Big project of the day was cleaning the floor of our closet. ...I think I did mention before that my cleaning is not always RATIONAL, and that oftentimes I go with it anyway? Yes. So I hauled out about six brand-new sets of king-sized sheets bought at 75% off; maybe ten pairs of shoes including "tags still on" and "Why aren't these long since thrown out?" and "Whose ARE these?"; a box of maternity clothes; several shirts that had fallen off hangers without us noticing; scraps and coins that had slid under the door and gotten shoved under everything else; empty Target bags; a wadded-up down comforter we only use in winter; a pint of dust and lint and cat fur and sand.
I gathered up one bag of shoes to donate and put one set of sheets in the donation pile too. I put the comforter back into the zippered vented bag it was sold to us in (which I also found crammed in the closet). I filled another bag with shoes too worn out to donate, plus the sand/fur/etc. And I used the dustbuster.
Then I put things back in: sheets in a stack, comforter next to them. Three shoe boxes, each holding a pair of shoes I'm keeping but don't need in regular rotation: winter dressy, summer dressy, and shoes that go with a particular skirt I wear to baby showers and tea shops.
I threw away a pair of bee slippers (bee-shaped, not bee-intended) I like to wear to the maternity ward because I can slip them on/off easily and they're cute. I dug them back out of the trash, because I could be in non-maternity parts of the hospital sometime.
I put the box of maternity clothes in the basement. I should donate them but I want to keep them a little longer.
In general, though, I'm trying NOT to get caught in little eddies of clutter that no guest should ever have the opportunity to notice anyway (if my mother-in-law goes into our bedroom closet, we have deeper problems than previously realized). But I did get rid of a vintage suitcase (matching ROUND carry-on) I never use because it's hella heavy and smells bad. And when I went to put away something on the Gift Shelf, I pitched out two toys I bought long enough ago to be pretty sure I'll never give away.
Here is something I've noticed: there are many times during the day when I am standing around gazing into space, and I can use those times to play "Is There Anything Here I Can Get Rid Of?" So, for example, while I'm brushing my teeth I would normally be staring at myself in the mirror and wondering if I have tongue cancer, but instead I open the cabinet and see if my eye alights upon anything I can toss. I got rid of a lipstick, an expired bottle of cold medicine that didn't work anyway, a barrette I don't like, a tube of eye cream I never use, and so on.
And while I'm giving the cookies another minute in the oven, I would normally be staring at the countertops and wondering what the CRAP is that weird yellow stuff and why am I the ONLY ONE who EVER cleans countertops, but instead I open a cabinet or look around at the counters. I got rid of a mug, some baby spoons, lids that came with some baby bowls but I never use the lids anymore, a box of cereal nobody likes, a box of tea bags I never use, and so on. Not all at once, but like the mug went one time and the lids went another time.
I find this is putting me in the nice beginnings of a clutter-noticing habit. Mustn't get one's hopes up when one has a lifelong reputation for cleaning binges rather than consistency, but I AM finding that things are gradually disappearing and that it's adding up to pleasing changes---whereas usually I'd think, "What's the point in getting rid of ONE MUG? Besides, we have room for it."
Now for those of you not following on Twitter, here are the other things I've gotten rid of:
- broken postage scale
- hand-knit baby blankets
- baby hats and baby coats
- baby bath seat
- half-used workbooks with all the fun parts done
- Easter door hanging
- gross instant flavored coffee
- expired Jell-o in non-favored flavors
- bits of trash (bread ties, foam craft shapes) on top of microwave
- little decorative nest with 5 eggs in it; I'd thought it would be sentimental but it was hard to display and impossible to dust
- fridge magnet paper doll that was insufficiently magnetic and so was always stripping her flat little clothes right where they'd get kicked under the fridge
- Tide with Febreeze (used up, not tossed)
And here is my current mantra: "You can't clean clutter! You can't clean clutter!" It helps me to continue through the layers in the hopes of someday seeing the wipeable flat areas underneath.