not but again no shelves in house means no where to place these frames… I want to do something with them but not sure what).

The floor of the closet is just shameful. I don’t even know what it is made up of at this point. I see a frame and a bag that I guarantee is housing more stuff and that white thing is the “SOLD” sign from when we built our house and it was in the window. We obviously need that.

The top actual closet shelf has some of our wedding momentos – like our toasting flutes, the cake cutting set, a really nice snow globe engraved with our wedding date. We used to have this china cabinet/hutch thing in our kitchen that we displayed that stuff in but we got rid of that set and I did not replace that piece of furniture with anything so… in the closet for safe keeping. I also have some things of Steve’s up there so it’s not like this is just my crap, but in all fairness this room really is MY problem.

Anyway… this is a work in progress. It actually looks much better (but still has a ways to go). Come back next week to see what I’ve accomplished!