Baskets, Hampers, Drawers and Closets... Or as Jim puts them "Lori's personal filing sysems".
To start off, I am not a pack rat, I am just a slow toss-er-away-er. Eventually "it" gets purged, but I have to do it slowly and methodically. I need everything that enters my home to feel welcome and loved, and most of all wanted. So I have to slowly introduce the secretly unwanted to the door.
Sometimes I will first place it in a basket. It can still see out, it knows when I am there for it, and it feels warm and nurtured. Often it gets shuffled with other friends, and many times it ends up at the bottom only to be restored to its happy place (the top) after a purposeful dig. Sometimes it even comes out of the basket to play for a while. Whether a kid saw it as a potential play thing, art project or just plain ol'something to move, or whether I was looking for something else, found it and decided to give it some personal attention. Frequently it doesn't make it back to the basket it came from. Sometimes it finds its way into another basket to mingle and network with new secretly unwanted friends.
There are four siblings that are housed on the shelves of our entertainment center. They were placed there as catch alls so I didn't have to keep cleaning stuff off of the coffee table, aka diningroom (I have two diningroom tables, but we use the coffee table most nights). There was one basket for each human member of my household. The "plan" was once their basket was filled, they had to find a new home for everything in it, or I got to purge the basket.
Basket #1... instantly became Ruvy's favorite place to sleep. We fill it, she empties it if she wants to take a nap.
Basket #2... became the catch all for DVD's. But oh no, we didn't stop there! It has miscellaneous toys, and pieces of paper, and other very much loved secretly unwanted.
Basket #3... this one is known as the "half way house". B#3 is where all of the much loved secretly unwanted items go before they are transitioned. Now when I say "transitioned" I mean exactly that. Its not show them the door time yet. See Baskets 1-4 have cousins that the much loved secretly unwanted get shipped off too when B1-4 are full or cleaned out.
Basket #4... this one became my little buddy. It started out as the lonely basket. No one wanted to play with it. No one wanted to nap in it. No one was partial to digging throught it, using it as an art project, or wearing it as a hat on their head. So I took #4 under my wing, and he became my prized bead supply buddy. All of my bead and jewelry supplies are nestled sweetly in his borders. There is nothing secretly unwanted in his space. He, as well as all of his inhabitants are there to stay. :)
Now comes cleaning day, better known as moving day, which is better defined as the basket hath reached its limit, its time to move some things around. So out come the baskets, and piles are made. But these piles are special. Most of them are not ready to meet their fate with the flaming inferno, or the circular file. It's time to go visit the cousins.
God, aka "Signature HomeStyles" created hampers just for me! These hampers aka the cousins, are my life savers! They hold (eh hem - hide) most anything. And they are the next pit stop on the adventures of the much loved secretly unwanted. The cousins hold alot. And they are almost always full of the secretly unwanted. And when the day comes to clean them out, I usually only get one done because it is emotionally wearing on me.
See, I am a people pleaser. That means if something I say or do hurts the feelings of someone or something, I am an emotional wreck. So when it comes to the secretly unwanted, well, I feel guilty. Not the typical Catholic guilt I feel about everything else in life, but rather the, I am disappointing the secretly unwanted because I have given them a home, and now like a basket of cute furry kittens, I am sending them on their merry little way.
So often, when the day comes to clean the cousins, I end up sending them off to the closet. One last opportunity to win me over. The nice thing about the closets is they are much more spacious (of course the s.u.'s think they are "moving up in life", but we all know better).
Let me start off this segment of my es'plaining how I am not a pack rat by sharing that I have a.l.o.t. of closets in my house. My bedroom alone has three full sized 12' long closets, and a built in unit (5 sections) with doors and shelves. My hall has a closet the size of a small bathroom, and at the bottom of the stairs there is another closet as well as a 12' pantry. And that is just the upper two levels. My 3rd level has one lonely closet for coats (or mlsu's until Jim finds the mlsu's and makes me move them to another closet, basket or hamper).
Here is where I should explain that my husband hates my compassion towards the things that are much love secretly unwanted. He thinks if I don't want them I should get rid of them. So the fact that they end up occupying space in "his closets" drives him insane. We talk frequently about my need to clean the closets. He actually blocked off the two in the basement and told me that should he find anything that didn't look like his, he was going to ship it off without my knowledge. Yes, ladies, it makes my skin crawl. How does he know if that love note from my boyfriend in 1986 isn't still near and dear to my heart? Or the left over party favors from our wedding. I mean someday we may want them for something else! C'mon man, you are killing me here!
So when closet cleaning time comes it pains me. This was the last pit stop for the lmsu's. If I want to make room for more, I have to get rid of some. And it pains me. Clothes that I have had for 20 years that I havent worn in at least 15 are hard to say good bye to. And how do you get rid of shoe's and handbags that have defined your very being? Sometimes I have to close my eyes, reach in and toss it into a black garbage bag so I wont know what is missing until 5 years from now when I am missing it! When this torturous event takes place I usually have 3 black bags. One for clothes that will get donated. One for shoes and handbags that will be given away. One that is sent off to the great circular file in Heaven. There is usually a box or paper bag that I toss burnables in.
There is always a point when the "plan" takes a downward spiral into the unfinished oblivion because well, its emotionally draining. So this process can take a while. Sometimes I will clean one closet, and then move the mlsu's from another closet into its now open spaces. But never, have all of my closets been cleaned at the same time. Never have all of my mlsu's been shown the door in one day.
But I am not a packrat!!!