Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Criteria for a Purge

One thing that I do each new year is go through and purge stuff. After moving this year to our smaller house I had already purged some, but was waiting to see exactly what was needed and what wasn't when we finally had the house remodel far enough along to set rooms up. Yes we moved in September, but we lived in somewhat of a construction zone for months and many things were still packed. When things started to take shape, it was time for holiday decorating and actually I am just now getting around to unpacking some boxes that were still in the garage. You know it is the little things you miss, it is so nice to have a full set of measuring utensils, I am not sure how they were separated in packing, oh and I had missed my pizza cutter. Nothing bad enough to dig through boxes but missed some stuff none the less.

In my desire to get organized once and for all I have unpacked boxes and purged. It is amazing what I never really missed. I am up to three boxes to donate so far and still going. I am working in my craft room right now and have already tackled several other rooms. It seriously amazes the stuff that I keep. I follow this criteria when I purge:

  • Does this serve more than one purpose? In a smaller home, it is important that everything works in at least two ways. Storage is key, I just purchased a foot stool for my husband to use in the sitting area, where he likes to study in the morning, but it also has storage. Many of my serving pieces serve everyday in another capacity and can be used for entertaining as well. I have a tray in my craft room that holds weekly calendar pages, but can easily be used to serve when I have guests. (I do this even with clothes, every piece must match at least two other garments in my closet.
  • Is it something I would buy again? This one can be tricky. I am in a house I hope to be in for a very long time, so why keep that table that doesn't work for when I might move in 10 years? But on the other had if I don't have a place for it right now, but we are planning on renovating a room in a couple of years and it would be perfect for what I have in mind, then I would keep it, if I have room to store it. If you are only getting rid of it because you are in the purge mood but will need it again in a few months, it is cheaper to store than to buy again. I have an attachment for my stand mixer to juice lemons, but I only use it a couple of times a year, it would be silly to donate and then turn around and buy a new one next year.

  • Do I even like it, there are things that we all purchase, receive as gifts, etc that we never liked to begin with, don't feel guilty about letting it go. I had a top that I never liked, I didn't like the way it looked but I kept because it was good quality. Gone.  I bought placemats not that long ago, but they never really looked good on the table. I kept trying to make them work because I did kind of like them. Gone, they were never going to look good on my table.
  • Does it mean something to me? I used to watch organizing shows and they would encourage people to get rid of their grandmother's wedding dress, or family Bible or some heirloom because it was just taking up valuable space. I wanted to tell those people don't do it, you will regret it later. I have a few handed down pieces, sweet gifts that are more valuable to me than the space they take up. Yes, I still have my wedding dress and I lug it with me every time we have moved. No I haven't had it on in 30 years.
  • Can I use it somewhere else? Let's say I had a basket i the family room that just seem to collect junk and really didn't want to keep it because it encouraged me to drop random stuff in it. Well I throw the junk away and look at the basket, is there somewhere else I could use it, then I remember that I need something under the bathroom sink to coral hair dryer, curling iron and such. The basket would be perfect, don't buy something when you have something that will already work. You are reducing your clutter and saving money.
These are just a few ways that I approach purging. Remember it is what works for your family, not what works for me.  (There is no formula.)  Are you organizing and purging at your house? I have almost got my craft room ready to show you!! You can read about last year's purge here.

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  1. I am a huge purger. Married to a huge pack rat. I have a very similar list I follow when I purge things. We live in a small house with very little storage so I feel like I am always going through things.

    1. Me too! Thankfully my hubby isn't a pack rat! But honestly I love getting rid of stuff that is not useful anymore!

  2. My hubs is a pack rat. We are at max capacity right now. Two collage age boys still at home and hubs wants to "hang on" to anything in case they might need it when they move out! I am ready to purge. I keep telling him it is messing up my fung shui!