The Great Purge... De-Crappification 2013: Part 5

Americans tend to accrue crap.

How many pairs of shoes do you really need? Isn't 10 coffee mugs a bit much? I believe 5 farming/work shirts is plenty. Do you actually need your old boyscout uniform or 4 boxes of Christmas stuff? Ticket stubs? 10 pictures on a shelf? More than one toothbrush? Or the broken down car in the yard that will never get fixed? Or broken anything, for that matter?

You need a neutral eye when assessing whether your things are crap or wise possessions. 

Keep the emotions out of it. Let it go
Sometimes I need to pray and ask the Lord to help me do this. I still struggle on some days.

My goal is to ditch 1/3 of our stuff.

If you can't downsize by a third, go for 1 out of every 10 things. It's a start. You will be surprised at what you can get done.

As they say...
There is power, freedom and meaning to be had if you live a life with less stuff and less attachment to the stuff. Fewer possessions means less consumption, less damage to the planet, less cost, less maintaining, less cleaning and more time, money, fun, freedom and fulfillment.

Less stress.
It's freeing.

Some tips that help are to start in one room and pick a corner and work clockwise around the room.
Get 4 boxes to keep with you:
Recycle, Trash, Give Away, Yard Sale/Craigslist.

Resolve to spend at least 15 minutes a day doing this. Set a timer and stop at the ding. Some people will do 15 or 30 minute increments more than once a day.

If that overwhelms you-
Try to make it a goal to get rid of a bag a day. Even if it is just a little grocery size bag. Or you could go for a trash bag a week.
EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. It adds up fast.

Going back into rooms and areas and forcing myself to re-examine belongings to hopefully purge has been fairly productive.

** Here is some of what I have been up to:

·       Purging toys, toys and more toys until all we have is building toys (Kinex, Legos, Zoobs) and pretend play toys that encourage children to play together like Melissa & Doug wooden food, little animals & lizards, small wooden Melissa & Doug doll house, Playmobil farm set, a few babydolls, Matchbox/Hotwheels cars.

Result? Happier kids. Happier mom. Cleaner house.

·       I tackled our "junk" cabinet and "junk drawer". These were a procrastinator's nightmare.
Old cell phone chargers, super glue, CDs, tools and all kinds of stuff. Tools I use to put new batteries in stuff or do quick household fixes are now in a special plastic clip-lid box and labeled. Batteries are in their own tin and labeled.

·      Also did our front entry closet. With six people it gets so bad. (If I can get my husband to part with at least half of his hats, we'll be rolling.) Several adult coats, extra gloves, children coats and various other items are gone now.

·       7 more plastic bins/totes from the garage emptied.

·      6 boxes from garage done. One of which was really tough due to it being desk type papers and so sorting it was a pain.

·       Highschool yearbooks, memorabilia, all memory stuff from when I was a child, baby memory stuff from my own children. Kept 1 baby blanket for each child. Kept all photos.

·       A hard one has been all love letters and cards kept over the years. My husband is a very sweet, loving man and is not afraid to tell me what I mean to him. I love that! The result is I have a lot of his declarations in boxes and drawers. Now these are systematically being recycled when I find a stash of them. I make sure to reread them before getting rid of them. The tangle I had with it all is that I felt some guilt about letting them go, like there was some coldness in it or rejection of the love my husband had and has for me. I realized that I am not being fair to myself, because I am completely confident in my marriage, my love for my husband and his love for me. Keeping all those Valentines, Birthday, Anniversary, Mother’s Day cards letters and so on is excessive, especially when you’ve been married as long as I have. My husband is still keeping the ones from me.

·       Snow clothes gone through. Purged 3 outgrown snow-bibs, snow gloves and snow hats. Everything else is still good to keep and not excessive.

·      1 teen chair "confiscated" and going to thriftstore donation.

·      More CDs, big people books, clothes, etc going too. Not sure how many boxes.

·       At one point I had counted 180 children’s books but I am way past that now because the 180 books were in 6 boxes and I have purged over 11 boxes of books. That’s a lot of books, folks.

·      First Aid duffle bag has been sorted and condensed for easier use. Medicine cabinet cleaned out.

·       Shoes for the kids checked for sizes. Husband let go of some shoes.
·      Husband put up hooks on garage wall for all our backpacks.  

·       Kid “dress up” clothes purged completely (wow!) except for 1 girl princess dress with play purse and gloves, 1 boy knight outfit and 1 older boy Davy Crocket jacket and coon cap. Kept all the swords, play pistols.

·       Toys all re-decluttered. Big step was purging all the LeapFrog LeapPad books and cartridges and the LeapPad units and the carrying cases. Lots of money invested there but it was time to let go.