Something is holding me back and I can't put my finger on it. Yes, most of it is "perfectly good", or we paid money for it, or maybe I should have a yard sale or put it on Craigs List...or...I don't know!!!
I tried to box some things up to just put them in the attic until I was "ready". Some things I put straight in the trash. DH pulled things OUT OF THE TRASH telling me that someday we'd need/want them (silly things like old Army protractors used for navigating on maps...because according to DH, we will go camping with our kids and he will teach them how to navigate. So yes, let's keep an old plastic thing hanging around because our unborn son and our 2 yo daughter will SOMEDAY read an Army map. Yep.) He says he wants to purge, too, but then freaks out about things like a box of random markers and pens.
Has anyone done a purge in one, ruthless swoop? Or is it better to be done gradually?
Mama to F(06/11/09) and baby boy C (06/09/11)
I love the idea of a single, dramatic purge, but it just doesn't seem to be happening that way. Slowly things are making their way out of our house, but with the two little guys it seems challenging enough to stay on top of the regular cleaning, nevermind trying to purge the nooks and crannies. One day maybe...
I'm curious as well to see if anyone managed to get it done all at once.
Baby on my hip, preschooler on my lap, kindergartener climbing my back, bird on my shoulder, dog at my feet, DH holding us all together.
arriving Jun 2014
I have done some ruthless purging in the past when the mood grabs me, the trouble is that it is when I am in the ruthless purging mood, that I make the mistake of tossing stuff that I actually do regret. So now I prefer to do it gradually.
I agree you could probably toss the Army protractors without any risk of regrets!
I have been a crazy purger lately! We were in the process of buying a house and I wanted to get rid of everything we possibly could to make moving easier. Nothing like moving for a little motivation! After 2 STRESSFUL months, the house fell through and we have decided to stay where we are. Which actually is making me want to purge more and change everything about this house that I didn't like and was hoping for in the new house. I don't think its possible to purge in one swoop, only because it takes time! My goal has been to tackle one area at a time, and I'm getting a couple areas of the house done each week. It is SO worth it to purge so just go for it. I feel like a literal weight is lifted off every time I throw something in the garbage or drop a load off at goodwill. My house feels amazing and I enjoy being in it because there isn't junk filling up every nook and cranny. I find it easiest to set a goal each week of a certain area of the house and to take it one step at a time. Today, DH and I tackled our living room. We sorted through books, movies, picture frames, etc. and got rid of a TON. We took out an end table that wasn't really necessary and has just been a crap holder lately. Then we repainted, steam cleaned the carpet, and rearranged the furniture. It feel ahhhmazing! Like I can breathe again lol! My goals for the next few weeks are to go through our bathroom cabinets and linen closet, total revamp of office area (MUST be done before I can focus on my midwife studies!), and reorganize the kid's play area.
DH's can be funny with this stuff. You'd think they would be the ones throwing everything away. When we did our living room today, I found a rock collection in our entertainment center that DH had been storing away. And they weren't even nice rocks, they were like crappy rocks from the yard! DH was upset when he found out I threw them outside. I was like you are a grown man, why do you need rocks in the house!? LOL
Mama to DS (9/4/09) and DD (1/10/11) , Wife to my best friend since 11/22/08
Jesus loving, natural living aspiring, cloth diaper addict, student doula and CBE, future CNM!
I'm right in the middle of a big, huge dramatic purge. I started out a little slow, but now it's going great and I'm LOVING it! I'm about a week in (being pregnant and taking care of 3 little ones is keeping me from doing quite as much as I'd like each day) and I'd say I'm getting close to being halfway through the whole house. It really helps that we're in the middle of a total and complete remodel (we're practically gutting our house one room at a time) and I have most of our stuff piled in boxes in the living room. It makes it easier to see exactly what we have and I feel like I can think about it in a different way. I tried doing it gradually in the past and it just never got completely done. For me, one big purge is definitely the way to go!
I did a ruthless purge once. Found out we were moving in 2 weeks to another state. The house was in chaos but I started in one corner of the house and moved to the next and the next until I literally had put my hands on everything we owned. What helped me was to set up the boxes with the keep, toss, donate in each room and just fill them up, pack them up and put them in their proper place. Trash was always taken out at the end of the day, donate was put in the trunk of my car and the keep was put in a cleaned out corner, to be organized later. I didn't organize until I went through the whole house...it really only took me 5 days to go through the whole house, 3 days to put it all back organized and then 3 days to pack it up. Yes, I organized before I moved. It made my life much easier. : )
Oh yes, the single ruthless purge is so freeing! I agree with you...how much does a protractor cost? Couple of dollar?
However, the children will carry their memories of stuff (clutter) with them for the entire lives. I know...been there! Those memories were not some of the best ones per my children.
