This past week has been one of the most productive that the Big Girl/Little Girl household has ever seen. My husband and I have cleaned house — literally.
We got rid of the equivalent of two carloads of stuff from the garage, four large boxes of old electronics (including a 37-inch LCD TV that was broken), two huge boxes full of cardboard, three boxes of dangerous chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, and paint, our old stainless refrigerator, 70 empty plastic DVD cases, a dead red maple, a bag of old batteries, a pile of stumps and logs, two bags full of clothing, a giant bag of plastic bags, about 200 magazines, and about 10 pair of shoes. Oh, and all of the empty cosmetic and personal care containers I’ve been saving since Janaury.
The stuff from the garage went to the local thrift store. They were happy to get it. The boxes of electronics including old laptops, mother boards, and wires went to the e-waste recycling program. Same with the batteries and dangerous chemicals — they found a new home with the Stop Throwing Out Pollutants (STOP) program. The tree and stumps were ground up and brought to my town’s local compost location. The clothing went to the thrift shop. The cardboard went to my friend’s curb since her town recycles cardboard and mine does not. I Freecycled the DVD cases. Someone picked them up within two hours of my post. The personal care and cosmetics packaging went to the Origins counter at the mall. (They will recycle or burn for energy anything you’d like to drop off.) The shoes joined the other ten I had already dropped off at the Soles4Souls collection at my daughter’s school. The magazines got bundled up with twine. They go out Wednesday night with the rest of the recycling. The plastic bag of plastic bags went into the collection bin at Lowe’s. I sold the fridge on Craigslist.com for $200.
I can’t explain how free I feel right now. I have a clean garage. My husband’s office, which we also painted and rearranged, looks the best that it’s ever looked. I have two completely empty shelves in my clothes closet. Empty! Same with my shoe shelves. My kitchen was already clean from last month’s purge.
In addition to all the purging, we spruced up the house a bit. Big Girl got a gorgeous chandelier in her bedroom. My husband put that in the same day that he spackled a hole in our bathroom and changed the lamppost out front. The previous weekend he put up wire shelving in our coat closet so now the mittens are with the mittens and the hats are with the hats. (Did I mention that he’s truly amazing around the house?!?)
I find it much easier to work — at home, with the kids, with my job — when everything is clean and neat and in its place. And the best part: Everything that used to call my house its home is in the process of finding another home. Nothing ended up in a landfill or an incinerator. There are no heavy metals leeching into the water supply because of my old computers, for instance. It’s a wonderful thing.