Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Purging, my thoughts, Day 3 1/2 of organizing challenge

I appriciate that Toni has been posting the next days challenge either late night or early morning .. not sure what timezone she is in... it gives me a chance to think about the challenge, and get excited for it. (and truthfully, if the linen werent stored in the bedroom, i might be working on it now rather than writing blog post at 1:48 in the morning from my pda laying next to my snoring hubby.. Ellie seems to think now is a good time for her nightly aerobics work out.)

I was going to just get a headstart on the next day's blog post about linen organization, but I ended up going on a tangent about purging, so this will have its own post.

I am finding myself repeatedly glad that I purged so much stuff before I moved. I didn't have any excess Tupperware yesterday, and very little actual "junk" in my junk drawer on day 1.
Thinking about my linen collection for the next challenge, I remember how things were in my old apartment. I used to be much more of a pack rat / saver. I believe it stemmed from growing up with similar parents, then having to be very frugal when I was in college, supporting a deadbeat boyfriend. I used to see having stuff as wealth, I couldn't afford to buy the 1 peice of furniture I would love, so I held onto 5 hand me down peices. If I got a good deal on something, I couldn't get rid of it, because I would never find another donut baker for $1. (Even though the 1 time in a year I used it the donuts weren't that tasty)

As I matured and lived with myself, and packrat roomates, I learned, that quantity was not as important as quality. By quality, I don't nessesarily mean pricetag brand name quality, or even durability as much as I mean how usefull it is, how often used it is, how much real estate it uses and if it is loved or not.

I was constantly asking myself if I loved the item, would I buy it today if I came across it in a store? Or am I only keeping it because I already have it(making it free) ? What am I giving up to keep this? (Mainly space, time, energy)
A linen example, I had some hand me down table clothes, they were nice quality, but I only used them very rarely and only because I had them. If I didn't have them, I would have made do with something else or without. Same with excessive blankets and sheets. Years ago, I donated a big bag full of blankets and sheets to a womens shelter, and I really don't remember what patterns the sheets were, I never regretted getting rid of them, and even forgot about them for a long time. I did LOVE the new found space in my closet though, and it allowed me to remove clutter from elsewhere in the home.

In the last 5 months living in the loft, I haven't missed anything from the boxes and boxes of stuff donated to the "little brother's first place on his own" fund.
Sister also asked me the other day if I wanted my George Forman Grill back. I had forgotten I lent it to her during construction of the loft, while we lived with hubby's parents. I decided, if I haven't missed it by now, I don't need it back.

I know as I go through the challenge, there will be things that need to be purged (especially if we tackle cleaning supplies) but I'm quite happy that I already went through that a long time ago, and learned this lesson.

I know most people don't have the luxury to purge, pack what's left, and live with their (packrat) in-laws for 8 months, therefore forgetting purged items and having motivation to live clutter free once they move into their sparkly new home. But it has taught me that I don't need as much stuff as I used to have. I LOVE not being bogged down with stuff. I survived purging. I truely am happy living with less stuff, making do with what I do have. Also, I think about new items before I bring them into the space. I also learned its A LOT easier to organize less stuff and keep it organized.

The organzing advice and tips found on websites, in magazines and blogs really makes sense when they say to purge, you won't miss it. When they suggest packing unpurgables away for time, if you haven't missed it, or unpacked it in x months, its safe to purge, they are right.

Now, I'm not saying I don't have more stuff than I need, I do. I should probably purge some hair ties I found when redoing my bathroom cabinet. I could purge more shoes. (I purged a bunch when I finally admitted to myself my ankle was permanently damaged and heels are out) I could purge some kitchen gadgets (but I like cutting my sandwiches with a squiggly cutter). I could purge quite a bit in my craft room. I know I could purge A LOT of cleaning supplies. I have a hard time purging stuff like lotions and extra toothpaste tubes, because of replacement cost. I know I can purge more And I will. When Toni tells me to.

1 comment:

  1. Thanx for your comment on my blog;-) I understand what you are saying about purging. I don't know why I hold on to some things. Now if you ask me to come to your house, I could be ruthless but not always at my house. Maybe it's the sentimental attachment to things. I don't know. . .BUT I did see a great quote from Flylady today, "You cannot organize clutter! You can only get rid of it!" That's what I'm doing;-) Hope your little kicker lets you sleep tonight;-)