It’s spring. I’m cleaning everything. So I guess it is spring cleaning. In Florida we can clean any time, but it seems as if there is extra motivation when it’s nice out and before it gets insanely hot. We happen to have the motivation of moving out of our house in 6 weeks! Reality hit hard this week. We are leaving. It is super
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Robbie and I lived in a 560 sq ft house for our first 5 years of marriage. 2 adults and 2 dogs. By the end it felt quite cramped. I remember moving into our 1,400 sq ft home and thinking it had SO MUCH SPACE! Well, that space is leaving again. 2 adults, 3 kids, and 1 dog will all be living in a 40-ft travel trailer VERY soon.
This reality has forced me to declutter our house – which was really the major point of this whole adventure anyway. I have been sorting things throughout the whole house recently, and for some reason it’s always easiest to find Robbie’s stuff that should be thrown away. 🙂 I always tend to gravitate to picking up his things and putting them in the yard sale or donate pile, but last week it was my turn.
I have been putting off spring cleaning my closet for weeks. Ok, months. It had gotten really bad. If you know me, I am not much into fashion. I went from riding clothes, jeans and tank tops as a kid – and into my 20s, to work-out clothes and jeans and tank tops now. How can someone who wears the same 10 pieces of clothing have so many clothes!? The only thing I can think of is I have had 3 kids in the last 4 1/2 years, and my size has gone up and down, up and down, and up and now back down again so that is where some of the clothes came from. I wish I could blame it on that, but I had already given back and given away pretty much all of my maternity clothes before taking this picture:
Yes. I know. It’s embarrassing. I really don’t even want to post it, but hey – it’s my real life right now.
I am happy to say I conquered this beast last week and this was the end result:
Going into this I had to have a plan. I wanted to finish it in a day because we have stuff everywhere and we are on a time crunch. I needed to get this spring cleaning show on the road.
So here was my plan. I started in the morning by emptying the entire closet onto my bed:
Then I took 5 boxes and labeled them all with destinations:
2. Yard Sale
The rule was everything that I picked up in my hand had to go in one of these boxes (or bags), or back in the closet very neatly.
After sorting through this mess, I started to ask myself why was I keeping clothes that I didn’t love wearing anyway? After thinking about it for a little while, I think a big reason is I don’t like to spend money, and somehow a full closet meant I didn’t need to buy more clothes so I would save money. That thinking doesn’t really make sense if I never wore half of the clothes in the past 5 years anyway.
Another reason is the “I am going to fit back into those jeans again” idea so I have to keep them of course for when that day happens. Well, I am not so obsessed about that anymore. I have lost all of my baby weight, I feel great, but I have had three babies in the past 4.5 years and things have shifted around. 🙂 My low-rise hip hugger American Eagle jeans just don’t fit me the way that they used to. And I am perfectly fine with that because I truly am happy with how I look and feel in my body. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, but I have finally found balance with health, fitness, and nutrition and no longer live on that crazy obsessive cycle.
Sorry for that tangent but health is my passion and it will probably come out a little bit on this blog now and again. After being a personal trainer for 10 years I can talk about health and fitness all day long. But I won’t. Back to the jeans. I found 13 pairs of jeans sitting in the top shelf of my closet collecting dust. Some were too big, and some were too small, so all are now gone! And it feels good.
My other passion was/is horseback riding. It was my life from age 11 until age 25. I lived at the barn every single day as a kid and then after I graduated college I got a job riding at a local dinner show called Arabian Nights for 3 years. After I left that job, I no longer had the budget as an adult to ride and have a horse (they aren’t cheap). And, then kiddos came along (and they aren’t cheap). So riding again has been put on the back burner for now.
I still have some of my riding gear, and a stack of 10 pair of riding pants were sitting on a shelf in the top of my closet. I thought they should be used by someone instead of just collecting dust, so I brought them to my friend who has a local farm and rides her beautiful horses every day. If she doesn’t use them, she will have a student who would, so they are better there than sitting on a shelf in my room. It wasn’t easy giving them away. They represented a huge part of my life for so long. (I did end up keeping two pairs- just in case.)
