The Urge to Purge

Gross title, but it’s not what you think. I am the opposite of a hoarder, I love to get rid of items.

I am not a very sentimental girl.  I don’t keep old movie stubs, I don’t keep awards I earned throughout my school years, and I most certainly don’t keep anything I don’t like just because someone gave it to me as a gift.  But I am not completely heartless.  I do enjoy photographs, I hold on to books I’ve enjoyed and will definitely read again, and I’ve kept every romantic card/letter Alex has ever written me.  I take pride in the fact that I am cutthroat when it comes to making decisions and I know many people who could benefit from my purging skills.

1. You must stay on top of your clutter.

Every spring and fall I have to switch out my entire wardrobe because we have the smallest closets ever and I have to store my seasonal clothes.  Although annoying, switching out my closets gives me a great excuse to go through all my clothing.  I would recommend twice a year going through your entire house and following my purging system to keep on top of your clutter.

Maybe decide to work on one room a day – if you keep the habit of decluttering your house twice a year this idea should not be overwhelming at all.  You will thank me when it comes time to move (or when you’re dead and your relatives are stuck cleaning up your house).

The first time you declutter your home is going to take the longest.  Each subsequent time should get faster, yay!

2. Go room by room and follow my purging rules.

For clothing, see graphic.

Graphic for deciding to keep each item.
For all other household items, some of the clothing questions still apply.  Otherwise, really consider if the item means enough for you that you would want to take the effort to pack it up and move it to a new home (even if just hypothetically speaking).  If not, get rid of it – be ruthless!

3. Write down everything you are donating and box it up.

Write everything down you are taking to a legitimate donation center so you can possibly write it off on your taxes.  You can also make numerous piles as you are going along – donate, trash, give to friends/family, etc.   If you are really ambitious you might consider having a garage sale and then everything not purchased could be donated afterwards.

4. Wait a week and then take items to designated places.

I have learned to wait a week before getting rid of any items.  I have this rule not because I regret getting rid of anything, but I have found I should have added items I initially kept.  Recently during a purging session, I kept a blazer I really liked but as I put it on to wear to work I saw how it did not fit my shoulders correctly – donation pile.  After a week make sure to get the items out of your house, otherwise you did all that work for nothing.
Happy Purging!

P.S. Make sure you include your husband when getting rid of his clothing/items or he will get really mad at you.

(Originally published May 30th, 2016)

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