So apparently I am on a kick with getting the “stuff” out of my life. I downsized when I moved to Oregon and I have kept up the desire to continue getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t serve a real purpose in my life.
My first purge was following the rule of a third. That wasn’t super difficult. I had moments of panic but really a lot of the stuff that went on the first purge was just stuff that needed to leave anyways and I already knew it.
I learned during that purge and the subsequent months after that I don’t need a lot and spending money on “stuff” was just filling a void in other areas of my life. So I turned over a new leaf and became mindful about why I wanted to buy something and significantly curbed my spending habits. My bank account has breathed a sigh of relief!
I then helped family move and downsize as well and it just pushed me to purging more at my own place. I want to know exactly what I have in my house and I want to know that it has a business being there.
I have learned 5 new things during this purge. Hopefully it will be helpful to you as well!
- If you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in 6 months–you won’t wear it . . . guaranteed!
- Know what is in your file drawers. I bet you have more items saved for the “just in case” scenario then you actually need.
- If you have to purchase a container to store items that will have an eventual use; you probably don’t need any of it. Case in point–I have a container of recipe books apart from the 2 cupboards in the kitchen that have recipe books. Do you know how often I look at cookbooks when I have Pinterest at my fingertips? Next to never.
- Just because you have empty drawers in a dresser doesn’t mean they need to be filled with stuff. In fact, get rid of the dresser if you don’t really need it.
- Organize and collect your similar items so you know exactly how much you have of something. I hadn’t really unpacked my jewelry since moving which means I wasn’t wearing any of it. If I wanted to wear something–I went and bought it new. I finally unpacked and organized all of my jewelry and realized that I could purge at least a 1/3 of it and I definitely don’t need anymore at this time.
Yes, you heard me correctly—I am purging again. My sister asked if I had anything left to purge and unfortunately the answer is yes. It was good to go through the initial purge and get the clutter out. Now that the clutter is gone, I can think and look through the items that are left. That has led me to this second purging and an old saying from the Great Depression—
Use it Up
Wear it Out
Make it Do
or Do Without
So here are 5 ways I plan to tackle the new purging round.
- Use it Up: Group everything together that is the same thing and start using it. For example: I am a sucker at Sephora and I buy items that I don’t need (especially when it comes to hair products). Over time those items started piling up and now I can open my own hair salon. Grouping the items together in one place showed me the whole picture—I had too much stuff. So I have started from the top and am working my way through, one product at a time until they are all gone. Once I have a bin that is empty, then I can go buy something new.
- Wear it Out: No one wants to use or wear things that look tattered and old but we live in a society where we use things a couple of times and move on to something that is newer and supposedly better. This is where it is nice to have the skill of sewing for instance. I have fixed numerous items and been able to make them last a lot longer. This keeps me from overspending on clothes and also helps me see that I don’t need 4 black sweaters.
- Make it Do: Keeping in line with the above comment about getting something newer; brings us in line with making it do. I know that there is a great sale on an 84 inch plasma TV but is it really time to replace the 72 inch plasma that you bought last year? Ask yourself this question every time you are going to make a purchase: Is it replacing something that is already gone and I need or is it something on my want list? This tactic brings me to my abundance of craft and art project supplies. When I go to do a new project now; I pull all of the stuff out and use everything I possibly can without buying something new.
- Do Without: The above question also applies here. I have realized that there is a LOT I can do without. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love to have an 8 burner gas stove but my 4 burner electric stove is working just fine for right now. Evaluate your life and decide accordingly.
- When All Else Fails: Take a look at the object(s) you are contemplating. Does it add anything to your life? Is it a keepsake that when you look at, brings happy memories. Is it used regularly? Is it something that 100 years down the road, someone will pull out and remember you lovingly? Is it something you care deeply about? If you can’t answer yes to these questions than it might be time for the item to leave your possession.
Through all of this purging, I have one final thought . . . baby steps. Don’t go manic and get rid of everything at once. You can purge and re-purge as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable. Also, don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel about something. If you want it because you truly love it; keep it. If you don’t want it but someone else seems attached to it; give it to them to take. Time is your friend in this adventure.