Monday, March 25, 2013

The purging continues

I met my goal! All those piles of crap all over the guest bedroom floor have been bagged up and dropped off at Goodwill. I’m quite proud of myself for getting rid of so much stuff. It definitely wasn’t easy.

I donated several dresses, pants, sweaters, belts, coats… lots of which still fit and I really liked. But I had a little talk with myself and decided that even though I liked them all, I didn’t need them. For example, I loved all six of the dresses I donated, but my life as a SAHM doesn’t require me to have that many. And the limited amount of storage space in our small house does require me to part with a few and only keep what is practical. So I said goodbye to some beautiful pieces and hoped that whoever got a good deal on them at Goodwill would get more use out of them than I would.

I approached my sock and underwear drawer the same way. Even though I had many that still fit and were actually cute, I really don’t need forty-two pairs of underwear. (Yes, I counted.) I do laundry every single week, and I can’t remember ever changing my underwear six times in a day. So I threw away over twenty pairs of underwear and twelve pairs of socks, clearing up enough space in the drawer to move in a few items in from my closet. And that freed up more closet space for me to move in the few hats and scarves I chose to keep from the guest room.
The whole process was very strategic.

Now, there are no more storage bins under the guest bed, and all that’s left in the guest room closet are a few coats. The bad news is, those coats are just going to have to stay there even after it becomes Q’s room because we don’t have a hall closet to store them in. The good news is, after three trips to Goodwill, I rediscovered the floor.

Why three trips? Here’s some valuable tax information, so listen up! Last year, during my last major purge, I took everything down to Goodwill in one big haul. I sorted through all of the stuff with the worker there and helped him organize it into the correct donation bins. I had used my old company’s free program, It’s Deductable byTurbotax, to determine that the entire load was worth over a $1,200 tax deduction.

Imagine my disappointment when the worker then told me that they couldn’t give out receipts for more than $500 per person per day. What?! He tells me this after I gave him all my stuff? Terrific. So I only got a receipt for $500, which screwed me out of over half my tax write-off for that donation. Grrr…

Now, I’m not sure if that’s true for all charities or just for Goodwill. Or maybe it’s not true at all, and that Goodwill worker was completely mistaken. However, rather than risk making the same mistake twice, I used It’s Deductable again, and divided the loot into three separate donation piles of less than $500 each, and I dropped off one load a day for three days.

I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now and thinking, No way would I ever deal with all that. I would just drop it off and not worry about the receipt. Yeah, well, when you live in California and you need your federal income tax return to pay our property taxes, you take the time to do this s**t!

The need to turn our guest room into Q’s Big Boy Bedroom inspired me to tackle all this spring cleaning. And all of this purging feels very cleansing. I was starting to feel weighed down by stuff. I’m not a hoarder by any stretch, but I immediately felt lighter. The weightlessness then carried me into the kitchen where I cleaned out and reorganized the food cupboards. Next, I’m moving on to the sideboard table in the living room. The crammed space behind its doors has become a catch all for business books, candles, printer paper, old ink cartridges… it’s just beggin’ to be purged.  

What spring cleaning projects are you taking on? What inspired you to tackle them?