Monday, December 14, 2009

Cleaning house = Lots of stocking stuffers

I've already gone over budget on Christmas presents for the kids. I do it every single year, much to Tim's dismay.

This year, there is simply no money left for stocking stuffers. But, not to worry, I always seem to have something up my sleeve.

Yesterday, I spent a good majority of my day cleaning house. And by cleaning house, I mean....going through closets clearing them out of clothes that don't fit anymore, cleaning out drawers and cabinets, organizing the garage....you get the picture.

While cleaning, I discovered many things that had either been lost awhile ago or simply forgotten about. Ironically, all these things were small enough to fit into a Christmas stocking...imagine that?

Here's a list of things I found, which will find their way into my children's stockings this year:

-- a new tube of chapstick that I found at the back of my vanity drawer
-- 4 toothbrushes given to us by the dentist, which we had forgotten about
-- 4 tiny tubes of toothpaste also give by the dentist
-- 3 Hot Wheels cars that were under the stove
-- 2 Thomas the Train tank engines that were also under the stove
-- 4 mini bouncey balls I found at the back of various closets
-- a never-opened deck of cards that had been pushed to the back of a drawer
-- 2 Barbie dolls that were behind a dresser
-- a Hannah Montana pen which was on the side of the dryer
-- 4 Pez dispensers from last Christmas which were in a storage bin
-- a handful of pencils and erasers found under the sofa and in cushions
-- several packages of stickers stuffed in the back of a drawer
-- 2 never-opened packages of Lightning McQueen temporary tatoos
-- 2 new bottles of sparkly nail polish in back of vanity drawer

So, you see, cleaning your house can pay off in more ways than you think. Your house will be spotless (for a couple hours, anyway) and you'll have found enough stocking stuffers to fill not only your children's stockings but probably also the neighborhood children's stockings. Throw a couple candy canes in there and call it a day.

Then pat yourself on the back....and cross those two things off of your to-do list. This is my idea of frugal living, at its best.

Memorable conversation of the day:

Cole: Bella, do you think there's a Boogeyman in our closet?
Bella: No, the Boogeyman lives in the sky.
Cole: He does?!
Bella: Yeah...he lives in the sky with the man in the moon and a bunch of shooting stars.
Cole: Wow, that's awesome!

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41 comments:

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

What a very smart thing to do for the stocking stuffers! I always thought the Boogeyman lived under the bed!

M said...

Well after watching Christmas Wubbzy my kids are getting underwear in their stockings, for sure ... I'd do your thing but I don't think could handle going through the clutter in my house ... I ignore it as much as possible ... to actually have to face it would probably push me over the edge.

You need a dog ... they would never allow stale PEZ to exist in the house ... in fact any abandoned food source is quickly dealt with ...

:) Have a good day !!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I have a drawer, that all the little doo dads won at various chucky sleezes around the universe sit in. I'll lend it to you for next christmas. Then you won't have to clean.

blueviolet said...

That was real buried treasure! Pirates ain't got nothin' on you!

Shell said...

What a smart idea! I haven't bought anything for the boys' stockings yet. Usually, it's socks and underwear in there. Not exciting, but they don't care.

Btw, I love your quote when people say that you have your hands full. I hear that all the time, with my 3 boys, who were born within a 3.5 year span. I shorten what you say and just say "better full than empty." But, I like what you say about the heart.

Creative Junkie said...

See now, this would not work for me because lint and dust bunnies and various pieces of food do not make for good stocking stuffers.

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

AWESOME finds! I will have to get busy cleaning!

Michelle said...

Glad to know I am not the only one who goes over budget every single year!

This year I blame hubby and buying me an expensive ($150) present. After that I said, "screw it" and bought the kids the one thing from Santa that I thought would make them most happy. I hate being a push over of a parent! I did try to reign in the rest of the spending. Besides their Santa gift ($100) they are only getting a $40 used TV from Craigslist (so they can watch movies upstairs, right now we only have 1 TV in our house by choice) and 1 DS game each plus a few trinkets for their stockings. Keeping Christmas under control is a difficult task!

Mighty M said...

I am glad your kids have such a resourceful mama!!

Brooke said...

i need to come shopping at your house!! :)

Mayhem and Moxie said...

