Time to maybe share a little bit about my family's challenges within this challenge to help you understand where I am coming from. The Celtic's Guide to Samhain Cleaning is based on our own home. It's a big freakin house, at least by my standards. Full eat-in kitchen (when there was a kitchen), a formal dining room, front living room, back living room, main level laundry, and a 1/2 bath; upstairs we have 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, and on top of all this a full basement, half of which our 21-year old son uses, the other half is storage and utilities. I'm sharing this with you, not to brag (quite frankly, I'm not a fan of big houses) but to say, for some of you, there may be days where the challenge is irrelevant to you. These days could be used to catch up on previous challenges, particularly for those with fulltime jobs and/or chronic illness that you are dealing with. Or perhaps to do some fall garden work, because honestly, I'm not planning to touch on the outdoors at all this time around. I'm also not bothering with the garage in this challenge (ours does not have room for vehicles, see below to learn why), nor will personal vehicles be included, which can always use a good fall tidy up I'm sure. So you could certainly use the days that turn out to be irrelevant to your situation for other areas not touched on over the next two weeks. Or, simply sit back, admire your handiwork thus far and take a much deserved break.
My other big challenge, the size of our house doesn't even begin to touch the amount of "stuff" we are working with. It was my hubby's parents' house, ergo, their stuff is here, 55 years and two kids of accumulation. Hubby moved in with his three kids thirteen years ago and whatever they could fit (the rest is still in a storage unit), another 25 years of a family accumulating. Two years ago I moved here and last spring I sold my modular home, I have four kids, the eldest being 28 (no, all seven kids do not live with us! We be crazy, not stupid! lol), so I have my 29 years of accumulated family crap, most is currently in storage. And apparently all of this isn't really enough to deal with, we had a flood back in February and our kitchen was destroyed. We've been dealing with no kitchen since then, we have a fridge, a stove and a rolling cart and most of the dishes and gadgets are in boxes. It's been an adventure, to say the least ;). Everyone has their own challenges though, mine are no more or less than anyone elses, we are here together to support each other through these, no judgement, no comparison. How about you, what are your special challenges that you are working through these two weeks?
While we are going through our things each day of the challenge we will likely come across a lot that is perfectly useable but so not needed, for various reasons (duplicates, don't fit, never use it, etc). There are so many ways we can share our abundance without filling the landfills. Make sure you have some boxes/bags for donating to the local shelter or charitable shop and your camera to snap pics for selling. The photos will be for anything with a decent dollar value which are no longer useful to us for whatever reason. Making a few bucks is not selfish! You did pay for these things with your hard earned money, while we may happily donate a pair of $30 shoes that are in good shape, but unless you're made out of money, the $300 boots only worn once, oh hell no! Remember me pretties, Goodwill, Kijiji and craigslist are our friends! Whether we are donating or selling, we are keeping it out of the garbage dumps and someone else will absolutely love that they will have warm toes this winter or found an amazing deal on a three-piece suit. Here is a list of links for places we can look to share the wealth.
- If you have a local Freecycle group near you, sign up (but do not get caught up in the offered items just yet!)
- Goodwill, often looking for donations.
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore, depending on the location some take building materials from working lights or plumbing, all the way to full kitchen cabinets. Most will take furniture and some take the smaller items as well. They're one of my favourite charities personally.
- Where I live some of the charities will pick up, such as The Boys & Girls Club. Some of these that their own fundraising shops or they sell to Value Village. They have large delivery trucks which can be a handy service, especially if you end up with more than fits in your car once we are all done.
- Local shelters for battered women or homeless youth or adults.
- Facebook buy and sell groups, find a local one and ask to join.
- Varage Sale, These are generally set up in smaller cities and towns but even if you are in a larger urban centre some will accept you if you live within 30 min drive of that particular town.
- Kijiji. I'm not sure if Kijiji is outside of Canada
- craigslist.org. A common online selling site.
- Local paper classifieds
- Host a rummage/yard/boot sale
Love & light,
Ps. A quick, cheap, and easy stain remover spray. Grab a clean spray bottle, any size will do but my favourite is from the local hardware store and holds about half a litre. Place 1 - 3 teaspoons of baking soda in the bottom, fill the bottle 2/3 full with hydrogen peroxide (do this slowly as the baking soda will react with the peroxide), leaving space at the top fill 1/3 with Dawn dishsoap (it must be Dawn, that shit is amazing for cutting grease!) Do NOT shake the bottle for obvious reasons, gently mix the ingredients together and you can use this on pretty much everything, including countertops, carpets, clothing, furniture, you name it, it is an amazing cleaner and will get damn near any stain out of anything. Oh, and with a bit more baking soda it makes a brilliant odour remover as well. Furbaby pee spots, sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda then spray your stain remover. Let it soak in, dry and then vacuum or wash as required.