My life is a mess. Not a metaphorical “oh dear God, I royally screwed up and my parents are going to kill me” mess, but a physical disastrous MESS. I’ve got an iTunes library full of Aaron Carter and punk-rock albums I downloaded in 7th grade. I have 6 different bottles of shampoo, 2 flat bristled overused toothbrushes and a box of waterproof tattoo bandaids. There are 4 pairs of “these will be cute when I’m skinny” jeans in my already bulging dresser. My bookcase is overflowing with books I refuse to get rid of because I might one day in the far off future want to read them again and God forbid I just check them out at the library… Do you get the point yet? I have a ton of CRAP. And you know what? All of this crap is seriously cramping my style.
I don’t want to make it sound like this clutter is a bad thing, after all many of the worlds greatest creative thinkers were disheveled and disorganized humans. And being the great creative thinker I am, I don’t want to spend my days cleaning and organizing when I could be inspiring and philosophizing. But as of late my mind and soul have begun feeling the weight of all this extra stuff. It’s time for a cleanse. A PURGE!
About twice a year I dedicate an entire day to getting rid of stuff that I no longer use or need, as well as organizing the things I decide to keep. I’m not talking about just quickly sifting through some shirts and tossing them in a bag to take to Goodwill. This process is going to take some strictly set guidelines and possibly an innocent bystander to referee. Before you begin, I recommend getting some bags ready. If you are a tree hugger, feel free to use cardboard boxes and reusable shopping bags… You will need a bag for trash, a bag for clothes you are donating and a bag for household items/books that you will donate. If you are a real penny pincher you can even have a bag for things you will sell online, at a consignment store or at a garage sale. Once your bags are ready, grab yourself an alcoholic drink. The less inhibition you have the better. Focus on one section of your house at a time so you don’t get too overwhelmed or distracted. I follow 3 simple guidelines when deciding what I should keep and what I should get rid of.
1. Have I used it or worn it in the last 3 months?
2. Is this item enhancing my life? In other words, do I actually NEED it?
3. Do I already have something just like this?
If you answer NO to questions 1 and 2, toss it! If you answer yes to question 3, toss it! *I typically get rid of about 1/2 of my clothes and 1/4 of my household items when I go through this type of purge. It is incredibly freeing to lighten your load, give it a try.
My reasons for purging are totally hippy dippy… I won’t preach to you but I feel that we tend to get wrapped up in having the newest and greatest products- consumerism at its finest. I fall into this trap often and when I become aware of it I do my best quit letting “things” define me. We live in a culture of excess and I am trying to simplify my life. Whatever your reasons may be, I wish you the best of luck in your purging efforts!!
*I wanted to post some pictures of the process, but unfortunately didn’t document my last purge. The pictures below are of a mini-purge I did today, but still show how much of a difference can be made when you get rid of all that unnecessary junk!
Closet Before Closet After
Dresser Before Dresser After
Everything loaded in the car!