Monday, December 8, 2008


Do you all remember The Chore Whore?

Yeah, I know, we hated that bitch.

She's back though. She appeared over the weekend when I looked at the pile of gifts waiting to be wrapped and then looked around the house, which is bursting at the seams with toys and their pieces, and she said "OH, HELLZ NO you're not bringing more crap into this mess!!"

"But, I'm so very busy," I protested. "I'm doing so much for work. I don't want to spend any extra time cleaning up."

So being crafty like she is, The Chore Whore and I came up with a compromise and the start of a holiday tradition. The Week of Purging.

(Not puking, we'll work on getting skinny next year.)

Every day this week, we're getting rid of crap and you're invited to join us.

Get a box or bin and put it by the front door. Grab a garbage bag. Set your timer (at least 15 minutes per day, that is a perfectly reasonable and doable amount for all of us) and start throwing stuff away or throwing it in the charity bin.

At first it will be a little bit hard. Especially with the kids' stuff. You'll pause with an item and remember that your child still plays with this occasionally, or has had it for so long. Three questions:

1. Does it annoy you?
2. Will a toy with a similar play value be under the tree this year?
3. Are you sick of seeing this on the family room floor?

If you answer yes to any of the above, put it in the bin and don't look back. (It's best to do this when the kids are either gone or occupied.) The more you start putting in the bin, the easier it will get.

We have a million playsets that come with different little figures and my kids love the figures but the sets themselves don't get used that much--well, I'm keeping the figures and accessories and getting rid of the sets. Not my responsibility to keep all this shit united.

In fact, I'm throwing away all of our puzzles except for the two that have the pieces intact. I can't tell you the joy it brings me to throw those random little alphabet pieces straight into the garbage.

I did two large garbage bags and a big pile of charity stuff yesterday, and I will continue for 15 minutes each day, just a quick sort and purge. You can too!

Then when Santa and friends bring new toys and pieces to litter the house with, it won't hurt quite as bad.


Stephanie said...

Oh we do that here in Misadventure Manor.

We call it the "wine and walk." Well, Mr. Newlywed calls it that.

I walk through the apartment every evening for about 2 weeks with a glass [or 4] of wine picking up things we don't need and throwing them in separate bags we keep by the patio door.

Mr. Newlywed is then responsible to get these bags to the appropriate facility.

Alcohol makes it much more fun. I promise.

Anonymous said...

I think Mrs Newlywed has the right idea!

You've also been tagged!

Caitlin said...

That's a fabulous idea! I think I'm going to hit that up when I'm home for Christmas. God knows my sewing piles are way too ginormous.

Katie Ryan said...

Sounds like a great idea. I'll try to get off the couch and purge, too.

Anonymous said...

We did a toy purge for my son this weekend. It only took 15 minutes and now I don't feel so bad about filling his room up with more crap.

~Gretchen~ said...

we have a giant bag that the kids help me fill with broken and unwanted toys that we leave for santa to return to his workshop. the elves fix them up and find the missing parts and give them out to boys and girls the next year.

Tiffany said...

Great idea - I do this all year though so I don't plan to make it a specail thing right now. Even though we are moving on the 29th of this month so maybe I'll try to step it up a notch - just for you - and my sanity LOL. I like the Chore Whore!

Just remember you can freecycle some of that misc stuff your throwing away!!

The Naughty One said...

I purge about every 3 months. If it hasn't been used/needed/played with/looked for or in any other way crossed my mind in the past 3 months, it goes out the damn door!

Maddnessofme said...

You would love to have me as a child. I was born with OCD, and kept all my toys organized, indexed, and safely stored. If somebody even touched one of my Barbie accessories, I knew it.

I scare the hell out of people with this now.

Anonymous said...

Beat ya to it! I did that all last week (after they spent the whole Thanksgiving break destroying the house and leaving their stuff all over). I even got rid of about 20 movies. It's all still in the back of the van though, I have yet to bring it to the shelter.

I do this every couple of months also, for toys and clothes. We have a small house and too many grandparents. Sometimes, those grandparents get a bag of surprises brought back to their houses.

We try to live simply around here, mainly for space reasons, but also so that I don't raise a bunch of spoiled brats. It helps my sanity to not have a bunch of junk laying around, and makes my chores a lot easier too.

KatBouska said...

Yes yes YES! I am SO with you on this one!!!!

Unknown said...

I am with you, as well.

Rachel said...

I feel ya girl! I go thru this probably monthly as I look around and snap...I can't stand all the crap laying around, it's insane.

Missives From Suburbia said...

I'd love to join you, but I do this monthly. I can't handle clutter and with another kid joining the ranks of the clutterees any day now, I can't afford to fall behind. (You know, since I'm the only member of the family who de-clutters.)

Mel said...

Personally, I'm a big fan of the Chore Whore. She makes a regular appearance in this home! And I am totally with you on the purging. Christmas is coming and we simply don't have the room, unless we want the toys to take over yet another room. It is hard chucking some of the kid's toys, but actually having room to put new toys sometimes lessens the blow. And it is not like the kids are hurting for toys. But there are kiddos that are, so that also lessens the sting of giving away toys.

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

A crafter with a glue gun could make good use of those random little alphabet pieces and incomplete puzzles - just put them in ziplock bags and chuck them in the charity bin (we have to pay for our garbage here...)

Whenever I do a big clear-out, I add something to the "do not buy" list. Magazines, DVD's, random electronic equipment that I know I'll never lose.

Of course, I don't have kids, so it's easier to stick to those kinds of rules...

Red said...

I've been doing that here for the last month. Went through all the Christmas crap that I no longer put, my books, FGG's video game/ESPN magazines, you name it.

Of course, the Chore Whore going through my closet and getting rid of the stuff I'll never wear/is really unfashionable has left La Petite with a very very small wardrobe. : (