Tip: plan that ruthless purge when hubby is gone and just before the trashmen come. If all else fails, enlist the help of a friend to cart the stuff off to her house and you can return the favor after the baby comes and you have some "free" time, although it may be some months before you can repay that favor!
I was watching my grandson play the other day and there were too many toys on the floor in his room so his solution was to just stand there and kick at them. I wanted to put most of them up and then play with a few of them with him, but it was not at my house....so stayed out of it (see, I am learning, too)
I'm glad this is an open topic!
I'm working on purging right now. We are moving again (ARRRGGH) in a few months and I am tired of hauling crap around that I havn't touched in 4 years. Especially since this move will be with 2 kids and a few states away.
But what do you do with the things you don't want to keep? Grin and bear it and through it in the dumpster? Advertise a free pile on craigslist? We'll probably have a yard sale for some big things that are actually worth money, but what about the dinky stuff?
Working, freshly graduated! mama. Loving life with DH , DD 7/09, and DS 06/11 .
Donate it or trash it, if it is not worth it. I like to donate.
my favorite tip is the auction house. so, pack things that you "paid money for" and are in good condition into a box for the auction house. throw some things away. recycle whatever you can (donations or recycle centers), and do it ruthlessly and systematically -- which can also be gradual depending upon your energy levels. It is liberating, and you'll be ok. You'll also get *some* money out of it.
And, as with cynthia, i'm always cleaning up DS's toys. I notice that when he gets aggressive, it's because he's either A. overstimulated or B. hungry. I usually give him some veggies and dip, and then pick up his toys. Shortly thereafter, he goes and plays with a few items for a number of hours. It helps. I know that's random, but I'm in such agreement about less-is-more with the littles.
I wanted to add that just because it's your stuff and you feel bad about throwing things out, that doesn't mean other people want it! I saw some donations that were things like cake pans with rust in them and 3D puzzles that had already been put together, postcards, etc. No one wants that stuff and you're not a bad person for putting it in the garbage! :) I have to remind myself of this all the time.
I find it really motivating to set a number goal (say 100 things in a week, etc). I get a big basket, and start going around the house, putting things in the basket. Last year, my friends and I did a 100 pounds of stuff purge where we each vowed to get rid of 100 pounds in a certain time frame. It was great. Once you begin, you'll find it's easy to stay motivated, because each time you get rid of something there is a feeling of freedom knowing you'll never have to : dust it, trip over it, move it out of your way, move it to a new house, vacuum around it, etc.
We're prepping for a move and baby number four and I find myself heading into the days of decluttering around here too. I love it.
I am planning on going back into my basement, yes, the same basement I have been TALKING about decluttering for about 9 years now! I even had a blog about it for awhile, but shut it down when I just could. not. get. it. done!!! I am going back down there and going to take a deep breath and start tossing stuff out of here!
My dh has a tendency to pull things out, too. We talked about it tonight and he said it would probably be best to have ds#2 help my just take the boxes over to Goodwill asap before dh can even start looking through them to pull stuff back out.
I need to cull through my personal stuff and the holiday stuff this time. Then will move onto the game closet and hopefully get rid of at least 2 million DVDs, games and assorted junk.
I know of some clothing that still needs to go.
Eventually both boys need to go through their basement boxes and through their rooms.
I could go through my drawers again. I have waaaay too many socks. Not sure how that happened.
Personally, I know I am having issues pawing through my past and tossing out old memories that need to go. I KNOW I will feel better once that stuff is gone, but it's the going through it and all the emotions that get dragged back up that sends me running away before I have even unboxed it all.
For me decluttering can be really emotional. I seem to do fine with the upstairs stuff. It's the basement clutter that I can't seem to sort and toss. Obviously my basement is the physical location of my subconcious. Stuff down there I do not want to deal with.
I did something with my parents i saw on oprah...good for a massive purge but you need an immmediate plan like a dumpster, pisk up truck set for the dump/goodwill etc. ready to go. We threw the contents of their basement on a tarp, well a bit at a time...there had been a flood so some of it was an easy toss, butso muchwas things like my baby clothes etc. that my mom had lugged around over 13 moves across the country, basically we had two approaches, one was when we had a large pile of stuff on the (huge) tarp, my mom and dad had like 1 min to grab things they really cared about or needed, after that the rest was gone. it's kind of elimination by default. The second was me (who didn't care about any of it eitehr way) liftign stuff up and they had to say "keep" or "gone" if they hesitated, i said "GONE" loudly and threw it. Now, i did have their approval, they wanted the help, it was still hard sometimes.... so those approaches and outside help can be good. Most people's kids wouldn;t be though a they liek their parents to hold onto crapt hey don't want lol.
Also, I love, love love, CLEAR YOUR CLUTTER WITH FENG SHUI. There is very little about feng shui and it makes it so easy and motivating to declutter, and it is a small, very very easy to read book, and you cna leave it on the coffee table or in the bathroom for DH's...even a paragraph can go a long way instead of you nagging.