And then of course there are the t-shirts. How many of you have t-shirts from every organization and event you have ever been a part of? I have old riding shirts from my pony club days, sorority shirts from college, and a ton of race shirts from 5k, 10k, and half marathon runs over the past 7 years. Here are a few of my running shirts:
What do you do with your t-shirts? Are they piled up? Do you give them away? A couple people on Facebook suggested a quilt. One of my friends did that for me years ago with my Pony Club shirts, and I might do it for my running shirts as well. It is so hard to give away some of these shirts that I worked hard for.
By the very end of the day – practically midnight – my bed was visible again and the boxes and bags were full!
(I think we will keep her)
So how did I decide what items went where?
Here are the 5 boxes I used for spring cleaning.
I only put items in the eBay box that I can post for $15 or more. I know that seems like pennies to my husband’s hundreds or thousand-dollar eBay flips, but to me $15-$20 items are still worth packaging them up and shipping them out. Right now what is mostly in that box is about 50 Beanie babies that we bought from the flea market and a couple of nice dresses and a business suit (I think my mom bought it for me after graduation for job interviews. However, I have never had a job where I needed to dress in business attire. Praise the Lord.)
I know in the picture above, this box looks pretty full. I had several kinds of items I wanted to give to specific people. For example the riding pants went to my local riding friend, my jeans went to my friend who loves AE jeans and is a little smaller than me, and some of my surf-style clothing brands went to my teenage nieces. I do have plans to donate to my church as well. I am trying to find out what items they are in need of and what items some local single moms need so I can give those to them. Everything else is going in the following box.
Yard Sale Box
We are having a very large yard sale coming up in the next few weeks so a lot of things went in this box. I could pretty much put our whole house in this box at the moment. But right now we are focusing on the closet. Anything I didn’t give to specific people or causes went into the yard sale box. I will post soon how our next THREE-DAY yard sale went. We have never done one that long or big before. But we have also never traveled the country for a year in a 5th wheel. So it’s a year of firsts.
My keep box was actually empty at the end of my closet clean-out. (Well, aside from the cute little 2-year-old). Anything I was keeping went back into my closet. I think that is the ultimate goal actually. We are keeping a storage unit when we travel, but we want to keep as little in it as possible. We don’t need things and stuff weighing us down. We just want to keep some things we can use when we move back into a house, and some memorabilia.
I threw away anything that was torn, faded, broken, painted on, or too old to give away.
Tools to Help You Declutter (Or do your spring cleaning)
If you are serious about decluttering your house and your life, for longer than just spring cleaning, and you are looking for some help and accountability, you should check out the Conquer Your Clutter Ultimate Bundle. It is fantastic! There are SO MANY tools to help you really kick decluttering in the butt!!! AND it’s at a crazy discount. I tend to skim over something that says it’s worth so much and offered for so little – I feel like it’s just a sales tactic and drives me nuts. But, if you were to go to every individual organization and blogger and purchase their course, e-book, download, etc, you would pay the full amount which is hundreds of dollars. Ultimate Bundles are able to offer it so low because the organizations and bloggers all work together with them for advertising. YOU get the benefit for them getting the word out.
So back to these tools. I just started the Freed From Clutter: Decluttering Course by Becky Mansfield and there is some fantastic help in there. I can’t wait to finish it!
If you are a planner/organizer/time management person, than this is for you. Check it out HERE.
The great thing about these bundles is that Ultimate Bundles offers these resources at such a discount, and you can go through them at your own pace. You don’t have to become overwhelmed with the info. If 2017 is your year to declutter, then take these resources and go through them for the next 12 months! (not just for spring cleaning!) You will totally rock it and your house and family will thank you.
I am going through all of these this year with you. So if you decide this could be a good idea for your spring cleaning for you and your household, then join the conversation over in our Maximalist to Minimalist Facebook group. We just finished The More Of Less by Joshua Becker. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it to keep you motivated to declutter your house and life. I actually listened to it on audio on Amazon’s Audible while folding laundry and cleaning during the kids’ nap time. I don’t have a ton of time for reading these days so audio works for me. You can use this link to Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks and download the book for free.
If you would like to receive our decluttering, spring cleaning, minimizing and traveling tips and updates in the future, please drop us your e-mail HERE. (We promise not send a ton of e-mails. That’s something we don’t like ourselves!)
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
What area is your next area to tackle for decluttering or spring cleaning (or anytime cleaning)? Comment Below!