our weekend of de-cluttering (part 2 of many)

On Monday, March 14, instead of accomplishing a single thing on my To-Do List, I read Organized Simplicity from cover to cover. (Part 1 here)

On Friday, Nina and I watched my friend Val’s adorable 8-month-old, Sean, for a few hours and then headed to Target for some vinegar and hydrogen peroxide and cheap spray bottles and a toilet brush and I can’t remember what else.

Gabe was out of town until after midnight, so as soon as the girls got home from school, we DOVE IN. (Actually, Nina and I started an hour or so earlier.)

They were so excited. (Nuts, I know.) We did the living room first (just like Tsh says). They spot-cleaned the couches. We dusted. Moved furniture. Cleaned out the game cupboard. Pared down my books. I’m getting rid of a TON.

Example: I loooove old books, but I have a new rule: I only keep them if they were published in the 1800’s.

Another example: I have a lot of Bible study books, “self-help” books, marriage/parenting books, books I’ve inherited. I have a new vision/purpose for the rest of my life here on this earth, and many of those books no longer fit who I am/where I’m going (I’ll explain more when I share our Family Purpose Statement.).

We washed walls and vacuumed and rearranged all the wooden animals Gabe’s mom brought us home from Africa, brought a couple globes into the living room (hint, hint re: our purpose). Whew. It doesn’t look a ton different, but I can tell.

Ate snacks for dinner (when Daddy’s away, we girlies snack and play).

Tackled the kitchen next. Cleaned out the fridge, ALL of the cupboards. Tossed a ton of stuff we will NEVER eat, my spice rack that I NEVER use, some random appliances, dishes, utensils. Whew.

Drove to McDonald’s at 9:30pm for 4 small caramel frappes. Came home and watched Blue Planet (ocean documentary) on Netflix and cuddled on the couch. Bed.

Saturday: BATHROOMS.

We did the downstairs half-bath first. Not too bad. Then we headed upstairs. Gulp.

We have lived in our house for almost 5 years. A record for us. DOUBLE the longest we’ve lived anywhere else (as a married couple). I can count on ONE HAND the times I have deep-cleaned the upstairs bathroom. It. Was. AWFUL. And I was paralyzed by fear and it just kept getting worse.

The girls and I attacked the floor and tub with vinegar and baby wipes and hydrogen peroxide and Q-tips and toothbrushes. We worked hard, took breaks, worked hard.

Honestly, there’s still a little work to be done. But I can’t tell you what a GIGANTIC burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE to clean/scrub things. HATE it. Laundry I LOVE, but cleaning? UGH.

We also tackled all three bedrooms. The girls were amazing. Getting rid of crap left and right. Unreal.

We hadn’t really nailed down our purpose statement at that point, but we talked about what we want to spend the next 8-10 years doing and decided that a lot of our stuff was superfluous and would, in no way, help us achieve our dreams.

Gabe won a Pei Wei gift card on Twitter (I know!), so we dropped Livi off at a sleepover at 7pm and the rest of us ate some yummy Asian cuisine. As I scooped some food onto my plate, I felt a nasty pain in my neck. Pulled a muscle scrubbing the tub no doubt (see? nothing good can come of cleaning the bathroom!).

Sunday was a day of rest. And today I had lots to do. SO, the office, front entrance, basement, and garage await.

We have a pile a mile high in the basement of stuff we’re getting rid of. I promised Gabe NO MORE YARD SALES, so it’s all going to the thrift store.

Seriously. I feel so free.

What’s your story??

22 thoughts on “our weekend of de-cluttering (part 2 of many)

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » the urge to purge

  2. Jen Hanson

    I. NEED. This. Book.

    Definitely looking into getting a copy soon! Your post made me giddy just thinking about de-cluttering again. Even though I purged my closets a few months back there is still SO MUCH stuff I want to go through and get rid of! (Being in Africa for two weeks only confirmed that desire to purge.)

  3. MaDonna

    We are getting ready to move (in 3 months!), so I’m going to order this book NOW! (Well, after I submit my message).

    I told my husband about your part 1 about the family purpose. HE. Is. On. Board. This. Boat! He thinks it’s brilliant. So, while we are starting to pack the boxes, I’m really thinking about if it helps move us in the direction we want to go or not.

  4. Denise

    Stop inspiring me to clean and de clutter…I want to read this book you read (are reading?) I have been cleaning slowly but surely and purging too, but there are some areas I just don’t want to dive into…too big and scary if you ask me!

    But now, now you’ve just had to go and show me up and tackle the “gulp” bathrooms – I HATE cleaning the bathroom.

    Anyways… I miss you and Ali has your jar

  5. Nina

    I so want to deep-clean! I actually enjoy cleaning when I have time to get into it (it’s like feeding cakes and candy to my inner perfectionist), but I get home so late each night that it’s all I can do to make dinner and get the dishes into the dishwasher.

    Enjoyed reading about how you and your girls worked together! Add me to the list of folks who want you to do their house next! 😉

  6. Sharon Meekins

    Hi Marla,

    This sounds like so much fun… 🙂 and sounds very rewarding. Thank you for sharing.

    Sending much love from Haiti,

  7. Mary

    Um ok. First things first. Remember how you JUST told me you were missing Texas? How about all 4 of you pretty ladies hop on a plane and come do the same thing at my house that you just did at yours! It would really help a mom out 🙂

    So proud of y’all!!!

  8. Jen Griffin

    Ok…gonna have to buy the book. Maybe since you don’t like to clean the bathroom…the girls can come help me?! Shan cleans the tub/shower. I just don’t like to do it!!!! ;( You have inspired me! I need this book!

  9. Sharon

    I am so with you. Laundry, no prob. Scrubbing? No thank you!!! I just cleaned the master bath tub last week. I had only cleaned it one or two times in the year that we’ve lived here. Perhaps it would be easier if I did it more often??? 😉 I definitely think you pulled a muscle in your neck by scrubbing the tub. It’s nearly impossible to reach all areas of the tub to clean it!

    I am sooo glad you read the book and are posting about it. We moved to our current home when I was very pregnant and working outside the home. So there was a lot of organizing, cleaning etc that did not get done. I’m hoping to remedy that over the next few weeks. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    P.S. Could your daughters make a trip to CO to help me???? 😉 My one year old is not gonna be of much help.

  10. jess

    ooooooooh…i LOVE it. this is super fun!! 🙂
    and way to go L, A & N!! I know it can be tough for kids to “get it” when it comes to getting rid of stuff…so good for you for teaching them & good for them for following through!!

  11. Anna

    Clearly I don’t type well at 2 AM. And, oh my gosh, I JUST saw I’m Anna! on your real-life friends. That’s right we are! And your comment about newborn Neil the other day…there will be a new little boy for you to love on while I’m chasing around toddler Neil. Oh me, oh my!

    Can’t wait for the move!

    (Well, I CAN, but I’m really excited about it…)

  12. Anna

    Marla! I am deep cleaning our house right now, too, and it’s so liberating. I haven’t ordered the Tsh book yet, but I’ve been going to her website for ideas and directions. I just about freaked yesterday when I saw your picture at the top!

    Thanks so always being so encouraging, leaving comments. I can’t wait to live close to you! God has a plan and I never dreamed WV would be part of His plan for us, but I’m ready and willing. And purging and packing this house up, while I can still move freely. My belly is only going to grow and grow these next few months.

    Yes, it’s 2 and I have insomnia, ha!

    Love you, Marla!

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