Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Mystery Monster Bin

Since I'm currently working 20 hours a week while job hunting, I've got some time on my hands to tackle some of those pesky home projects that irritate and annoy me, but are never high enough on my priority list to take on.

Like the closets.

We have a closet under our basement stairs that is overflowing with...well, crap. It's where we store our suitcases (frequently accessed), wrapping paper and other gifting accouterments (also frequently accessed), paint supplies (never accessed) and scrapbooking supplies (why did I spend all that money on that stuff again?).

And, of course, the mystery box.

The mystery box is a huge green plastic bin that is so monstrous that in order to get it out of the closet, you have to empty the closet. Which, of course, never happens.

Until this past week.

I dragged every last little plastic container, suitcase, scrapbook supply and paint brush out to get to the monster box, only to find a trip down memory lane when I opened it.

Back when my girls were super little and their drawers overflowing with clothes because they were growing so quickly, I had stored away summer clothes for both of the girls, thinking that perhaps one or the other would fit into them yet the following summer. Then the next summer I wondered where all the clothes had gone, but couldn't find the clothes in any of the normal storage places (obviously forgetting about the monster bin). I had to buy Marissa new clothes anyway because she was practically wearing the same size as Lindsey anyways, and I promptly forgot about the missing clothes.

It seemed like only a couple of years ago that I was wondering where those clothes went, but by the size 3T and 4T clothing in the bin, it was clearly longer ago than a few years.

Snippets of summer lifted out of the box, a piece at a time, of warm summer days, ice cream cones and painting projects.

I was going to take some pictures of the clothes, but it's not the clothes that are important, it's what my kids did in them that make them memorable.
Marissa watering the tree.

Lindsey squishing I don't know what. 
Marissa playing with water. (Always with the water, that one.)
Lindsey posing in front of gifts for her cousin Nicole's bridal shower.
Lindsey reading and and Marissa playing footsie...with her own feet.
Every single outfit in every one of these photos was in that box, in such adorable littleness that I hadn't even folded them, they were so tiny.

I took them all out and smiled at them. Marissa was home the day I was looking through them, and she remembered certain favorite dresses, skirts and tops. We enjoyed the memories for a while, then we let them go.

I sorted through them all into two piles -- one for consignment and one to donate. I was able to consign 39 pieces of clothing, pretty impressive considering how they reject anything with stains or rips. Those must've been the clothes that only Lindsey wore, because if they had ever made their way to Marissa they would definitely be in the donate pile.

What the consignment shop didn't accept went back into the monster bin, and the entire thing went to Goodwill. There were four garbage bags of kids clothing still in the bin when it went to Goodwill, just to give you an idea of how big this bin was.

It felt so good to get rid of that huge bin, to purge ourselves of the stuff we don't need.  We will never lose the memories, even though the clothes themselves are gone.

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