I still have shopping to do, Helene. You really should have called me. I would have gladly swung by and been your maid for the day in exchange for all this swag!

Well done! The kids are going to have a rockin' holiday this year.

Jen said...

Now that is just great. Maybe I can find some presents for my kids too.

Laura said...

What a great idea. Maybe I should see what I can find around here.

Neo said...

lol@ brooke.

i thot the bogeyman lived under the bed too, well kids are experts on these things...

MamaOtwins+1 said...

Wow - can you clean our house and find me some stocking stuffers?

I love the boogyman theory - wish I'd thought of that.

I posted an award for you today!

Heather Kephart said...

Helene, that is brilliant!!! It's funny, but really - what a good idea! :)

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

That collection sounds like what's in the backseat of my car! I should go through it for stocking stuffers as well! Great idea :)

Nezzy said...

What a resourceful mama your kiddos have. Let us know it they recognize any of the suffers! I love the boogie man comment at the end!!!

Have a fun day!!!

Eva Gallant said...

Hey---great job and great idea! You were just ahead of me on SITS this morning....but I waould have dropped by anyway! Now I hope you'll return the favor! lol

Serendipity said...

I wish that would work at my house - just dust here! Visiting from SITS :)

Heather said...

Great idea! I bet they will be totally surprised by all of it as if it's the first time they've seen it!

Karen said...

Wow! It sounds like those stockings are gonna be stuffed fuller than if you'd gone out and bought stuff for them!

I wonder if my mom ever did that...

The Mother said...

I had to lift my couch the other day to get something that had fallen under it.

I hate to admit that I found things from the boys' childhoods; like, decades ago.

Clearly, I'm a terrible housekeeper. But if I gave them back that stuff, I'd probably get committed.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Clever idea for the stocking stuffers!!
I do adore your children's awesome conversation!!!!
I look forward for MORE!!
hugs hugs

Jenna said...

Ha ha ha, what a great idea, maybe I could find a few paci's here and there.

I am hosting a Holiday Treats week all week long so please stop by and share a favorite and/or check out the others.

Kaleena said...

Teach me O wise one!!!! Finding stocking stuffers that you already own? That's talent if I do say so myself!!!

Theta Mom said...

I need to clean my house for some stocking stuffers! lol

Paula @ Organizing Tips For Moms said...

love it! i bet we can all find little surprises. as long as they are in stockings or wrapped up, i think my kids would go for it.

shortmama said...

Nothing better than regiving forgotten toys...love it!!

Menopausal New Mom said...

That's brilliant about the stocking stuffers! Wow a few chocolates and you will be good to go. Good advice too about the boogeyman, I may have to borrow that once my daughter starts asking questions about him. Thanks!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Once again, you are my hero...I'm going digging right now. I know I'll find some Thomas trains somewhere. Perfect size for those stockings. Good thinking girl!

KK said...

Good to know, I can stop being afraid of my closet!

Twins Squared said...

Wow! I'm impressed! I can't think of anything for the little girls. I've been organizing too. Under order from the hubby. Not that he's wrong but he needs to chill out. Still, we are trying to clear the way for the new stuff about to come in. Big family (extended too) means way more than we need.

Erin said...

What a fabulous idea, Helene! Now if I can just get my act together to clean out stuff everywhere...wanna come over & help me?!

Amy W said...

I'm jealous - more because your house is clean than the stash you found. That was just bonus points!! :)

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Hey now, that is a great idea!!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

What a great idea!

What a great blog! I am following you from MBC!

LucidLilith said...

It's official. You're the smartest mom of the decade!!!

Corrie Howe said...

All I could think of was that Boogeyman must be having a good time with Lucy in the sky with diamonds too.

Have I dated myself? Do you know what I'm talking about?

The Lane Family said...

That is the perfect plan!! I love all of the items that you found and there are some great ones that have never even been used.

Great moms must think a like because when we moved a few months back I found several items that were new and never used or that Aidan will have forgotten about and the girls will have no clue so I put them aside for Christmas as well.

I think Mom's that come up with these great ideas should get an extra day off...wow who gets a day off???

2 Toddlers and Me said...

Very resourceful!

It's all about being creative.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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