Season's Change

It's officially Autumn! My favourite season for walks in the woods and organizing house in preparation for cold weather.

I went under my house last weekend when there was a break in the weather and dragged up the bins of autumn clothes (the bulky, hard-core winter stuff can stay down there a while longer).

Tuck away the flip flops and filmy summer frocks until next year...

Out come the cozy sweaters, and cord slacks --- how I love to bring them back into regular rotation! It's like getting them new all over again and brings me a feeling of abundance. (I thought about keeping every season's clothes in the regular closets all year, but the thought of giving up the magical change-over is not appealing to me.)

Also, the hand-me-downs bin came out and my youngest son tried on all the stuff that his brother outgrew (4 years age difference). Suffice it to say they are VERY different body shapes and many outfits simply don't fit in any direction (too long and narrow for my husky youngest)

It is sad to give away perfectly good jeans and pants, but at the same time, it felt GREAT giving a very large box of perfectly decent pants to my sister for her very slim son. She won't have to buy pants for him for at least 2 (maybe even 4) years! (NO PHOTO, but it was an impressive amount). Enough pants did fit that I don't have to go shopping and he won't be naked either!

Other items removed from the home this week:

Ancient, heavy, chop saw (now for sale):
 Theme lego (sold in a day)
Box of shoes, toys and clothes that no one uses (to charity)

and some miscellaneous house hardware that didn't get used in the renovation went to the habitat for humanity store.


A Matter of Maintenance

Days "off" when you take a staycation..... not exactly relaxing, when the mission is to declutter, but certainly rejuvenating when the days are filled with crossing things off the to do list that have languished too long.

This was the week to sort the crawlspace, clean out the detritus in one of the sheds, and thoroughly weed the overgrown summer gardens. Rain or no rain, it had to be done.

With labour day behind us, I packed the hottest weather clothes away - liberating tonnes of space in my closet, (its still too early to bring out the cold weather clothes). I am enjoying the roomy closet, even though it's temporary.

Another victory: We took obsolete electronics to the electronics recycler.... that 10 year old computer tower, a satellite dish and 2 receivers (it was an awesome system at the other house, but this place can't get a signal)

Also prone to obsolescence: Toys!
As the kids grow, their toys change. Keeping on top of the pruning process is a must in this age of excess. The kids get spoiled every year with a glut of toys thanks to family and friends, cheap toy opportunities, birthdays and gift giving holidays. Over the years the baby toys have had their phases... baby toys, preschool toys, learning toys, young kids toys, and soft stuffed animals. Now the more complicated kits and collections are slowly being weeded out. This weekend I found 2 large boxes of forgotten toys in the crawlspace and had the pleasure of donating them without any complaints.

The secret to having them agree to let go? There is more than one way to do it.
  • Tough-love Technique: Telling them that if they can't put it away, then it must not be very important to them. Sometimes they simply have too many toys to put them all the way. If there is no home for the toy, I encourage the kids to get rid of less-loved things to make space. It can lead to tears, but it's necessary in a finite world.
  • Spacial Awareness Technique: Telling them they need to get rid of the old to make room for the new (good before birthdays and holidays). If they get rid of a lot, they obviouusly have high hopes for the incoming haul! LOL
  • Charitable Heart Technique: I plead that they don't play with it anymore, but it is still so great, wouldn't it be nice if it could be passed on to another lucky kid now while it's still nice? (that last one works every time on my youngest generous son). Lovingly pack the items off to charity.
  • Enterprising Technique: Offering to post toys online for sale and they can keep the money (good for the toys that are always popular and still in good shape). They learn the issue of depreciation, and that if the toys are broken or missing parts that they are useless.... leading to the last point...
  • Take Care of It OR ELSE! Technique: If it's broken or I find it's pieces all over the house I retain the right to toss it, no matter how much it's "loved".

What is lurking in your crawlspace/attic or storage that is obsolete? Decluttering once is not enough. Regular maintenance is necessary in the age of upgrades.