I adopted a motto a few years ago and hung this plaque on the wall to remind me of my new energy for simplifying:
One habit I have learned is to go through our belongings every 6 months and determine what we should keep and what we shouldn't. This can be very intimidating if you own a lot of stuff! I started out just going through storage items. Then later added specific rooms. First of all, if I defnitely know we need it, then it obviously stays. Momentos and keepsakes are also a given that they stay. But what about the things I'm not sure about?
The 6 Month Purge
- Things I Want to Donate
- Things That Go in the Trash
- Things I Might Want/Need - Not Sure I Want to Get Rid of It
I've come to apreciate second hand stores like Goodwill, Savers, and Desert Industries. Because I shop at these stores, these are also the ones I donate my items to. Sometimes we save out certain things for people we know who might need them: the missionaries, families with children that will fit the outgrown clothes, or family members.
I have decided to keep a donation box in the garage where family members can place things throughout the year that they want to donate. This makes it even easier and quicker to complete a Purge.
Things That Go in the Trash
Obviously this is the easiest step. If it is broken and cannot be reapaired - trash! Don't keep things that are broken, it just clutters up the house and makes life more messy.
This is often the largest category.
- The first time we did a Purge, I kept all the things in this pile.
- The next time we did a Purge, I put all these items in boxes in the garage and said if I didn't pull them out during the next 6 months I would consider donating them.
- The 3rd time we did a Purge, I found I only needed/wanted a couple things from this category. We were actually moving and so I had a big garage sale and then donated the left over stuff.
In the beginning, it can be a long time. In fact, I only Purged the garage and storage room the first time I did it. It was overwhelming how much stuff I was holding onto. However, I can now do a Purge in a couple days of our entire house (1600 sq. ft.). We only have what we want and need in the house. There is not much else here! I have four boxes to go through this time.