I don’t know about you, but these winter rainy days make me a little crazy. A few days of rain we need, and sure, netflix binging and movies and snuggling and all that…ok. But a few days and I’m done.
One thing that it does spark is my intense need to clean things out. It sets in about day 3 and I start to notice that my boys have far too many toys. I make 25 trips to the kitchen pantry, (out of sheer boredom), to notice that I have a bunch of crap cluttering my food space, but nothing to eat. I spend 3 days in quasi-workout attire while telling myself that I have no clothes, standing in front of a full closet. My husband starts to move all sorts of things around our bathroom cabinet looking for something basic. I gotta clean this shit out.
I’m sure most of you are like me, “How the hell did I let all this crap pile up?” I wanna preface this next part with the fact that I grew up in a loving home. My mom rocks. But it was super FULL to the brim with fun art stuff and crafts and my dad’s crap and piles and mega papers everywhere…it was super clutter. (Sorry Mama, love you so much!).
As a small child I found “fun” in rearranging and reorganizing my room countless times. It became my obsession. One of my favorite books was “The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room”. Wow right? Into my adulthood, it translated into a sincere and utter love for the Container Store. Until, one day, I read a little book by Marie Kondo called, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, and my entire outlook on my environment was flipped upside down. I re-read it a few times to make sure I really adopted it and am currently reading her follow-up. The biggest thing I got from it all is that I was still trying to keep everything, just in a tidy or super organized manner. I still had a BUNCH of crap. Things from the past that I didn’t love anymore but found reasons to carry around. Things that I “should” keep but didn’t care for. I learned all those many things piled up, and were extremely heavy on my emotional state even if they were just some box put deep in a cabinet somewhere. The more I got rid of, the more free I felt. It made me really hone in on the things that truly sparked joy in my life. I didn’t need the random coffee table decor either. I didn’t love it. I am totally fine looking at a blank tabletop until I can find something truly special.
With my intense focus on this, it was just a matter of time before my family took to it as well. My husband, who I really didn’t think had clothes, got rid of many trash bags full. My parents got into it, and a few of my closest friends. Even my 3 year old put toys in a bag that he didn’t really like anymore.
In my recent revival of event planning and playdate creations, I decided it would be good to set up a Spring Clean Up & Swap Out event. I did an exchange like this in our old neighborhood. Everyone brought things they no longer wanted and it was free reign for everyone to pick things that sparked joy for them. I still have a summer hat I absolutely LOVE from this swap and a great summer garden dress that a neighbor just didn’t care for anymore. But the point is to be rid of your things and be intentional with new choices. I took about 3 bags of clothing to that swap and came home with 2 genuine treasures.
Our event, “Spring Clean up & Swap Out” is all set for March 6th. From today, that gives everyone 3 full weekends to go through stuff and clean out! I will be posting tips along the way on my Instagram @caffeinechaosncusswords to help everyone in their tidying efforts. Nothing will go back home with you. Everything left at the end of our event will be donated to The House of Ruth in Pomona. No pressure to go through every little thing, this is just the start. We will have another one in May for a more thorough clean out process. You can also find the event, (and some others I host), on the MomCo App– download it for all sorts of playdates and fun Mom nights out in your area!
If you’re local enough to the Claremont area, join us in person! It’s time to throw those old ass shirts you really don’t like and the toys that sit at the bottom of the bin into some trash bags and boxes. Bring your “crap” that someone else might just treasure. You’ll get some swag just for participating, and end up giving some families much-needed items in the process. I’m excited to see what everyone has to swap and get rid of! And please share your stories, I love hearing about people getting rid of things! It sparks a weird satisfaction in me.