I’m a Virgo. Most of the time, I’m ok with my home looking well lived in. Children leave toys out mid-game. Craft projects are in progress. And there’s always a DIY home improvement going on somewhere in the house. But when the perfectionist, pragmatic Virgo in me rears her head, I go on major cleaning streaks. I’m talking get-out-the-toothbrush-to-scrub-the-corners Virgo Clean Streak.
Virgo Clean Streak
Every once in a while this happens. Probably not often enough. And by now, Will knows enough to stand back and let me charge full speed ahead. It happened this weekend. I just couldn’t stand the state of our basement any longer. Since I use our 4th bedroom as a craft room/office, we don’t have any where pleasant for guests to stay. And Will doesn’t really have office space of his own, either, which impedes the launch of his new business.
How to decide what to keep and what to toss
We have a whole basement and it was uselessly filled with stuff. So I rolled up my sleeves, put on some tunes, and started working my way through everything as realistically and unemotionally as I could. And you know what? It was easier than expected. I must be at some sort of threshold because what I processed over the weekend had proven too difficult to deal with in earlier attempts to clear the basement. I allowed myself to be honest about whether I really needed or wanted all this stuff. Anything I really wanted to keep went into ONE laundry basket, and everything else went into boxes for donation or garbage bags.
There were a few moments where I wavered and wanted to keep some things. Like my Mom, I can see the “potential” of future projects. But I kept reminding myself that reclaiming this space was more important than vintage sheet music for decoupage, or a stacks of plastic party drinking cups left over from our wedding…9 years ago. I want to transform this space into a place to build memories and experiences. That has more value to me now than dusty boxes of trinkets packed up from our old house and never reopened when we moved here.
As I thought of that, it got easier and easier to move items into the donation boxes and wish them well in their future homes. And the more I let go, the lighter my heart felt. My mood improved. My skin cleared. Well, maybe not, but I certainly felt a glow of accomplishment to see the stack of boxes by the door growing.
What Did I Find?
In the clear out, I found a number of things to give to friends of mine. A book about dogs goes to a co-worker who just got a Huskie puppy. The bassinet that cradled my babies the first few months of their lives is going to a friend expecting his first child next month. And for myself, I found the CD of images I took about 5 years ago at Moms house when Lynn and I snuck in to do a quick “tidy.” I’ll share those in a future post.
In the end, Will and I loaded 11 donation boxes into the car. I filled 2 large bags of trash. I reorganized 7 mishmashed plastic and cardboard boxes of hand-me-down clothes for my little Quinn into 3 locking Rubbermaid containers, and found a whole bunch of baby clothes I didn’t even know we had. That gets shared with another co-worker having a baby girl in October.
There’s still some stuff to shuffle around and reorganize. I’m sure I could purge even more if I get another Virgo Clean Streak. Will needs to pack up all his wine-making supplies for a while. There’s a cold cellar to rip out and move to a different area. And if we can clean enough open space, we’ll frame in new walls to make new office space and accommodations for guests. Put up shelves to get what’s left up off the floor. Wall off the furnace. Ultimately, make this a warm and inviting space to spend quality time. And as much potential all that stuff had, the potential of the space is even greater.
Getting rid of all that stuff was SO liberating. I feel like I lost 100 pounds. In fact, I put on my skinny jeans to celebrate!