Friday, July 20, 2012

Purge, baby, purge.

As we are preparing for a major overseas move in the next six weeks, we're quickly coming to terms with the fact that we have a lot of stuff.  A LOT.

Some will go with us to London.

Some will stay here, stored in our basement. 

And the rest is headed out of our lives.

Anyone looking for a old clothes of the Brown family?  We just sent a Subaru-full to Goodwill this past weekend.  At least 10 garbage bags full.  It's obscene, especially since we have lots of clothes remaining in our closets and drawers.  And we have yet to go through baby clothes, books, luggage, toys, or linens.  We're expecting to take at least two more full-car runs.

How in the WORLD do we accumulate so much stuff?

It's sobering.  And a little disgusting.

And yet purging?  Feels great.  Like shedding a few pounds.

We COULD use a little help, however, Internet friends...

1. What are your favorite purging secrets/methods/techniques/tips?  We're all ears.  

For the most part, we're trying to think through A) have we used it in the last year, or B) do we really love it and hope to use it again?  If both can be answered in the negative, we're basically letting it go.  But I'm sure y'all have some more thoughts on this matter.

2.  For our Columbus friends: Are there any good charities/shelters/crisis pregnancy centers/etc. where we should donate?  Specifically some of the baby stuff we're not taking?  I'm happy with Goodwill and what they're up to, but if there are other organizations collecting, say, toys for the under-three-year-old set, we'd be happy to send some things their way.

3. How, once you purge, do you resist temptation to fill your life with stuff again?  While ideally I love the concept of a simplified lifestyle, in reality new stuff always seems to make its way into our lives.  

Thanks, friends! 


Anonymous said...

Are you taking your dog with you guys?

Beth said...

Good luck! I actually love purging, so I'm a little jealous.

1. I watch Toy Story 2 or 3, and think of all the sad little toys I have that wish they were being played with. I always want to give them to a nice child.

Also, flip through a few of your favorite home decor magazines, with the idealized rooms that have no clutter and no junk.

Put it in the car or garage as if it's already given away, and sleep on it. If you're still thinking about it the next day and feeling really bad that you got rid of it, rescue it from the garage. Most of the time, in a few hours I've forgotten what I even put in the car, so it's clear I don't need it.

3. Think about the cost in terms of what you're giving up to get it (how many hours do I have to spend away from my family at the office to afford it, how many blueberries could I get at the farmers market for the cost of that one pair of shoes, how many college textbooks could you buy for your kid for the cost of that new TV, etc.)

Sleep on it. If I still really, really wish I'd bought that super cute dress the next day, because it's versitile and so different from anything else in my closet, then I go back and get it. But again, usually I forget all about it, or the hassle factor of going all the way back to the store outweighs how much I think I want it.

Let reality win over fantasy. Sometimes I see, say, a juicer and I think, "YES! I shall drink juice! I will live on fresh juice, and my skin will be awesome, and I'll be thin and healthy and vital! YES! JUICE IS THE ANSWER." Then you get it home and realize you're never home long enough to make juice and you have nothing in the house with which to make juice because you haven't grocery shopped in weeks, and you put it in a back cupboard or high shelf somewhere and never use it. Don't let yourself play infomercials in your head. Look at the reality of your life and think, "Am I really going to wear this or use this, and is it really going to improve my life as much as I think it is right now?" For me, the answer is usually no.

Ali said...

Check out this org:

Ashleigh Perkins said...

Hey Jessica,
Do you read the blog "Tiny Twig Goes Out on a Limb"? Her e-book about simplifying your wardrobe was super helpful to me. I think a lot more now before buying lots of clothes.

Just an idea. Good luck with your move!

Erika said...

I think sometimes asking the honest question - do I really need this??? And if I'm not sure walking away w/o it. 3 days later if I'm still thinking about it wishing I had bought it... go back and get it. Or maybe wait 7 days if that's a bit more realistic for ya :)

Erin said...

Vineyard Community donates clothes to women in crisis pregnancy - infant - 6 mth. Good luck as you move. I will miss you all.