If there's anything I like as much as digging through shops to find that perfect! little! something! it is de-cluttering and getting rid of heaps of stuff.
Back in Nashville we lived across the street from a sweet little thrift shop. I would leave a bag or two of stuff on the steps every couple of weeks. I would also take a bag or two of newly purchased treasures about as often, so basically it was a constant cycle.
De-cluttering with kids is tricky. You have to run the operation in stealth mode.
The Captain got the kids set up with a time-consuming and absorbing craft activity. While they were cranking out hand-assembled and painted wooden trains, we were eliminating bag after bag of toys and an unimaginable amount of straight up garbage that lived amongst the toys.
We also have a vast amount of children's books. Well, books of all kinds, but our children have an impressive library. I dragged out a full box of books that didn't make the cut leaving hundreds still on our shelves and in massive tupperware containers that we rotate throughout the year.
Then there was the baby/kid/outgrown stuff. I tend to be a person who keeps lots of stuff for "just in case" until I feel for a moment that I am a hoarder. I may hoard things in clear plastic boxes with labels of the contents, organized in stacks...but it's still hoarding isn't it?
I have decided not to keep Small Sun's outgrown clothes for Finch if they aren't nice and I don't like them. My personality is a struggle between being a person who loves to get something for nothing, and someone who likes to dress well and have my family looking smart. Oftentimes the scrounger wins.
Actually, having foster children has changed that for me. I always buy them new clothes if I don't have very nice things on hand, because having a foster child wearing worn out hand me downs is just wrong! Learning to part easily with money for their clothes had made me realize that I don't have to use the hand me downs for Finch either!
The next step is to go from buying WalMart (Big W) value clothes to something that will last more than a couple months...baby steps.
Just like we distract the kids to get rid of their stuff, The Captain also tries to distract me to get rid of more stuff. "Honey, I set a cheese plate up on the counter, can you try the Edam to tell me if you like it?" He knows I'll be gone for quite some time!
That husband is sneaky and I have to keep a close eye on him. Once his mother told me that in a purging frenzy he once convinced her to pitch heaps of sentimental things she had been saving her whole life...and she still regrets it. I know I'll find my wedding dress in the Salvos bag one of these days.
After hours of organizing, I thought I would browse Pinterest for some refreshingly creative ideas. It seems everyone else in the world is also organizing, making meal plans, eating healthy, coming up with 300 simple ways to be less cluttered, you know, New Year's kind of stuff. I didn't realize I was such a cliche, but the bags of maternity clothes piled next to me tell the true story!