My May project for my room-by-room total house reorganization plan is the boys' room. All three boys share a room, and I usually do a big clean-out this month anyway in preparation for Second Christmas. I've been ignoring/avoiding it over the last few months while I was focusing on other rooms. C has cleaned it up a couple of times, but nevertheless, at the beginning of the month, this is how it looked:
I started out with what needed doing anyway--their clothes. Every spring and fall, I go through their drawers, take out any too-small or unwanted clothes and then go through the bins of hand-me-downs (we seem to have a never-ending supply) in the basement, "shopping" for whatever will fit for the coming season. This year, I gave them total say, "do you want this? this?" because I'm tired of drawers that don't clothes they are so full, but only the same few articles get worn and worn again.
M's dresser, which I bought at an antique store, has a somewhat moth-bally odor to it. I feel terrible that I let him wear clothes that may have some toxic residue in them, but it's a really nice dresser. Wow, did I really just type that sentence? Anyway, it's mainly the top drawer, where we store off-season items, that smells, and all of those clothes get washed before they're worn. Does that make me a horrible mother?
After I cleared out all the drawers, I set them out on the deck in the sun for the day, and then made fabric drawer liners, stuffed with balsam (M's request) and lavender (original idea from here). I hope it will not only mask any mothball odor, but also create a barrier between the smelly wood and M's clothes. Is that better?
After the clothes, I tackled the books. I used to think there was no such thing as too many books, but I've started to rethink that philosophy in recent years...we may have too many books. The boys inherited the children's book collections from at least three different families, and I visited more than a few used book sales at the library when M was small, filling up bags with 25 cent bargains. Some of our favorite reads came into our home that way. But...we have more books than we can even get around to reading, and more than will fit on our shelves. And I knew that more would be coming for their birthdays (I'd received a hot tip) and that even I wouldn't be able to resist buying one or two.
So I moved a bookshelf up from the living room, and E, Z and I went through every single book that had been stored in boxes, crates and the closet. They sorted them into Keep and Give Away piles. I vetoed several Give Aways, but we ended up with a pretty significant box of get-rid-ofs,
And we fit all of the books onto the book shelf, plus one crate for oversized books, and one shelf in the closet (mostly chapter books they're not ready for, and reference books).
I dropped the box off at the library Tuesday (they have an ongoing book sale), after a moment's hesitation...it is so hard to let go of books, isn't it? But once they were gone, I didn't look back. It feels good to get rid of things sometimes, too.