Making room for a growing ohana

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Good news! My husband and I are expecting baby No. 2, who we found out is a boy. He will be here this July, and we could not be any more excited to add him to our family. While we anticipate some craziness (our baby girl, Lina, is now 18 months and the definition of a wild child), we both feel that chaos helps to make a house a home.

Part of prepping for baby’s arrival is clearing out some space. Baby items can quickly accumulate, and so, too, can our own things. Right now, we are storing some of what should go in the kitchen in the bedrooms, and we have taken advantage of every inch in every piece of double-duty furniture that we have. It is time to pare down and toss. You can do it, too. Start with these items:

• Books. I am guilty of stockpiling books for later — textbooks, novels, pregnancy and baby books — and I have not opened a single one in the past year. Sell your books online or donate them to your local library.

• Knives. Toss the ones you no longer use or those that have dulled. Dull knives are dangerous, and if you don’t use them, you don’t need them. Wrap them in cardboard before tossing or donating.

• Medicine. My cousin came for a visit when she had just found out she was expecting. She ended up needing some over-the-counter meds while she was here. I decided to hold on to them after she left, in case anyone else needed them. Her baby just turned two, and I have never used the meds, nor has anyone else in my house. When tossing medication, there are some you can flush and some you cannot. Check the Food and Drug Administration’s website for recommendations on how to properly dispose of medications.

• To-go items. Let go of the individually wrapped utensils, single-use condiments, and even those plastic containers you swear you’ll use one day.

• Old spice. While visiting a relative recently, Lina decided to empty our relative’s spice cabinet. As she shook up the spices and even poured some of them out, I noticed that certain bottles looked very old. I started perusing the expiration dates and found some that dated all the way back to 1991! Some spices can live beyond their years, but I like to play it safe and toss based on the expiration dates.

• Linens. We have six cubbies and a shelf dedicated to towels, blankets and bed-sheets. Luckily, animal shelters are willing to accept these items and can often use more.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisin@gmail.com.