Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So you wanna live simple too?

Purge- verb, purged, purg·ing, noun
–verb (used with object)
to rid of whatever is impure or undesirable; cleanse; purify.
to rid, clear, or free

Where do I get started? is a good question to ask, and don't worry kiddies, LL won't let you down! My plan for purging will get you on the right track to eliminate CLUTTER (that word alone just raises my blood pressure) and simplify your life!

  1. Get 3 boxes and line one of them with a trash bag; also grab a kitchen timer
  2. Label one box "Keep", one box "Trash" (this one is lined with a trashbag, but you already knew that didn't you?), and the last box "Donate"
  3. Pick one room of the house to focus on, say you chose your bedroom. Chose one area to begin like the closet and work on that section alone, don't bounce back and forth, you'll feel much better once one area is done then you can move to the next. Also, you will feel overwhelmed if you try to tackle it all at once.
  4. Grab your boxes and your timer, set a limit of one hour to begin with.
  5. Go to TOWN! Go through your closet and get rid of trash, clothes you haven't worn in a year or more (Sweetie, you will not wear that shirt again, trust me! and if you lose weight, you'll want to buy new pants anyway, not wear ones that fit you 10 years ago!!) and clutter that has accumulated there.
  6. When you can't decide what to keep and what to get rid of, ask yourself this: When I look at this item, does it make me happy? Does this item fulfill my life or fill me with guilt/anxiety/sadness/anger? If you do not TRULY love an item, if you don't look at it and it doesn't make you smile, PITCH IT! Trust me, once you have a home full of only the things that you love, your house will be a happy home, and you will be a happier person as well!
  7. An important note: a lot of us receive items as gifts and we feel guilty if we get rid of them. Don't feel guilty! If you truly do not like the item and you're just storing it, then what is the point of having it? Let someone else enjoy it! Trust me, I HATE storing items, I figure, why am I storing this stuff? Really, what is the point?! If it's being stored I'll never do anything with it, so I get rid of it. It's hard at first, but once you stick to your guns and get into the hang of things, it truly does get easier!
  8. Once your timer goes off, if you're still motivated, keep going! But if you feel tired, stressed, or overwhelmed. Take a break. Remember, your house did not get like that overnight, it will take longer than that to get it on track.
  9. Once a DONATE box is full, tape it up and take it to your car, you're much more likely to get it to Goodwill if it's already there. Grab a new DONATE box and get back to work!
  10. Tackle each area in the house like this and pretty soon you will have a clutter-free home. Go through your KEEP boxes and make sure you have a place for everything. I LIVE by the mantra: "A place for everything and everything in its place."

So, once you're done with one room or even the whole house, you may ask: What do I do with this stuff?

You pretty much two options with your full "Donate" boxes:

  • Give it to charity! Nothing better than taping up the boxes, driving down to Goodwill and donating your old stuff; most places have a drop-off zone so you just pull up and a helper comes and helps you unload your stuff! It's out of the house and out of your mind now, just make sure you pick up your receipt so you can write it off on your taxes next year!!
  • Have a yard sale. Make a few bucks off of your stuff, but make it for the next weekend. Otherwise you'll be storing this stuff in your attic/garage/basement/spare room, and who wants to do that? You may NEVER get around to it, so do it soon! I'm against garage sales for the simple fact is that donating your items takes it off your hands right away and you won't be digging through boxes later. Out of sight, out of mind!

Getting a clutter-free home takes a while, it is hard for a lot of us to part with items that we have a sentimental attachment to! It's okay, if you have items you're not sure if you want to get rid of at this point, but those items in a box and label it with the date and put it in your garage. After 6 months if you haven't touched the box, keep it taped up and take it to Goodwill! :)

Good luck! And stay positive! You CAN do it!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I love donation boxes!! You always know when you donate to places, they are giving your old things to those that really need it alot more than you do. What makes it an even better feeling about donations, is letting your kids go through their toys to donate! They learn about getting rid of things we no longer need and they experience giving to others that need it. Donations are a great way to go!!!