34 Days of Favorites: Purging!

Okay, everybody, in honour of Joshua Becker’s latest book, today’s favorite is all about purging!

(To read more about 34 Days of Favorites, go here. And to check out my review of Living With Less, go here.)

If you’ve been reading this blog over the last year, I’m sure it will be no surprise to learn that I’m enthusiastic about the idea of purging.

Here are some of the posts I’ve written on the topic:

Tips for Purging

What I’m Learning As I Purge Our House

Why (and How!) I’m Choosing to Own Less Clothes

And I’m thinking about writing a post on purging with kids – but that one’s still marinating in my mind….

I’ve been reading some fantastic books recently which are further inspiring me simplify my life, and get rid of stuff. The dresser drawers are getting emptier all the time! Ben better get home from work quick today, because I’ve got a box of his stuff all packed up and ready to ship off to the thrift store.

I’m really hoping he won’t reclaim anything, but I will give him a fair chance. Sneaking items out of the house has never gone well for me, even more so where Anika is concerned.

Here are my two favorite things about purging:

1) Purging Brings Freedom.

The feeling of conquering stuff, of getting control over my belongings is absolutely amazing. I get rid of guilt – for owning too much, for allowing it to accumulate, for lack of organization and losing control over things in my life. Purging makes me feel like life is light and free and clean.

2) Purging is Contagious.

It’s contagious in my own life – once I get started, it spreads from one area to another. But it’s also contagious in spreading to other people around. Although my family still struggles a bit with getting rid of stuff, they grow more open to the idea as they see me doing it. They become increasingly aware of what they are not using and do not need, as all of us move towards a simpler life.

So, you want to purge, but don’t know where to start? I see two options:

1) Start with what’s easiest.

Joshua Becker wrote a blog post about it here. It makes sense. I’m sure all of us have things we know we don’t use, or maybe even don’t like, but it’s still sitting around, making us feel yucky every time we see it. There shouldn’t be too many emotions wrapped up in the decision to get rid of it, so if you want to start easy, start there.

2) Start with the worst.

I generally don’t use this tactic, but after reading Living With Less, I was highly motivated. And I was completely sick of the pile on my phone desk. It’s been growing for far too long, and I see it all the time. It is constantly sucking energy out of me, because it makes me feel guilty, not only for allowing it to grow, but also for allowing it to be there in the first place.

Last night, I decided to dig in. It was horrible, just as I knew it would be. But it’s done. And I feel wonderful. Now I’m even more motivated to get rid of stuff, because the worst is behind me.

Want to join me in lightening the load??! What would be the easiest area for you to purge? How about your worst? Do it, and then come back and tell us all about it!

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4 thoughts on “34 Days of Favorites: Purging!

  1. Oh please, I would love to get rid of a bunch of stuff! You are so inspiring…I want to but might wait til the summer craziness is done and I am stuck inside for winter. Hardest would probably be all those things that I think I “might” need in the future again that I was excited to get in the past and things with memories attached. I am finding it extra hard now with kids and finding I want to collect/keep things for them to play with/use/make crafts, etc! Easiest would be things that are getting old/used/worn/outgrown.

    • I can totally understand waiting for fall/winter before starting a major overhaul. But one way to make purging easy is to keep a box in the closet, and toss stuff into it whenever you recognize an item as being one you want to get rid of. One item at a time does add up, and will eventually lead to a full box, and an emptier closet!!

  2. This is one of the BIGGEST stresses of my life, causing me to be grumpy more often than I need to be. I do love to purge. It is freeing and it sometimes literally feels like a weight falling off of my shoulders when unneeded items are sent to the thrift store and I’m left with a neat and tidy room or closet to look at. I can actually stand taller and breathe easier! A big chunk of today was dedicated to purging. I thought it was going to be enjoyable because it wasn’t my stuff I was purging. I was wrong. My girls are at camp (coming home tomorrow) so I knew I had to go through their room today if I wanted anything tossed. My one daughter likes things organized and is learning (slowly) how to do that. My other daughter is a pack-rat! I don’t know how to change that mindset but I welcome any wisdom out there. Because I am totally overwhelmed. I can’t throw it all out, of course, but I sure would like to. That would make my job very simple. Instead I have to find a logical place for all the small nick-knacks and little girl “treasures” that have piled up over the last 6 months or so. Boys have lego, balls, cars, and books. Girls have jewelry, hair accessories, polly pockets (and little such toys), crafts (like perler beads), a gazillion stuffies, dolls, doll clothes, doll soothers, bottles, cloths, rattles, etc., paper, diaries, fancy pens, books, hats, scarves, belts, and the list goes on. Did I mention she just had a birthday? Ugh! I need to be careful. I’ve thrown things out in the past that I’ve regretted. I can’t wait till the job’s done. Except that then I will have to attack my phone desk. Good on ya, Kendra, for getting yours done!

  3. Pingback: 34 Days of Favorites: Most-Used Birthday Gift | Ordinary Days

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