I’ve been purging. Again. Or technically, I’m still purging.
Getting rid of stuff is sort of addicting. Once you get going, it’s hard to stop. If you stop moving for too long, you could end up in a bin going to charity. I just keep discovering boxes and drawers and cabinets that are begging to be purged.
“Take me to Goodwill,” they whisper. “Don’t let me live out my life in the dark of this box.”
Really, it’s kinder to get rid of all this stuff. Even the great stuff I spent a lot of money on. Even the workout videos that I may use one day. (Snort.)
But there are definitely a few things that stop me from getting rid of things I really should part with. But I have come up with a few questions that I ask myself when I’m keeping myself from purging. They have helped me let go of the stuff – maybe they will help you, too.
Have I used this in the last six months?
With the exception of holiday decorations (which I also think should be purged if you don’t use them every year), I believe that everything should be used/viewed/enjoyed every 6 months.
If it’s sitting in a dusty box for longer than this, it’s probably nothing I need to keep.
I’m using this question heavily with toys. Because kids really do grow up so fast – and as they grow, their preferences naturally change. I’ve begun to purge toys ruthlessly if they aren’t used for months.
(And because I know you are going to ask – Henry hasn’t even noticed when things are gone.)
Do I even really like it?
I’ve recently purged a few decorative items that are just no longer my style. And honestly, I didn’t even really realize that I didn’t like these items anymore until I asked myself the question.
It was way easier to give up these items when I realized that I don’t even like them.
Would I keep this if it were originally free?
How many items have I kept because I spent too much on them in the first place?
Case in point: A super adorable (and overpriced) teepee I purchased for
myself Henry at a department store. I tried to force him to use it multiple times. It just wasn’t his jam.
Finally, I realized I was only keeping it because I spent too much on it.
Now it’s going, going, gone.
Could I sell this?
If I’m on the fence with an item, I find it’s easier to get rid of if I know I could sell it. Even only a few dollars can really be a motivator to purge items. Because why keep something when I can get a latte with the proceeds?
I’ve found this to be especially helpful when I’m cleaning out my closet. (See: How I made $400+ while cleaning my closet.)
Can someone else get more use out of this than I can?
There are so many great things in my home that someone else could love better than I do. The bookshelf that has been shoved in a corner. The decorative items that rarely see the light of day. The books that I’ve already read and don’t plan to reread.
I feel so much better about getting rid of something when I know it will be used better somewhere else.
Am I only keeping this because I don’t know what to do with it?
Sometimes, I end up with stuff I don’t need. But I don’t know what to do with it.
For example, I have a box of old electronics. I don’t need them. But I don’t really think I can donate them. But then I realized I could recycle them – for free – through the county. They wipe everything clean and recycle. (They also take old paint.)
Instead of just letting this stuff take up space, I’ve let myself do a little research.
Would I even notice if this was gone?
This has become my grand slam of purging. There are few things I’d really miss if I got rid of them. (And I think that’s a good thing. Who wants to care that much about stuff?)
I have purged a lot in the past three years. And in that time, I can’t remember a single of instance of purger’s regret.
On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of buyer’s remorse.
So, I’d rather get rid of something I’d never notice is gone then hold onto it forever.
You may think I’m going overboard – getting rid of all the things we own. (We’re not.) But the truth. I just don’t want tons of unnecessary, unused stuff sitting around. So, I’ll keep asking myself these questions.
And I’ll keep making my home just a bit more minimal and peaceful in the process.
What about you? What questions do you ask yourself when purging?
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