And, we are int he middle of a massive purge as well..also pregnant here and also moving across the country. We can't really afford a moving van and most of our furniture and stuff was free so that makesit easier, we are onyl taking what fits in the car and about 3 boxes of financial papers, books and dd's wooden toys to ship...I ahve to say, i did tons of decluttering before and we had WAY less than anyone i know with kids, and that felt good and all, but our hosue was still a mess and so full, and moving has made me realize i was holding onto stuff just cause i had space, not cause i used/loved it and that still makes it clutter. It feels amazing. I am looking forward to a smipler life. It makes me realize i was hiding out on the compuetr a lot avoid the mess and the overwhelm of stuff...now i feel so free. But i also think yo have to be mindful of bringing things in too...or you end up back at square one fast!
JUST DID IT!!!!!
However, I guess it isn't fair to say it was ONE ruthless purge since it was more like 2. We owned an 1800 sq ft house that was full - top to bottom, room to room, closet to closet, basement, attic, you name it. We threw out, donated, & sold everything we could think of and fit all of our stuff in one moving truck when we relocated to a new city.... and a 925 sq ft rental. When we got here, it all fit - but just barely. There were still boxes of "things" - and after about a month, I decided I JUST DIDN'T WANT THEM. DH doesn't care at all about my things or the kids - for his things, I asked that he pick some things that REALLY mattered to him, because if it wasn't on THE LIST, it was going.
I did the list space by space - i.e. What I wanted in Living Room, Kitchen, Utility closet, Bathroom, Bathroom2, Bedroom1, Bedroom2, Bedroom3, Balcony. If it wasn't on the list, it went. Anything worth less than $10, trash (we have use of the apt complex dumpster). Clothes & usable goods, donated (drove em to goodwill). Everything else placed in bedroom2, and called an Auction House to come get it. It's allllllll gone. My 925 sq ft apt is like a luxury house for me, DH, and our 35 m/o and 6 m/o. There's room to run, play, cook, sleep, & BREATHE. It's only been "empty" for 3 days now and it's been the best 3 days EVER. The best part is I haven't even had to do laundry this week! Because I know where all of our clothes are. I kept 10 sets for each kid, 10 sets for me, plus 3 dresses and some work out clothes (I am a runner). DH kept a few more because he's in Law Enforcement and has lots of uniform type apparel. I found a whole extra set of cloth diapers buried in a box. I donated 10 (yeah - TEN - after the initial purge when I donated fifteen!) garbage bags full of clothes. I started washing the dishes by hand after I got a crazy electric bill - and it doesn't overwhelm me because we only have 6 place settings!
I don't know exactly what was holding me "back" but I know moving gave me the opportunity and motivation to JUST do it. And now that it's gone, I'm relatively sure I never want to buy ANYTHING again.
TIP for negotiating with DH ... read him my post! LOL. My DH has been struggling with how stressed and sad I've been. I kept talking to him about doing this, and told him I felt the stuff was "costing" us more - in my sanity - than it was worth. He agreed that if it would TRULY improve my well-being, I could get rid of whatever. So far DH is thrilled with his decision.. because I'm some bouncy happy lady that came from who-knows-where, and we're doing things like enjoying coffee on the balcony and gasp - having sex. I knew he'd never miss the stuff once it was gone anyway. He was all worried about the "stuff" in the drawer in the table in the LR. When he opened it and actually FOUND the nail clippers he's always looking for (it's the only thing in there now), he was very pleased. It has given my DS SO SO SO much more room to play and be free - so much less power struggling.
Just wanted to say you CAN do it and it WILL feel every bit as good as you imagine!
Sleepy, running, wife to DH 08/09 - Mama to DS 8/08 & DD 1/11
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb
Congrats to all that have taken the plunge!
I have "Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui" also....it spurred on a purge. One message in it that getting rid of clutter makes "space" in your life for growth really motivated me. Also "The Happiness Project" has a really good chapter on decluttering and is a motivating read.
For me, it was a broken computer that brought it on! I love looking at my one shelf of books....and have found that now DH is getting rid of some of his too - I think for him he saw the extra space and liked it. But it happened one section of one room at a time - to keep it manageable. For me, doing a little bit every day, gives me a bit of daily satisfaction and something to look forward to tackling. Still a long way to go though....
Anjsmama, that's wonderful!! And everyone else, too!
I now have one shelf of books, also. And part of another one for dvds and another shelf for vhs's which I'd like to some day replace with dvds. As far as cd's, I never had alot of them but I'm down to one cd storage box and I'm thinking that maybe I don't even need those. Except the Christmas ones, I have 4 or 5 I'd like to keep. But the others I never listen to anymore, I don't know why I'm holding on to them. I don't have an ipod but I can listen to music on my laptop.