Have you ever gotten to Thursday and felt like you are still recovering from the weekend? That’s where I’m finding myself today. Last weekend included my daughter’s 8th birthday party, my two oldest daughters made a decision to be baptized (yay!), and we had family here from out of town.
This week included more craziness. The girls went to half-day gymnastics camp, which I always hope will mean I get to take a break. Instead, it really means a lot more driving around, and entertaining a wild little toddler on my own, without the help of the older girls. Then, this morning, I proceeded to get immensely sick (headache, dizziness, throwing up … the whole deal).
Needless to say, it’s been a rough week. I look around my house, and it’s a bit of a mess. I am grateful for help I received getting ready for the party last weekend, for my husband being able to come home today and take care of the kids, and also for the packing party we have been doing!
If you haven’t been following the series, you may wonder what a packing party is, or how we have modified it for families. A packing party is the key in this series to decluttering your home fast! You may want to read this post here to get caught up, then come on back: Decluttering and Minimalism for Families: It Doesn’t Have to be so Hard
Without the packing party and the decluttering we have already done, I wouldn’t just be looking at a “bit of a mess.” I imagine it would look like a full-blown hurricane went through here this week. Maybe you know what I am talking about? 🙂
We did not get a new area of the house packed this week (why not, right?), so I decided to take a minute to post some questions you have asked since this series started.
Questions About the Packing Party for Families and Decluttering
Question: What do I do with all the boxes?
This is a great question, especially if you are living in a small amount of space, with no basement or very little storage. The main goal is getting things packed into boxes, and as much out of the way as possible. You want to be able to experience what it’s like with less. In our kitchen, I found the easiest way to store everything was to put it in smaller boxes, and put them on top of the cabinets. They are out of the way, and basically out of sight, but still easy to get to if needed.
If you have a closet, or a set of shelves you could put in a corner somewhere, these could work. Get creative – can you store boxes behind the couch, under the beds, or just stacked neatly in one corner? Boxes that are all the same size and shape, if you can get them, stack much more neatly.
If you have larger items you know you don’t want, go ahead and get rid of them. Or see if a friend could take some items off your hands for a while. Could some of your boxes go in someone else’s garage or basement for a short time?
You should be able to find a place to stack everything (remember, it is just temporary), since it all fit in your house before. Just do your best to get it out of the way.
Question: Where should I store off-season clothing?
You could keep all of your clothing in the same place if there is room, or find some other place for off-season clothing.
I used to keep a three-drawer organizer in the basement with off-season clothes. Now I have minimized so much that all my clothes are in the closet, and my winter jackets/coats just stay in our coat closet. I wear a lot of the same clothes in winter, but with layers over them as needed. I definitely prefer having them all in one place, and not having to switch them out every season.
Question: How long are you going to keep things packed up?
In the packing party video (see it here), Ryan Nicodemus says he kept everything packed up for three weeks. Since it’s going to take us 5-6 weeks just to pack everything, I am only planning to wait a week after the last box is packed. You could even take a break from packing and go ahead and get rid of some stuff if you want. Just wait at least three weeks after packing a room to re-open the boxes.
Question: What if I get rid of something, then need it again?
I can definitely understand the “I might need it one day” mindset. My husband and I had a rough start financially, and I dealt with it by keeping EVERYTHING. We probably wouldn’t have the money to re-buy something later if I got rid of it.
What I found is, there are ways to buy most things inexpensively used or at a discount (or sometimes even get them for free), and that is pretty much how we purchase everything in our house. So if we get rid of something that cost us $2 used, there’s a pretty good chance I can find another inexpensive one later (or even borrow one).
I also think there are very few things that we don’t need and get rid of, and then end up needing later.
Question: What will you do with the items you decide to get rid of, throw out, donate, or sell?
In the past, we have tried to sell a lot of the things we got rid of. It’s hard to just let something go, especially if you are in a tough financial position. But I also found that the hours and hours spent trying to sell things are often much more time than they’re worth. I could spend all of that time doing some other job, and make much more money!
Last year, we had a one-day yard sale that was super-easy, and made us some money quickly and easily. We advertised it as a “Pay What You Want Sale,” (which is an easy way to not have to price everything). We basically dragged everything out to the driveway, put prices on a few larger items that we wanted to get a minimum price for, and everything else was literally “Pay-what-you-want!” If someone came up to us and offered two dollars for a stack of books, we said “sure.” If someone offered $20 for something we would have priced at $10, great! We actually didn’t have anyone low-ball us. I figured if someone did, maybe they really needed the item.
This time around, I plan to make a big stack of all the things we are getting rid of, and pick out 5-10 items that are worth selling. I can realistically make time to sell that many items, and if I pick the ones that will sell easily for a bit of money, it will be worth the time and effort.
Anything that is used up, broken, or completely worn out is going in the trash, and everything else will be donated.
Question: What other areas of the house are you going to cover?
In the rest of the series, I’ll be going through our homeschool room, basement storage area, laundry room, bathroom, and office (which is actually not yet set up – it’s just a pile of accumulated stuff.)
Hopefully, I was able to answer all your questions. If you think of anything else you want to know, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or post questions in the comments!
I’d also love to hear if you have tried the packing party idea yet, and how it is going for you!
See the previous posts in this series here:
- Decluttering and Minimalism for Families: It Doesn’t Have to be so Hard
- Packing Party in the Kitchen! Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #2)
- Stop Toy Clutter for Good | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #3)
- How to Declutter Kids Clothing with a Capsule Wardrobe | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #4)
- Minimizing our Master Bedroom + Toddler Items | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #5)
See the next posts in the series here:
- Finding “Hygge” and Decluttering the Living Room | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #7)
- Decluttering the Books! | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #8)
- 14 Alternatives to DVDs, CDs, and Media Clutter! | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #9)
- The Art of Letting Go | Minimalism and Decluttering for Families (Post #10)