Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Cleaning at the MetaHome

I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning lately. Purging the old and unused from closets, cupboards, and bins. I guess you could say it's time to finish the nesting that I didn't have time for before MetaGirl came along.

Here's my basic to do list, but use your own judgment for your list:

  • Toss all old unused dry goods that are rarely used like certain flours and corn meal. As far as I'm concerned, food like dried pasta and beans have an infinite shelf life.
  • Check old nuts, which can get stale, and and dried fruit, which can lose freshness.
  • Toss anything that has expired or just plain looks funny.
  • As for replenishing, I won't bother getting more until I need it.
  • Pick out everything that's looking old and sad and either (1) toss or (2) save for messy jobs (e.g., painting or spring cleaning ;-)
  • Pick out clothes that don't get worn. We all have those things that we thought we'd wear, but never do. Why fool yourself? It's time to pass it on to someone who might actually get to use it.
  • The kids have clothes that no longer fit them. They went into one of 4 piles:
    • Pass on to someone who can use it
    • Hold on for sentimental value (I really want to make something like this blanket one day)
    • Hold on for MetaGirl
    • Toss - too worn or stained to pass on
As for passing on clothes, I'm in a situation where I don't have room to hold on to such clothes indefinitely, and I don't know of anyone who can use them now or in the near future. So at the advice of a friend to has done this a few times, I participated in a local consignment sale that's held twice a year. They require a minimum of 30 items, so it motivated me to clear out some big and bulky items (e.g., bouncie chairs, bumbo). The most important factor was that I wasn't donating something to the Salvation Army in hopes that someone would benefit from the items. I priced them very reasonably, and when they sold, I knew that someone would appreciate, and hopefully love the stuff as much as we did. I had a terrible time parting with some items (I can't tell you how many pictures we have with one of those bouncie chairs), so I really wanted to know they wouldn't end up in the dumpster.

  • Anything unopened can be donated to pretty much any shelter (e.g., homeless, domestic violence, teen shelter for runaways).
  • Opened products are much harder to find a home for. MetaDaddy says it's tacky, but if I have shampoo or lotion that I will never finish, I feel guilty throwing it away. It seems so wasteful! But if I could donate it, I would clear it out, thus leaving us with less chaos in our bathrooms. I called around, and domestic violence shelters seem to only accept unopened items (including sample and hotel sizes). However, homeless shelters are willing to take either (they really seemed to want lotion). Call first to be sure the shelter accepts your donation.
And when you're done, get out that label maker and put all the good stuff back. Stand back and behold your handiwork :-D

Update: More tips on Spring Cleaning from AP: A spring guide to help you clean out the clutter