I am suddenly inspired to do some organizing/decluttering in the Gift Closet, which is not only a Gift Closet but a catch-all for a lot of things. It's hard for me to tackle it because getting rid of stuff from there often means getting rid of NEW stuff, stuff I bought on GOOD DEALS! It's disappointing to have something that seems like such A Find turn out NOT to be A Find after all.
I already did a few boxes-of-clutter giveaways, and I also donated spare toys (bought for birthday parties they never seemed right for) to a charity toy drive this past December. But now I feel ready to tackle the rest. The closet is in the same room as the computer, so I can document each thing as I toss it out, recycle it, or put it in the Freecycle pile.
1. five years backissues of Consumer Reports magazine, which I never reference because I look online, and the magazine holders that held them
2. two unopened packages of booklets that accompanied the handheld organizers we bought eight years ago, including two sealed-in-plastic booklets labeled "READ ME FIRST!"
3. set of very pretty satin padded hangers I thought I would want for myself but it turns out padded hangers take up a lot of space, so then I thought I'd save them for a guest room, but we don't have a guest room, nor will we have one for a very long time if ever, and if we DO ever have one I will buy more hangers if I still want them
4. a pretty Pfaltzgraff holiday serving dish, bought as a teacher gift before I decided to only give gift cards, then saved for a couple of years in case another use occurred to me
5. seven board games we never, ever play
6. paperwork/boxes for the cellphones we bought in 2000 and no longer have
7. ten reusable bags, bought for a planned Earth Day giveaway that has failed to happen two years in a row because I keep not noticing it's Earth Day until other people blog about it
8. bag of holiday clearance items for planned holiday giveaway that didn't happen
9. several broken picture frames from when photos got knocked off the wall and I thought I'd glue the frames back together and get new glass for them AHA HA HA HA HA
10. the packet of scrapbooking stickers and papers that came with my 2009 Victoriana calendar and thought I might find a use for
11. two partially-used classroom packs of jackolantern/pilgrim-making kits, the kind where you assemble a bunch of flat foam pieces; someone gave them to us as a gift, and although I do have a lot of children, I don't have 32 of them, and no one made more than three or four of each thing
12. package of OVER THE HILL candles purchased for a family member's milestone birthday I then forgot to use the candles for
13. pile of paper-pad mousepads that seemed like such an awesome idea but I only ever use mine to start my pen so now they seem less awesome for giving as gifts
14. some gifts set aside for the mother-in-law
Things I dealt with:
1. put a bunch of "I'll put these in the box later" packets of studio pictures into the studio pictures box, which used to have too much stuff on top of it to get into
2. hung up a small pretty plate my mom gave me for a reason I no longer remember
3. released into the household a number of craft kits and activities I'd bought "for a rainy day" and then never thought to give out when it was "raining"
4. put up on the wall some jungle wall stickers I wasn't sure if I wanted to save for myself or give as a gift
5. released into the household a huge inventory of stickers I used to send to Make a Child Smile or my parents' World Vision child
6. filled a box with Valentine's Day stuff for a giveaway
7. took a Mother-In-Law Dishes mug intended for a giveaway and put it with the rest of the Mother-In-Law Dishes, which should probably be renamed now that there is no mother-in-law
Things that still need to be dealt with:
1. a 5-opening picture frame: I need to choose a photo of each of the kids, get the photos printed, put them in the frame, and hang the frame up
2. a cute print of a lamb and a ladybug I forgot I bought for William in his lamb-obsessed toddler years: I need to decide if I'm going to keep it, and if so get a frame around it
While I was working on this project, Henry:
1. used a (fortunately washable) stamp on the wall
2. shook a paintbrush loaded with (fortunately washable) paint
3. unwound a significant percentage of a skein of yarn
4. got painty (still the fortunately-washable kind) hands all over the kitchen counter and dishes
5. shook salt and pepper all over the counter and the dishes and the sink and the floor
6. dumped out the container of jackolantern-making kits, spreading the flat foam pieces far and wide
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...