My Son And I De-cluttered Our Closets Over The Weekend And This Is What Happened
Who knew two people could collect so much clutter? Here's how we got rid of it.
A long weekend gives you the opportunity to do a lot of things: head to the mall, check into a hotel for a staycation, or go on a road trip. Instead, my son and I decided to stay at home and purge our closets—a boring option compared to malling, but something that I thought was absolutely necessary.
Our good friend had announced that she was collecting books, toys, and clothes for her charities, and it was the best reason for us to de-clutter. I decided to involve my son—even though he isn’t even in grade school yet—to show him that hoarding toys and other items wasn’t something to aspire to. To make things easy, we did this in three steps.
STEP 1: Mother-and-son purging
What I did was handle my closet first. I did it the KonMari way by taking all of the contents out of my closet and shoe cabinet and dumping the whole lot in the middle of my room just to see how much I’ve accumulated. I separated the pieces I haven’t worn in more than a year and set those aside, placing them into bags per clothing type.
Afterwards, I headed to my son’s room and asked him to purge his own toys and books. I read in an article that it is important to have children de-clutter their own belongings and to let them know that there are other kids who would need those items. So I told my son to divide his toys into two piles: those that he still plays with, and those that he hasn’t played with in more than a year. I kept on assuring him that other children would be happy to play with them. We moved on to his books, and I told him to take out the picture books, since he already knows how to read in sentences.
This is a collective list of what we purged:
- 25 toy cars
- 3 toy brick sets
- 2 large educational puzzles
- 1 maracas set
- 1 toy piano (!)
- 2 construction sets
- 2 toy dinosaurs
- 2 balls
- 2 stacking toy sets
- 1 piggy bank (with coins)
- 1 bag of 10 children’s books
- 16 office dresses
- 8 cocktail dresses
- 1 evening gown
- 5 skirts
- 5 pairs high heels
- 1 pair formal slacks
- 1 formal shirt
Upon adding it up, there were 89 items in all. I wondered: how can two people (one of them under the age of 7) accumulate almost 100 unused items in a single home? It was mind-boggling and embarrassing!
STEP 2: Donate and sell
Our next step was to give away the items. Here is where each batch went:
Toys and books: Our friend took these to the Philippine Toy Library, an organization that sets up children’s libraries and safe play areas in barangay centers, parishes, and schools in communities that need them. To find out how to donate your own children’s toys and books, click on the link above or follow them on their Facebook page.
Fancy clothes and shoes: One of our friend’s charities was a high school in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, which requested nice clothes for their prom, class plays, dances, and other events. You can also tap your nearby community or public school to ask if they need these types of clothes, and donate to them directly.
Everyday and office clothes: I set these items aside for a garage sale party that my friends and I are planning. A collective garage sale is often more successful with several people than just one person, as there are more items to choose from. A warning: you might be tempted to buy the items from your friends. Please don’t!
STEP 3: Re-organize
After sending everything off, we had to re-organize all our closets and cabinets again. I asked my son to relocate the new books that he currently reads to his former baby book shelf, which is kid-height and easy to reach for him. I also re-organized my wardrobe into different categories (all dresses, all skirts, all knits, etc.) so that it would be easier to find things and get dressed in the morning.
The end result: roomier closets, less clutter, and the satisfaction of having done a good deed. And my son and I made a pinky-swear not to buy any more things that we don’t need!
More on Realliving.com.ph