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cleaning

The 5 Things You Need to Get Rid of This Year

Baby clothes

It happens every spring. I tell myself I’m going to do a bang-up job of tackling the many projects I have floating around in my head, yet year after year, I somehow manage to fall short. And there’s always a reason. One year, it was the fact that I was pregnant and too tired/nauseated to deal with spring-cleaning projects. And last April, I was too busy taking care of my toddler and 3-month-old twins to make time for cleaning and organization.

Actually, when I think about it, those are some pretty decent excuses. But still, this year I’m holding myself accountable by going public with my spring-cleaning list. The following are the items I’m hoping to finally tackle this year:

1. Old baby clothing

Right now, I’ve got about 37 bins of baby clothing sitting in my basement just waiting to be sorted through. My goal is to identify the items I think my sister might want one day for her hypothetical future children, pack them up, and ship them off to her house so they don’t have to live in mine. That way, I can donate the rest, thus freeing up about a bedroom’s worth of space in my basement. Of course, going through all that baby clothing requires me to actually look at the clothing, which, in turn, is sure to bring back memories and reduce me to a pile of weepy, nostalgic mush—but I suppose there’s no reason why I can’t sort and sob at the same time, right?

2. My toddler’s art collection

By “art,” I mean the numerous projects my son brings home from preschool on a daily basis, some of which are larger and more littered with glitter than others. It’s not that I don’t appreciate these little works of art, but right now, everything my son has brought home since September is sitting in a series of piles in the corner of my office, just waiting to be sorted through and archived. Or Artkived. Have you heard of Artkive? It’s a neat little site that allows you to organize your kids’ art. I’ve had it bookmarked for about a year now, so clearly, it’s time to get moving.

3. Unwanted kitchen tools

I remember the day my husband and I went to register for wedding gifts shortly after having gotten engaged. We promised we wouldn’t be those people who’d register for every kitchen gadget under the sun, only to have them collect dust. And while we thought we were somewhat judicious in our selections, we did wind up registering for a number of tools we used regularly up until about 14 months ago, when we had twins; our version of cooking turned into boiling pasta and microwaving baked potatoes. These days, we have a bunch of kitchen gadgets we simply don’t have time to use, and I’ve been meaning to catalog them and offer them up to local takers. This way, we can free up more kitchen space for things like sippy cups.

4. My bra and underwear drawer

OK, so this one’s a bit personal, but here goes: A lot of my underwear is—how should I put this?—really old, and not completely devoid of holes. And while my bras are mostly intact, after two pregnancies and many, many months of nursing, my breasts just don’t seem to fit into any of them. This spring, I must, must, must take inventory, and figure out what I need to replace, and toss anything purchased prior to 1998.

5. My pantry

This one’s just as, if not more so, embarrassing than the last one. My pantry is overloaded with everything from cereal to snacks to instant Indian food in a pouch. I need to do a major audit and throw away anything questionable or expired. I also need to write down everything I have to avoid buying the same things over and over again. Case in point: Just last week, I was convinced we were completely out of Cheese-Its, so I ran to the store to restock for fear that my 4-year-old might go hungry without his go-to snack. I bought four boxes (they were on sale), but couldn’t find where to put them. In my attempt to shift things around to make room, I came across not one, not two, but three boxes of Cheese-Its. And this is why I desperately need to take inventory.

So there you have it. These are the projects I’m hoping to accomplish this spring. Whether or not I succeed is a completely different story, but I’ll consider it a small victory if I manage to cross even one or two of these items off my list before the end of the season.

What does your spring-cleaning list look like? Any pointers for staying on course?


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