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My $70 desk and chair garage sale find. Gotta love garage sales!

Regular readers know I have recently implemented a new practice in my house: If something new (and inedible) comes in, something old has to go out. It’s challenging when that “something” happens to belong to Big Girl.

Recently, she got a few new pairs of shoes, a few new tops, and a gorgeous desk for her room. (Bought the desk at a garage sale for $70. After hubby and my father-in-law got done with it — and I added $50 worth of new hardware — it is gorgeous.) So with so many new things it was time to get rid of some old things. I went through and collected stuff. A Strawberry Shortcake doll and bike she hadn’t picked up in ages, a few sweaters, some old sneakers, a stuffed animal or two. I bagged them up with the old Diaper Champ and Ocean Wonders aquarium we weren’t using any more. Then I threw in some of my husband’s nice but never-worn shirts, and some housewares, too. The bag was sitting by the door when I heard it. “Mommy, these are MY things!”

I ran to the front door to stop Big Girl before she dug much further into the bag. I didn’t want her to see the toys or the stuffed animals. Especially since she cried during the last clean out when she found out I got rid of her “favorite” white sweater. I reminded her about our policy. How we didn’t want to accumulate so much, and how there are so many people in need who would enjoy her old things. She calmed down and slowly went back to her game, looking at the bag with a critical eye. Later that night I stuck the bag in my car so there would be no rummaging. I dropped the whole mess off this morning at the local thrift store. I was pleased to see the Diaper Champ go outside right away with a $8 sticker on it.

It’s not easy to give stuff up. I know it. I still feel twangs when I think of some of my prior donation sprees. I miss, for example, my thigh-high white boots. (Could have used them as a Halloween costume, darn it!) But I am much happier with fewer things in the house, and I know some day Big Girl will forgive me. But in the future, I plan on getting her involved so she has more of a say about what stays and what goes. And that, I am sure, will be an interesting exercise.

Do you “clean house” every once in a while? What do you do with your castaways? I’d love to hear about them!

One Response to “Sneaking Out: Getting Rid of Clutter”

  1. susandelg says:

    Having just done a HUGE purge at my house, I completely understand! I was practically hoarding my big girl’s baby clothes — everything from years 1-4 was packed in plastic bins, diaper boxes and plastic bags sitting in the basement. Making the decision that my womb was closed for business was a difficult one, but once that decision was made, we had a yard sale. I watched ladies come and root through my precious child’s itty bitty onsies and the memories from each outfit flooded back. I had gone through everything prior to the sale, which was a monumentally emotional task, and kept a few items that I couldn’t part with, hoping that one day I would make a quilt out of the fabrics. Oddly enough, Joy had no interest in looking through her old clothes, she had no sentimental attachment to any of it.
    I let Joy participate in the yard sale, she went through her toys and books and games and picked things to sell. She knew that she would benefit from it, some of the money would be hers since she had helped in the purge. I watched as she sold her $85 Disney Fairies lamp for $2. (It should have been at least $5 – argh!) The $100 tricycle for $3. And so on… It was about the purge, not the money, so having cleaned out a HUGE amount of clutter and having an extra $300 in hand made it all worth while.
    After said sale, I planned on donating the leftovers to our Good Will store, but had a call from one of the veteran’s organizations looking for donations the morning of the day I was planning on dropping off, so I waited for them to come with the truck and take away everything. I hope someone else will enjoy the things that brought me so much Joy.

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