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When you have kids, the battle between order and chaos at home can take place on many fronts. Ordering Disorder is about ways to fight domestic entropy with organizing tips, tricks, meal ideas and more.
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We recently moved to a new house and in the process I was vicious in my de-cluttering efforts. First in removing toys and extra ’stuff’ preparing our house for sale and then in the packing process when it became a lot easier to throw stuff into the car headed to our local Salvation Army thrift store than to carefully pack it for the moving truck. I was so vicious I even debated just giving away all our dishes rather than bother with boxes and packing paper and bubble wrap. This is either being lazy or a serious need to rid myself of extra stuff.
Even with the heartless trashing and donating I did before the move I still found myself filling the garage with more donations once we were settling into the new place. Fairly quickly I realized I wouldn’t even be able to get all this clutter into my car for the Salvation Army. Then a neighbor announced she’d be holding a yard sale and four more neighbors said they’d join in.
At the end of the weekend I had 120 extra dollars in my pocket and room in my garage for both cars. We haven’t had a garage since the winter of 1996 so this is big news, something I would have paid someone $120 to achieve.
You can find all sorts of tips for organizing a yard sale, the simplest in my opinion can be found here, here and here. As for my particular sale, I’m not going to lie, it takes time to organize your crap stuff to sell. You have to clean everything off a bit, price everything and spend a day at least outside dealing with a lot of people you may not normally want to deal with.
Like the lady who smelled faintly of cat urine and insulted my lovely barely used candlesticks as “ugly”. I’m sure she’s lovely, but smelly, in real life. However, in the scheme of a yard sale where I’m selling candlesticks which currently retail for $40 a piece for just $8 for the pair, she wasn’t someone I’d choose to spend my Saturday with is what I’m saying.
If you donate your extra clutter through out the year and get really hard nosed with yourself for the sale you won’t have as much to organize for the sale. If you can get your friends or neighbors to participate in your sale you’ll end up having a fun afternoon.
For our sale in particular my neighbor put together a binder with dividers marking pages to track each neighbor’s sales with all the money being collected in one pot. Each person had unique tags and when an item sold the tag was put on their specific sales page with what the item was for our personal information. I thought this was an incredibly effective method and one I wouldn’t have thought of.
Another neighbor set up my daughter and her oldest daughter at a table with lemonade and cookies. This is something in our old neighborhood my daughter was dying to do and I refused to allow because of the registered sex offender (victim under 15! Wooo!) two doors down. Their sale netted $12 in non sex offender dollars.
My daughter decided she’d like to sell a few items herself to save up for yet another stuffed animal. Stuffed animals drive me so crazy my head explodes, they reproduce using the contents of my brain as stuffing. I swear this is true. Using another neighbor’s tip I told her she could buy another stuffed animal with the money from her sale, as long as she put stuffed animals in the sale.
To weed through them (and cut their numbers in half) we pulled them all out and did a one for one sort, one for sale and one for keeps. I love this method because it truly helped her to evaluate each animal and it’s value to her. At the end of the trade off, she realized she may have been hasty putting the small bear with the “I Am Hott!” t shirt into the ‘keep’ pile, so she traded it out for one of her larger animals. We’ll use this method again in November as her birthday approaches and I may very well sit my husband down with his t shirts for a little one for one trade off.
September and the start of school is, for many families, more the start of the new year than the actual calendar new year. This is especially true for me because my birthday is in early September as well. I always feel an intense desire to get everything in order as we start the school year but this year it’s been intensified further by the move and unpacking.
Unloading all the extraneous items from our house has invigorated me for the school year. As I tossed certain knick knacks, my husband watched with terror in his eyes. “But! We’ve always had that hanging in the kitchen!” Yes, and we’ll find something we like even more to replace it.
Now we have to tackle the growing school paperwork and scheduling chaos. My daughter has been in school for the last 5 years and I thought I had a grip on it. Suddenly adding a first grader to the mix has resulted to kitchen counters and dining room tables stacked with paper.
Next week we’ll be looking for inspiration and I’ll be tackling the project as well because there has to be a better way. If there’s not the kids have to go to boarding school.
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