The Purge

I have big plans for my house. Big plans that I don’t always have enough energy for. But regardless of my energy level these days, I am determined to enact one of my biggest plans so far. I am going to affectionately call it “The Purge.”

I am going to go through every inch of my modest home and remove everything that we don’t use or need. I am going to purge our junk pile.

I started last week with my kitchen. I have dreamed of a bigger kitchen with more cabinet and countertop space for years. But that doesn’t mean it’s ever going to happen. So, rather than keep dreaming I went to task.

I put together a giant box of old pans, cups, Tupperware and small appliances that I have not used in the past 7 years. Why on earth I was keeping some of that stuff is beyond me.

I packed it into the back of my van and drove it to the nearest Deseret Industries before I had a chance to change my mind on items like my worn out skillet that no longer has a temperature gauge.

Now when I open the door to grab a cup for my kids, I don’t have mismatched plastics falling out on my head. The insides of my cupboards look good.

But the kitchen is just the beginning. I plan to purge every room in my house.

My husband thinks I am already nesting, but I know it’s more than that. I actually got the purging idea from my friend Amanda who completely overhauled her house last summer. She got rid of nearly everything that wasn’t a necessity.

That totally inspired me.

They talk a lot in my religion about living within your means. For the longest time I thought that meant, “Don’t buy anything you can’t pay for.” But I’m starting to realize that it’s not just about money.

I visited Amanda after her purge and she heI have big plans for my house. Big plans that I don’t always have enough energy for. But regardless of my energy level these days, I am determined to enact one of my biggest plans so far. I am going to affectionately call it “The Purge.”

I am going to go through every inch of my modest home and remove everything that we don’t use or need. I am going to purge our junk pile.

I started last week with my kitchen. I have dreamed of a bigger kitchen with more cabinet and countertop space for years. But that doesn’t mean it’s ever going to happen. So, rather than keep dreaming I went to task.

I put together a giant box of old pans, cups, Tupperware and small appliances that I have not used in the past 7 years. Why on earth I was keeping some of that stuff is beyond me.

I packed it into the back of my van and drove it to the nearest Deseret Industries before I had a chance to change my mind on items like my worn out skillet that no longer has a temperature gauge.

Now when I open the door to grab a cup for my kids, I don’t have mismatched plastics falling out on my head. The insides of my cupboards look good.

But the kitchen is just the beginning. I plan to purge every room in my house.

My husband thinks I am already nesting, but I know it’s more than that. I actually got the purging idea from my friend Amanda who completely overhauled her house last summer. She got rid of nearly everything that wasn’t a necessity.

That totally inspired me.

They talk a lot in my religion about living within your means. For the longest time I thought that meant, “Don’t buy anything you can’t pay for.” But I’m starting to realize that it’s not just about money.

I visited Amanda after her purge and she helped me to see that rather than always dreaming of a bigger house, nicer things, and more of everything, I need to be satisfied with what I have now.

That’s what’s behind the purge. No longer am I going to hold onto unnecessary items because someday I may have room or need for them. I am not going to live in a dream world where I keep everything I get because someday I may have time to use it or have a bigger home to put it in.

My husband and I have talked about moving in a few years, but what if we don’t? I love my house now, why not make it the best I can and be happy with what I have?

It probably sounds easier than it really is going to be, and I am going to have to conquer my inner pack-rat tendencies to get this done, but little by little I am going to purge my life and my attitude.

I’m starting on the laundry room next.

What have you purged from your life lately? What do you do to minimize all the “stuff” in your house?
lped me to see that rather than always dreaming of a bigger house, nicer things, and more of everything, I need to be satisfied with what I have now.

That’s what’s behind the purge. No longer am I going to hold onto unnecessary items because someday I may have room or need for them. I am not going to live in a dream world where I keep everything I get because someday I may have time to use it or have a bigger home to put it in.

My husband and I have talked about moving in a few years, but what if we don’t? I love my house now, why not make it the best I can and be happy with what I have?

It probably sounds easier than it really is going to be, and I am going to have to conquer my inner pack-rat tendencies to get this done, but little by little I am going to purge my life and my attitude.

I’m starting on the laundry room next.

What have you purged from your life lately? What do you do to minimize all the “stuff” in your house?

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jaclyn
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 10:13:43

    I came to that same realization years ago – all because of my husband. I have pack rat tendencies as well, he doesn’t. He got me to realize that too much stuff is actually complicating our lives and making me feel overwhelmed, it was. It has been amazing how the more stuff I get rid of, the more free I feel. Living simply is very nice. To me that includes a smaller home. I used to dream of getting out of my teeny-tiny house, but now I don’t want to. I am happy with what we have. (Although we still may move some day, but not because we need a bigger house for more stuff.) I have always loved our house, but now I love it more.

    I still have A LONG WAY to go to clear out the unnecessary junk (you’ve seen my house!), but I have made a lot of progress. I always have a bag or box for the D.I. and I add to it when I come across something we don’t need or want. I try to ask myself these questions when looking at an item in question: Do I love it? Do I use it? I am trying to teach these things to my children too so that maybe they will not become a pack rat and see the value in living simply. I have also found helpful stuff online like:

    http://smallnotebook.org/2009/01/16/top-ten-rules-of-decluttering/

    http://www.31daystodeclutter.com/purging-rules

    Good luck in your purge! Pass along any helpful advice that you learn along the way. I am always in need of advice when it comes to decluttering/purging. : )

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Jan 20, 2012 @ 07:04:36

      Jaclyn, I think Ryan is a wise man. Extra stuff does just complicate my life. I think of all of the unfinished projects I have hung on to. Just thinking about those makes me stressed. I don’t think I’ll ever have time to finish everything nor do I really want to. I’m definitely going to start a D.I. box like you mentioned. Then I can put stuff in there as it comes and not have to wait for a big purge.

      I am also going to check out your links. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  2. six-pack momma
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 15:20:25

    I, too, have done this to an extent. I am not finished, but I plan to. I inherited my hoarding instincts from my dad. I am so glad Randy is the opposite! My biggest problem is I hang onto stuff because of a memory attached. But what it actually does is allow me less time to focus on the PEOPLE that make the memory valuable. I spend so much time moving junk form place to place, that I have less time to enjoy the people that make my life worth living. Stupid. Thanks for re-inspiring me to purge my life. 🙂

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Jan 20, 2012 @ 07:01:23

      I’m with you Christie on the memory stuff. Normally when I hesitate in getting rid of something it’s because someone special gave it to me on a special day for a special reason, etc. They probably wouldn’t even remember they gave it to me :)! Hopefully I can get through this and get rid of some of them less sentimental stuff.

      Reply

  3. Katie Simpson
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 22:55:49

    This is the joke we have at our house: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUG-5kLRjeY JUNK IT NOW!!!! 🙂

    Reply

  4. Crystalee
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 10:15:55

    I’m fortunate to have a husband who’s all about keeping things simple. One of our life mottos is “travel light,” which means more than just traveling. Extra junk around really does take more energy from you, but carrying around extra emotional baggage also is a drainer. We live quite simply, and are very careful about not buying extra things that “just sit there.” It’s really been liberating for me to be married to someone like that.

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Jan 23, 2012 @ 14:29:16

      Crystalee, I agree with you completely and I am starting to see the light about living more simply. Let’s hope I can get through the purging phase 🙂

      Reply

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