Household Detox!

No, not like the cayenne pepper and lemonade detox – blech!  I’m talking a top-to-bottom physical stuff house detox!

In only 3 short sleeps we’re headed home for the holidays, and it’s times like these that I wish we didn’t have an SUV.  I don’t know about you, but my visits home always culminate with mom sending me back with bags of cute clothes and shoes that she no longer wants (score!), plus 7 tubs full of my old stuff (one of these times, she’s going to force the 4ft tall Barbie house on me!), boxes of presents from Santa, 20 tins of Christmas baking (that I force on my co-workers, even though everyone is in a sugar coma still), and a partridge in a pear tree.  If only we drove a Smart Car, there would be no place to put it all, and I would have to say “NO!!”

So now, I’m already panicking, thinking “Where the heck am I going to PUT all that STUFF?!”  Not to mention, my house is a disaster zone right now.  I feel like there is just clutter and junk all over, but I can’t even begin to put it away because there is other stuff that is taking up the space where the regular junk belongs.  So, it’s time for a household detox.

Here’s the gameplan: before we leave this weekend, I plan to acquire all necessary detoxing supplies – containers and boxes, drawer organizers, caddies and shelves, hooks and over-the-door hangers…all of it.  Then, when we get home on the 30th, it’s time to get ruthless in these few steps:
1) Out with the old.  3 year old eyeshadow that I never liked? – Gone.  The set of hot rollers that I never use? – Out.  The 17 black cocktail dresses that I never wear? – Buh bye.
2) A clean sweep.  Somehow, there always seems to be a bunch of garbage stashed away in corners of my closets and cupboards – clothing tags or empty medication boxes that never made it to the trash bin, 20 million safety pins from race bibs, and a bunch of sequins that have fallen off all my princess-y clothes.  Time for a vacuum and big black garbage bag.
3) Set up for success.  Time to install all the new items that are going to improve my efficiency and help to make “a place for every thing.”  This list of new supplies includes many, many totes and caddies.  There are also a few items that I plan to re-purpose in our house – eg: the current recycling bin is too small, as is our master bath garbage can.  Old recycling bin becomes new and improved garbage can, and I will acquire a bigger and better recycling bin.
4) In with the new.  Finally, the new stuff can claim a purposeful and coveted space in our house.  And, if the new stuff doesn’t serve a purpose or doesn’t deserve to be coveted, for whatever reason (see: re-gifts, hand-me-downs, or gaudy stuff that someone lovingly chose for me…), then it’s going right back out the door to charity or for sale.

Do you do an annual household detox? Any tips for staging a successful one?!  Let me know in the comments!

Princess Lindsey


17 thoughts on “Household Detox!

  1. Good luck! Enjoy that little window after you’ve decluttered and before you’ve found a new home for the Barbie house. I actually do this all the time, but I am the opposite of most people – I have no problem throwing out stuff I don’t use on a regular basis. And without fail, within a week I’ll suddenly need half of the stuff I got rid of. So I make a trip to the store and the cycle continues. 🙂

    • Funny about your “going back to the store” comment: I read somewhere this week on someone else’s blog that their criteria for throwing/giving away was “if I ever actually needed this, would I remember that I already have one, AND would I know where to find it?” Inevitably, that happens all the time, right? – you already have that type of batteries, or a spare pair or pantyhose, or whatever kicking around SOMEWHERE, but you’ll tear apart the house looking for it, and end up buying whatever it is anyway…only to find the item you were looking for a few days later, and say “OK, this time I’m going to remember where I put it!”…aaaaand then you don’t!

  2. I reeeeeally need to do this! My husband and I will both be off work next week and we’re thinking about tearing the house apart room by room and getting rid of tons of stuff. I do it once a year and it aways feels so good afterwards! Good luck with your detox!

    • Yes, part of the problem with my detox will be that the other half is working during the 3 days I plan to do it. This is great because my purging won’t be met with objection…but I will inevitably throw out something that was “important” or he “needed.” He’s a major paper hoarder – flyers, credit card statements, you name it – so that’s HIS job for next week.

    • bahahahaha!!! I think I’ll live! Being a dance teacher, I already have an emergency stash of safety pins to fix costumes and such, plus in my sewing kit, plus in my travel bag, plus in my race bags…I don’t think I will need to purchase another safety pin for the rest of my life!! That should be on my Christmas list, actually – one of those elastic toggle # belts. Lisa has one and I love it.

  3. Ugh. I feel your pain. This happens to me every Christmas as well. I also just moved to a new house and am in the same situation trying to figure out a more efficient and organized storage system. Especially for paperwork which always seems to be misplaced. I love to get rid of things but sometimes that gets me in to trouble! I am planning to hit up the local target and see what organizational goodies they have to help me out.

    • Do you have a filing cabinet? I bought one a couple years ago, and somehow the paper never seems to make it all the way down there in the basement…but still, it’s there for when I get around to it. I made files for each car, appliances/household items, his and hers health benefits, his and hers pension, his and hers taxes, etc. I have made lists of organizer stuff that I want from both Ikea and Bed Bath and Beyond, and also am sure that I will find some little bins and such at the dollar store, but I’m counting on some of the stuff I want from Ikea to go on sale after Christmas. They also seem to have some door crasher specials on that little stuff.

  4. I’m a big fan of purging things – usually I donate anything that I can to anyone who wants it. I used to be sentimental about things but I really try not to be anymore. If it doesn’t get used and I don’t see using it in the foreseeable future, out it goes! 😉

    • Absolutely, you got it! Sadly perhaps, I’m not willing to take the time to “shop” things out to friends or co-workers this time around…and sometimes, I just feel like they are taking stuff out of obligation anyway. Anything that isn’t absolute junk in terms of housewares I will donate to charitable orgs like the Salvation Army. If I can find any food that’s worth donating (doubtful, I think), I’ll make a run to the Food Bank. And it’s only my high-end business clothing that I’ll selfishly take to consignment…and maybe farm a couple of those dresses to my smaller-than-me friends 🙂

  5. Pingback: Happy New Year! – Making 2014 the Year of Social Giving | Prairie Princess Runners

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