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Spending nearly a year of my life pregnant and anticipating the arrival of what would be our last child, I had been holding a lot of things from when our first child was born to see if I would need them again. Plastic crates filled my closets and basement, and finally I got to the point where things just needed to go. I did some purging in the days before my son arrived as an exercise in trying to get my mind off the impending delivery. But now, seeing as how I couldn’t walk around my house without tripping over something, I needed to make another pass.

There’s a great idea in organization that if an object doesn’t give you joy, you should be rid of it. As the child of two compulsive hoarders, I find getting rid of most everything a joy in and of itself. Luckily, I had a few days left before my return to work, so getting rid of stuff felt like I was walking through the door without the weight of the nonsense I kept around me.

I organize by going room by room, creating four piles: keep, trash, donate/recycle/shred, and “not mine” (e.g., stuff that needs my husband’s or son’s permission to get rid of). Then when everything’s sorted, I begin putting the piles where they belong and soon enough I either run out of steam or am done. Either way, the catharsis is real, orderliness is restored to the universe and I’m a happy camper.