Every time the seasons change I have a minor mental breakdown and the urge to organize and clean my house takes over. Here’s a few things I do to keep my house somewhat in order. Some of these things I do frequently, others are once or twice a year. I am no expert and if you walked in my house your first impression is not going to be WOW! Look at this super-organized mom! Because it’s a mess. And if it’s not, you probably just missed a fifteen minute meltdown on my husband and kids to help me get this nasty house back in order. Nevertheless, here’s a few things that make my life easier…
Clothes: I do an overhaul on my kids’ closets twice a year–when it gets hot, and when it gets cold. It has taken me three kids and a tiny bit of my sanity to perfect this transition. With Bella, my first, I had so.many.clothes. Too too many. It was incredibly overwhelming and I eventually declined free hand-me-downs (crazy, right?) because I simply had too much of everything. I’ve always saved her clothes because I knew there would be another baby, and sure enough we had another girl. After Mila outgrows the clothes, I IMMEDIATELY sell and donate the season that I’m switching out of for the year. For one, I need the money. And for two, I hate clutter. I’m doing the same with Vance and so far he’s the easiest.
Once a year I go through my own closet and purge anything and I mean ANYTHING I have not put on my body that year. Y’all one year I bagged up all my (never worn) lingerie and gave it to a friend (sorry Waylon). I came across that tip a few years ago (not the lingerie) and I’ve made it a yearly habit that I’ve never once regretted. It’s much harder to sell adult clothes so most of it ends up donated. I also did this for my husband for the first time a few months ago. I let him keep his lingerie though.
Food: Before I leave my house to buy groceries, I clean out my fridge. Now, I’m not down there scrubbing my shelves but I am trashing anything that has 1/4 of a teaspoon of liquid left in the bottle or is expired. Last week as I was doing this I came across a lime that fell through the cracks over the last few weeks. Dude, this thing was hard as a brick! I had no idea a lime would do that. When I spotted it I was think ugh this lime is going to be mushy and slimy and I probably need gloves. Nope, a baseball. The same rules apply for the pantry. Out with the old, in with the new. I tidy it all up so I can see what I have so I don’t end up with 700 cans of cream of chicken (I swear they multiply in my pantry) and because those pesky husbands aren’t good at facing cans when they rummage through my cabinets. I’m sorta like Julia Roberts’ husband in Sleeping with the Enemy.
Toys: It’s only been in the last year that I’ve got a handle on the toy situation. I’ve really gotta stay on top of it or my house looks like a knock-off version of the North Pole. Three kids, three birthdays, Christmas and a daycare. We have our fair share of toys in this house. My kids all have their own bedrooms and in each room they have a small basket in the closet for toys. The daycare is full of toys, naturally. I also have a small basket in my living room closet. We never drag out that basket to play with. It’s basically there to make clean-up easier. All the toys that have been left in the living room end up going there. Periodically I start with one basket and trash anything that’s broken, donate anything that’s not played with, and replace the rest. I even donate crap that is played with because we have a birthday or Christmas every three months, adding to our stockpile of toys. Good places to donate: local daycare centers, Hope International in Bernie, and during the Christmas season my friend Rachel hosts Manger Full of Toys in Dexter. Puzzles, Play-Doh with accessories, toys with multiple pieces stay out of reach and are brought down at my own discretion. Crayons and coloring books are put up but accessible to the kids.
Medicine: I feel like this has been a bigger issue in my house than it probably should be but I finally have a handle on it. We’re pretty bad about hanging on to every drug we ever buy but then running to the store for more because Waylon can never find the Tylenol when it mysteriously disappears behind the Ibuprofen. Earlier this summer I cleaned it all out. Trashed basically everything. There was junk that expired five years ago so I’m not sure I’m the lady to give tips on organization. You know those Swiffer Wet Wipes that come in blue trays with a lid? Those bad boys are handy for around the house. One holds all my kids’ butt cream, one holds all the rarely used medicine (like stuff to make you stop crapping your pants or get rid of chiggers), and the other has 14 million cough drops out of the 54 bags of cough drops I found.
Tupperware: I got nothing. That crap’s the devil.