For six years now, we have lived in this house. Do you know what that means? We have had six years to successfully fill our unfinished and relatively large basement with junk.
Aren’t basements notorious for that? “Out of sight, out of mind,” right? Once we added kids into the mix, it only got worse.
As a new mom, I thought I needed it all! Oddly enough, that wipe warmer that I couldn’t live without saw more attention in the past week from Reagan who used it as a secret compartment.
Burp rags, bibs, onesies, sleepers, playpens, crib, toddler bed, walker, swing — all could not find their way to the basement fast enough when we were finished with them. And let’s not even talk about the high chair that I apparently did not give a good scrubbing before I moved it down there and, let’s just say it may have cucumbers from 2015 still rotting on it.
I haven’t even mentioned the clothes yet. Other than holiday outfits, I am not sure my children have worn the same outfit twice. Please don’t mistake my clutter complaints for ungratefulness. Almost all that I have alluded to have been hand-me-downs or garage sale finds (or my sitter feeling it necessary to spoil my babies), and I am so thankful to have been blessed with all of these items.
But what in the heck do I do with it when we pass that stage? I pack it in the basement.
And it became a normal obstacle to work around until, slowly but surely, I didn’t even realize all that stuff was down there. I looked past it, even ignored it. My “workout” area continually shrank in size and often times got covered with Reagan’s next size of clothes that totally needed unboxed but could wait another month or two so I just sorted out my favorites that Maylie wore.
A space that once held the opportunity to host a get-together that swelled past our main floor quickly became an off-limit territory. And I didn’t even notice.
Until the other day, when I did.
And I went on a rampage. My baby is almost 4 and I still have paci holders, bottles and diapers. I was over it! In one day, I packed up 10 industrial strength construction bags of kid clothes and phoned a friend who runs a community center to set up a drop-off time.
I felt no remorse at that time — I was over the clutter. It wasn’t until it was all packed up and I was driving it over that it hit me. In the bed of the truck sat my kids first outfit, those darn button sleepers that Paul could never line up right, the bibs that caught all their spit up, the Pack ‘n Play that served as their bed for months so they could sleep beside me.
Almost bringing me to tears, the sadness crept in, like I was finally admitting that my babies were not babies anymore. I contemplated turning around. My basement would just house all of this forever. But, I was positive that my husband, who lugged most of the bags up from the basement, through the house, and into the truck, would disown me.
It was time.
When I pulled into the parking lot, unloaded with the help of my friend, took a tour of the facility and heard about the amazing things this place was doing in our community, my sadness turned to joy.
I noticed that there were not many kid’s clothes displayed — she mentioned they go so fast. Ten huge bags of kids clothes, y’all! My kid’s clothes are going to help clothe babies that need it.
Someone now has extra outfits for their little one. Someone now has a safe place for their baby to sleep. Not only that, but the Christian Corner Community Center now has a changing table for their guests to use.
So, as you are spring cleaning these next couple of months, if you can, please find it in your heart to give it away. If you are not sure where to go, start at the Christian Corner Community Center. Melissa will make sure your items find a loving home. (If you are feeling called to do extra, the center could always use canned fruit and Kool-Aid packets as well).
Not only will you feel the freedom of decluttering your home but you get to experience the feeling of making a difference in the lives of so many. And truly, what good are those items even doing in your basement? Pack it up, donate it and listen to Jesus.
“Whatever you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me.” — Matthew 25:40
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.