Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Why I Regularly Purge, Declutter and Get Rid Of Things

 I had a whole post written with a bulleted list of all the reasons I regularly whirl through the house purging, decluttering and getting rid of things that we no longer use.

We live in a small house. We rent so therefore, we move more often than if we owned a home. We are given lots of stuff--both a blessing and a curse!  Clutter and little knick-knacks make me jumpy. We have a lot of people in and out of our home on a daily basis.

But when it comes right down to it, there is really only one reason:

Too much stuff.

I have too much stuff.

Too much stuff for the space I live in. Too much stuff for the life we live. Too much stuff to deal with.

Today as I walked through an estate sale, it struck me. We spend our lives accumulating stuff. Then we die and strangers shuffle through our stuff and pay pennies for what we worked so hard to accumulate.

We love yard sales and find lots of useful things there for much cheaper than purchasing new. We also buy a few things to resell. My husband and I love to go to yard sales and it's one hobby we have in common and can do together. So I don't see us ending this activity anytime soon. But we've been much more selective in our purchases this year.

Do we really need this? Will it make our life better or cause more work and expense? Can we live without it? Do we really need to replace the one we have? Did I just get rid of something similar? Will having this cause me stress if the kids mess with it?

I don't know about you, but I really don't want to spend all my time sorting and organizing stuff. Stuff that I don't use. Stuff I haven't looked at since I got married 7 years ago. And I certainly don't want to continue moving all these things from house to house!

Are some things worth storing and saving? Yes! We keep family heirlooms, our special baby stuff and  a few favorite childhood toys, some furniture and nice things that while we don't have space to have out now, are things that we will enjoy later in a larger home. And a few things we are sentimental about or just like having in our home.

What we decide to keep and not keep is a very personal decision. We are the ones who will have to clean and care for these things. We are the ones who will need to walk around these things on a daily basis. We are the ones who will be moving these things from house to house. So we are the ones who need to decide what we will keep!

Just this week, we went through our storage shed and purged through a huge pile of boxes. Some of which we had never gone through in 7 years. A lot of which I had never seen. We sorted and purged for a whole day. Many items were set aside for an upcoming yard sale. We threw away a lot of trash. Only a fraction of the stuff was boxed back up to go back into storage. The boxes in storage have now been reduced by about 50%.

I'm not against stuff. I have plenty of it, thank you! I like cute things for my home. I have hobbies....

It's a balance between things that are eternal and things we take the time to enjoy here.  And I'm still learning!

Related Reading:
Buying Stuff For A Life I Don't Live
10 Ways To Simplify Without Becoming A Minimalist
Loosen The Grip Of More Stuff
Downsizing Your Home, Downsizing Your Life


Denise said...

Wonderful post, I have been working on purging stuff for quite some time....sometimes it slows down than I gear back up and get rid of more stuff. I too have learned to really think whether I need something that I see at a yard sale, will it be useful, etc. I also like to decorate with stuff that is also useful, of course some stuff is purely decorative but at least 1/2 has another purpose.


AutumnRose said...

I started getting rid of some of my extra "stuff", accumulated from over 40 years of "adulthood". Then, my mother passed away, and I had a whole other house FULL of things. She had given away a lot of things herself, but there was still so much. I donated as much as I could. I gave away as much as I could. I recycled stuff. But at the end, there was still a bit of stuff that simply had to be thrown away, and that was heartbreaking.

That corgi :) said...

First time commenting on your blog; been enjoying reading your entries; good for you and hubby changing how you eat and dropping the weight that you both did; I bet it feels good to be at a lower weight!

So enjoyed your post about decluttering; you are going about it the right way, making it a habit to declutter, purge and get rid of on a continual basis. We are living in a nightmare situation in my inlaw's house (hubby's parents went into assisted living) and they rarely, if ever, purged or decluttered or gave anything away, which is what we are trying to do with their stuff (with somewhat permission to do so; I just blogged about it a few days ago).

I continually declutter our stuff (probably for the very same reason you did, we've been renting for the past five years up until we moved into this current situation last January, so I didn't want to move unneeded or unused items from house to house.

I really think it is healthier all around to keep things as simple as one can. Good job for realizing that too!