Fall Cleaning Bug

Twice a year, I try to change out my wardrobe for the appropriate season.  Since I’m not quite the domestic goddess that I play on TV, it starts out with the best if intentions, but it devolves into clothing recklessly shoved into two plastic tubs, only to be discovered in a wrinkled mass six months later.

The Boy is pretty much down for the count with what looks like the flu, so I figured that there was no time like the present to get my fall cleaning done.  In part, I had every intention of half-assing the project again this time: all I wanted to do was take the summer clothes out of the dresser and put the winter clothes in.  I figured I would be in and out in an hour, tops. (Foreshadowing.)

I was at it for four hours.  Not only have I gotten everything out of the drawers, but everything that was to be saved for next year, everything is carefully folded  and stacked in boxes with a couple of dryer sheets in them to keep them fresh.  I also went through and bagged up items for donation at my parents church, I re-arranged the drawers.  I cleaned out the closet, and ended up having two garbage bags of crap to throw out.  I even changed the light bulb in the bathroom that had been out since before my brother moved to Japan.

I have a dual personality about cleaning.  I will hoard things for years, knowing that someday, I will use them – I just know it.  Then, after about three years, the reality sinks in, and I go on a massive purge, and I throw nearly everything out.  Last night, I got rid of so many unflattering pieces – I have a 50-gallon garbage bag that is packed to the seams.  (I’m hoping that slowly and surely, I will replace those pieces with more classic, better-made pieces.)  I couldn’t believe how many boxes, magazines, shopping bags, and gift bags I was holding on to.  I need to figure out how to not let this happen again.

Though, I do have two tips from my cleaning experience:

  1. Keep your expensive/dress shoes in the boxes: it may seem counter-productive and space-wasting to some, but I couldn’t imagine storing my shoes any other way.  Not only are the boxes stackable for space-saving, but it keeps those shoes from getting dusty, crushed, stained, what-have-you.  I know I was pissed when I found at the top of my closet racks a pair of shoes I know I paid $40, and they were mangled almost beyond wearing.  If I had saved the box, that wouldn’t have happened.
  2. If you have some latent guilt about not having gone completely green and still get plastic bags when you shop – feel guilty no longer!  Use them to stuff your purses.  For the same reason you want to keep your shoes in the boxes, you want to stuff your purses.  You want the purses to keep their shape: this isn’t a warning just for those with expensive designer bags.  Even if you have the most soft, supple, Botoxed leather bag, it will crease if left slumped on its side with weight piled on it.  This is another take-my-word-for-it moment.

I do need to utilize the space under my bed, so I think ‘I’m going to go out today and get some of those long plastic storage containers and put my shoes whose boxes I’ve lost in those containers under my bed.

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