August 24, 2009

Two Happy Little Cleaning Things

Two positive side-effects of Teh Cleaning, even when I am not officially cleaning:

1. I'm gradually tossing out some stuff I don't use.
2. I'm gradually USING UP some stuff I DO use.

I have inclinations toward hoarding, and I usually have half a dozen bottles of stuff with half an inch of stuff left in each: I don't want it to be GONE. I also usually have half a dozen bottles of stuff I bought and didn't particularly like but don't really want to throw out, either: what if there were a sudden emergency and I was so grateful to have the meh shampoo?

Not now, though. Shampoo and conditioner I used to love and so repurchased when I saw it recently, but it turns out now I hate it: in the trash. Last four uses of a shampoo I DO love but have been saving for months because OMG it's Almost Gone: used it up. Last two evening primrose oil capsules: put in pill reminder to take during expected PMS. Last use of Special Expensive Conditioner: used up. Old bottle of melatonin sitting there because only the ones I'd cut in half were left so I'd started a new bottle: added to new bottle. This is probably the way some of you live ALL THE TIME.

In fact, this led me to tidy up my vitamin shelf. Bottle with a dozen prenatal vitamins left in it: flung recklessly into trash. Two bottles of folic acid (my daily multivitamin already has folic acid in it): flung recklessly into trash. Bottle of B-6 recommended for pregnancy nausea: flung recklessly into trash. I figured that if "just in case" were to ever present itself, I would be more than happy to run to Target to repurchase those items.

28 comments:

ruth said...

I get a little twinge of anxiety reading this post. Is it okay if I think that more than being clean, you are being SO BRAVE?

Swistle said...

Ruth, I am so PLEASED you think so, because that is the way I feel about it too! I have been pricing hero capes.

I have found it useful to think "I can buy more. I can buy more. I can buy more."

Kristin said...

I have been following the cleaning posts and comments with great interest. This particular post is one of the funniest things I've ever read. I am a pretty organized and clean person and I love to read about how other people do it too.

At first I couldn't understand why you would need two months to clean your house in preparation for your mother in law's visit, but now I get it. You are not really cleaning your house, you are completely organizing it...starting with your vitamin shelf. I am not trying to make fun of you at all, but I just think this is so funny. Please keep posting about this!

Oh, and I didn't offer any comments before on how I clean, but one thing I read a long time ago that has stuck with me is clean from the top to the bottom. Kind of goes along with the clean the cobwebs off the ceiling first idea, but you actually start at the top room of your house and work your way down. I'm not sure how well that would work with organizing, but with purely cleaning it works very well. The gravity theory of cleaning I guess.

mrspooley said...

Good for you!
And why is it that vitamins are so hard to toss? Their expense? That they're 'good' for you? I've still got a bottle of folic acid too. But it's unopened! And not expired yet! Just can't let go of it yet. :)

tracynicole22 said...

Yay for a more organized Swistle! I am sucking your inspiration out of the computer. I need it bad. Keep us posted.

Maggie2 said...

Hah, this is so me. Is there a Hoarders Anonymous group we can join? My husband keeps telling me it's the end of life as we know it with this sinking economy and we'll all be living like cavemen soon. Not that I need extra motivation to buy and save! I have months worth of non-perishable food, bathroom supplies (makeup, shampoo, lotion etc) stored up. I'll be able to open my own Target someday. :)
Part of this must be having a good imagination. I can ALWAYS imagine a scenario where I desperately need whatever it is I can't throw out or have stockpiled in the basement. I have this ridiculous need to be prepared. In an emergency I'll be set, but for everyday living it's a bit cluttered. Thanks for the encouragement!

Jen said...

Oh Swistle...I have AT LEAST six bottles of nearly empty CA Baby Lotion that I have been meaning to empty into one container because I just can't bear to throw them out since the lotion is expensive. And ditto on the old vitamins. And spices. I have two bottles of bay leaves that are both older than the hills.

I think it is time I get reckless and ruthless as well.

You are an inspiration to this fellow "save it for a rainy day"-er.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

This is TOTALLY inspiring to me. When we moved, we had packers pack ALL our crap. Great for my back and my sanity but SUCKY for purging (not to mention, sucky for knowing where ANYTHING is). They, of course, didn't purge ANYTHING so now I am face to face with 17 (!!!!) bottles of sunscreen, some of which are okay, some are meh, some are good but old etc. etc. ETC.

MUST. GO. PURGE.

Rah said...

