Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Give It Away Give It Away Give It Away Now

As I explained in yesterday's post, I've had some extra time over the past few weeks. My schedule will also be slightly less jam-packed between now and our vacation next Friday, and I have big plans to continue my rare productive streak.

What a great idea, huh?
One of the biggest things I accomplished so far was pulling together a ton—and I do mean a ton—of clothes, purses and toiletries for a few different charities my mom volunteers for. My parents were here a few weekends ago and my mom asked if I had any purses I no longer wanted because she was working with a group called Handbags of Hope. This awesome organization pulls together purses filled with various toiletries for women in shelters or who have fled dangerous situations and took absolutely no possessions with them. (There are many nonprofits like this one around the country, by the way... and hint hint.)

My mom asked the right person. Not only did I have several purses wasting away in my closet purgatory, but I had over a dozen of those random makeup bags that you get "free" with your purchase at various makeup counters. These things were seriously multiplying on my bathroom shelves, and I was thrilled to clear them out and know they'd be going to someone who actually needed them.

And the toiletries? Oh lord, don't even get me started. This is a little embarrassing, but I clearly have some sort of kleptomaniac blood running through my veins because every time I stay at a hotel, I take all of the toiletries home. All of those mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, body gel, soap—you name it. And we travel a lot. So over the years I accumulated literally hundreds of bottles, boxes and packets of various toiletries. My reasoning was that we have a lot of people stay with us and that it would be nice to offer our guests a selection of bathroom amenities to choose from. But at this point someone could stay with us for five years straight and not run out of shampoo. It was ridiculous.

So I spent a few hours over the course of that weekend going through my bathroom closets, looking under the sinks and rummaging through every other random place I've squirreled this stuff away and came up with several big grocery bags full of loot for my mom to take back with her. Now I wish I would've weighed all of it because it was insane! All that's left now are a few small baskets for each of our guest rooms that look something like this:

Lint brush & extra toothbrushes supplied by me. All else, um, supplied by hotels around the world.


 I think our visitors are gonna survive AND still be so fresh and so clean when they leave our place.

Next up was the biggest task yet: cleaning out my clothes closets, since my mom mentioned there were other groups she worked with that were holding clothing drives.

I've been freelancing from home since 2007, yet for some reason I still kept all of my very nice suits I wore for The Man, along with a ton of high heels and more businessy stuff that I haven't touched for years. I just never had the time—even on weekends—to go through it all and decide what I should give to charity and what I should keep. But now I finally had a huge motivation to do it: I had a few hours to spare because my parents were watching Desmond all weekend and they were going to be nice enough to actually haul everything to the various nonprofits for me and get me the tax receipts I need. I HAD to get it done.

I went crazy paring down my closets. It felt so, so good. I kept my three favorite suits, but all other outfits only relevant to The Man went bye-bye. As did sweaters I hadn't worn in at least two seasons, pants that didn't fit anymore, shoes that were uncomfortable, pajamas I'd forgotten about, and so on.

We piled it all into my parents' SUV and FILLED IT. We filled an SUV with clothes, purses and toiletries!?!?

Behold the back seat

Behold the way way back

We gave away that much stuff... and my husband still needs to rummage through his closets! We're going to have so much extra room around here, and we can feel extra-good about it. Words can't describe the relief I felt at getting this done.

I hope I've inspired you to do the same if you've been feeling like you need a good spring cleaning. Now is the time! 'Cause it's spring—duh!

- e 

1 comment:

Erin B SC said...

I love the toiletry hoarding! I do the same thing for the same reason, and a few weeks ago decided we had a ridiculous amount. Have been setting aside to donate at an upcoming hygiene drive.