Monday, May 16, 2011

Motivational Monday #45 - It's Time to Purge!

I'm not sure why, but the word 'Purge' always gives me the willies.  It just isn't a pretty word.  Some words, like 'butterfly' or 'seashore' bring happy and peaceful images to mind, but 'purge' does not. Not even a little bit.

Some times in life we have to deal with things we do not like to do...and today that thing is 'purge.' We need to eliminate that which does not belong or brings us harm. Oh my! Did you just get the image of skyscrapers of junk towering over you? Never fear, this won't be too painful...I promise.

In the quest to purge, I want to give you a few simple ways to start.
  1. Don't collect any new stuff. I really think the best way to control what you have is to stop getting new things to hold onto. This means get rid of paper when it enters your home (school art, bills, newspapers, magazines, fliers from the store, etc.). It also means reducing the amount of things you bring home. If you can't eat it, or if it won't keep you from being naked, don't buy it. Until you have gotten rid of the old things, don't get new things.
  2. Sort as you go. I know most of us get all fired up to start a project, and we rip through a room, dumping drawers, emptying closets and upturning storage boxes.  This is a huge no-no. There is no quicker way to sabotage your efforts on any project than to go too fast. If you make an overwhelming mess then you will stop.  In this case it means you will not only still have a ton of stuff to get rid of, you will also have a huge mess.  Not good.  So start slowly. Open your junk drawer and throw away all the dried up rubber bands floating around in there. Put all of the paperclips in a baggie and collect the paper to either shred or recycle. Then close the drawer. Whew, progress!!!
  3. Ask the tough questions. In this case, those tough questions are not too bad. If the answers to these questions are 'No,' then find a new home for it...and by new home, I mean not your home.
    1. Do I Use It Now?
    2. Will I Use It This Month?
    3. Have I Used It In The Last 6 Months?
    4. If It Is Sentimental, Do I Have Room For It? 
  4. Sell It, Donate It, or Pitch It. There are some obvious pros and cons to each of these options.  If you sell it, there is work involved, but you get cash.  If you donate it, there is a little less work involved, you get no cash, but you may get a tax benefit. If you pitch it, there is little work, but no cash or tax benefit either. To make this call you will need to decide if the item is worth any money, if it has value to others, if anyone else could make use of it, and how much time it is worth to you to sell it. Whatever you decide, give yourself a deadline. It does you no good to know you want to get eid of something, but never actually get rid of it.
  5. Embrace the freedom of less stuff.  Somewhere along the line we decided more stuff made us happier. Who sold us that line of nonsense? I have found the more stuff I have, the more burdened I feel.  Every time I get rid of stuff I feel lighter.  When my closet floors are clear, my drawers only half full and my cupboards well organized, I feel more relaxed and able to focus on the priorities in my life.  I also find that I want to buy less stuff after I have purged the stuff I have. How interesting, when I have less stuff, I spend less money on buying new stuff.  I can get used to that!
So there you go...the steps required to purge. It may not be the most fun you ever had, but it is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. Use it, and then pass it on. Keep the memories, but not the weight.

Do you feel lighter already?


  1. Cleaning huh, oh I know somebody that would love to read this, but I'm not showing them. They may make me do it!!! :-)

  2. My husband and I have moved five times in the 12 years we have been together. Each time I enjoyed moving because we got to start fresh. We did so much purging each time we packed. How do we collect so much "stuff?" You have inspired me to go through the house, little by little, and pretend we are moving. If I would have packed it, it stays. Otherwise bye-bye to whatever it was!

  3. I can't remember where I saw this tip:
    At the beginning of the new year (birthday, whatever date you'll remember) hang all your hangers backwards. As you take cloths from the hanger turn the hanger back around. At the end of a year if you haven't worn the cloths on the backwards hanger it may be time to pitch it.
    Also, as I purchase new clothing, I get rid of a piece of clothing.
    Btw, I'm a new follower from BlogFrog.
    ~ Mona : )

  4. Tony, Your secret is safe with me!

    Karen, I like the idea of "the eminent move" mindset. I bet we would all keep less stuff if we had to pay to move it!

    Mona, Okay, I have to confess, I have a really 'hip' sweater from the early 90's. I promise it will come back in style...I promise! Thanks for the suggestion and the follow!

  5. I like Mona's idea of turning the hangers. That's a great way to decide if you are going to wear something again. Oh, my anniversary is coming up. I can use that date to turn all the hangers so I can remember the date next year.

  6. I'm a HUGE fan of purging. Last summer, I purged my entire family home of generations worth of stuff.(Nothing valuable, don't worry).
    I believe that keeping junk blocks energy in that area, which is not a good thing, as you want energy to flow in a house. Getting rid of old, useless items and getting something new that you really like brings fresh energy and positivity.

  7. Shabana, Way to go! But now the real question is...are you brave enough to tackle my kid's rooms? (shudder)

    I really am excited for you. It is a big deal to go through all of that stuff, and a very freeing experience. Congratulations on your success!