I am very picky about the handlotion I use. So why do I have 65 tiny bottles (well, maybe I'm exaggerating) of hotel hand lotion on my nightstand? Does it being free REQUIRE than I take it? I think I'll draw inspiration from you and toss them when I get home tonight. :-)

Oh, and I agree with Kristin. Please keep posting about this!

Mimi said...

I do the same thing... there a bunches of almost-empty bottles in my shower and under my sink because I get excited about something new that I've bought and don't finish what I already had. That's it! I'm throwing them away right now!

d e v a n said...

You go!

Christina said...

I'm with Ruth! This post made me so anxious. Like OMG Swistle is making great progress, but wait up for me - I'm still wrapping my head around this.

My dad is coming in 2 or 3 days and while the communal areas of the house are now spotless (thanks for the help bf!) the bedrooms, bathroom, and deep cleaning are WAY WAY WAY behind. I'd take a picture to show you, but social services would probably come take my dog and cat from me. hahaha

Not soooo concerned about my dad b/c I get my untidiness from him (mom is total Type A), but I do have a blogger meet-up at my house (yes, I'm crazy) in 3 weeks and that's my goal to have inside and *gulp* outside pretty.

Katie said...

I say that SAME thing when I am getting rid of bouncy seats, exersaucers...baby stuff. I am not planning to need it again...but if I do, I'll buy more!

Oana said...

Good for your for cleaning! But please don't throw medications and vitamins in the trash. The proper way to dispose of them is to incinerate them. Ask your pharmacist if they have a bin where you can take left-over pills for incineration.

HollyLynne said...

Oh, I'm a horrible bath and beauty hoarder too! But I find that if I hoard for too long the products change color or scent or consistency and so they're unusable and I've HOARDED FOR NAUGHT! Gr!

Nowheymama said...

You mean I DON'T need all of the travel-size lotions and shampoos and conditioners and bodywashes under my sink? Huh.

tracynicole22 said...

Have you seen the new show called Hoarders? I think it's on A&E, maybe? Check it out, WOW! It will make you feel really good about your minor pack-ratiness.

squandra said...

Yay! This post makes me so happy, because I am a organized dork who really does live/think like that all the time. It's totally a mental game ... I'll let you decide which kind of "mental" :).

DCMomma said...

You are awesome! I thought about how moms
are superheroes this morning...isn't that true?!

Also cleaned my whole house this morning superfast. Woke up to ants in the kitchen... Lysoled, vacuumed, picked up toys and organized.

Now for a cup of coffee!

Stimey said...

Good for you! It feels good to get rid of that kind of stuff, huh?

Jeninacide said...

OMG I am so inspired! I think I am going to go home and throw away some stuff too!

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

The Spring Cleaning bug never bit me but now that it's almost September (!@$@#!) I'm having a Fall Cleaning attack. Granted, it hasn't attacked very viciously...it's more stealthily meandering up to me. But still.

I did clean, re-organize and HAND WASH THE FLOOR of my pantry.

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley said...

Sorry for dropping by with a comment the other day, then disappearing...how rude! I guess I should introduce myself by saying that I found your blog a month or so ago by way of your Postpartum and The Facts (for Some People) posts on a night when I was feeling very postpartumy (I have an 8 month old, but I still get down-in-the-dumps sometimes). The timing could not have been more appropriate. I just have to say thanks SO MUCH for writing those! The posts and the comments (oh, the comments!) were so therapeutic. I laugh-cried through them and finally felt like I wasn't the only one. And you know what? I've felt better since. You're a godsend, Swistle!

And good luck cleaning before the MIL arrives!!

Kylene said...

Way to go! Keep it up! A little bit every day is totally the way to go!

And do keep in mind what Oana said. The vitamins you threw away probably aren't going to make anyone/thing sick, but for more serious medications, dispose of them in a way where it's not possible for them to be ingested by anyone or anything.

Omaha Mama said...

I consider my throwing stuff out a sort of "skimming off the top" mentality. I'm always throwing out the next layer of stuff that we don't need/use/love. If I don't have the guts during this phase, it'll probably happen next time. I love the feeling of recklessly throwing stuff away. I once donated a silver frame that was rectangle in shape with a heart shaped cut out. It had all of the words for love on it and was a wedding gift. I donated it by our 5th anniversary and felt very rebellious in doing so!

Kelsey said...

I love that last part about not minding running to Target for emergency prenatal vitamins...

I'm in a purging mode as well - I just wish I had a week of uninterrupted days to really go through every nook and cranny of this house!

Kim said...

This one struck me.
I just tossed out an empty bottle of one of my fertility meds. Baby steps, as it were. Pun not intended, but I'll take it.