Day 2 - Purging Process

So what did our house look like the day we came home from the Bungalow tour, you ask? How bad was it? Unfortunately I don't have actual photos from that day....but to be honest, it was probably something kind of like the following photos - piles stacked on top of every flat surface, nothing put away, tons of stuff stuck on the front of the fridge. So much visual clutter.

Unmade bed, pillows and blankets everywhere, laundry to deal with....

Stacks of papers and random boxes of stuff to deal with in the office...and an ironing board. Doesn't everyone iron in their office??

Exercise equipment and a hodge podge of knick-knacks in the great room.

When we took a good, hard look at our home we saw clutter everywhere we turned. Piles of it! We soon realized we just had too much stuff. WAY TOO MUCH STUFF. We did not want to be the people who had an entire room stacked full of junk so that we couldn't even use all our space. But we were...We realized when you have too much stuff it becomes a burden rather than a blessing. We had to purge.

To do this, we began asking ourselves a lot of really tough questions about our belongings. What did we really need? What did we love? We had to come to terms with the size of our home and realize that we could not have 3000 sq. ft. of belongings crammed into a 1300 sq. ft. home. It does not compute. Nor is it comfortable!

Just this spring I read a fabulous book by Tsh Oxenreider of simplemom.net entitled Organized Simplicity. When talking about evaluating our belongings, she said something similar to this quote that I later found on Pinterest:

This quote puts into words the philosophy that Dave & I have slowly adopted over the past few years. Since we realized that our space is most definitely limited, we have been constantly editing our belongings to fit inside those parameters.

In the past 5 years we've participated in at least 4 garage sales, we've made the Goodwill donation center a weekly stop and Craig is our best friend with his handy dandy little "List". I've found that it is remarkably freeing to say "GOODBYE" to all that extra stuff that we don't even need and to share it with others who do need it. It's a win-win.

To get an idea of how much stuff we got rid of here are a few photos during the purging process:

All these boxes are filled with random car parts.

And here's my handsome honey crammed into our Jeep on the way to a friend's house for a garage sale one weekend.

We even purged 8 vehicles!!!...including a forever-breaking-down 1973 Ford tow truck (I'm married to a mechanic...what can I say?) 

Nowadays before I bring something into our home I seriously ask myself if I love it and think it's beautiful or if it will be useful to our family. If the item does not meet one of those criteria, it does not enter. Otherwise it will only become a burden.

And recently I've been getting tougher and asking myself if the object is both beautiful and useful simultaneously...Because I don't know about you, but I always like to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. My posessions must "work hard" to "earn their keep" in my home. What I mean by this is that if I'm going to have a trinket sitting around it should be useful, something like a candle or warmer that makes the space smell better or a basket with a lid that can hold paperwork or other necessary clutter. 

Our dining table centerpiece is a prime example of this:

Rather than place some frilly no-count thing on the table, I bought this attractive basket with a lid at Home Goods for $9.99 and I store napkins, baby wipes, vitamins and salt and pepper inside. It's a FUNCTIONAL decoration and I love it.

So take another look around your house and begin asking yourself 2 questions about everything you see...

  1. Do I believe this item is beautiful?
  2. Do I find this item useful?
If the answer is "no" to both, please consider letting it go! You will be SO glad you did! And the more items you have that can multi-task and satisfy both criteria, the better!

So, tell me, based on these tips, how many boxes of stuff are you taking to Goodwill this week?? ;)


Kristi said...

I have one of those rooms that I close the door when company comes & is just piled with stuff. But the real problem is that the rest of my house has crap everywhere too. I've been slowly going through and making trips to Goodwill. One day I will have a spacious feeling house with the 'less is more' philosophy in full swing! :) I hope you'll come check out my 31 days of Free Printables (week 4 has home/organizational printables)

@ Creative Kristi

Ahopefulheart said...

I came across your blog at 3 a.m. I have moved three times and each time taken my clutter with me. Now, I am blessed to live in a spacious house, but my clutter overwhelms me. I want to deal with the clutter and live a more simple, meaningful life. I work three days a week, and will do the 31 days on my non-working days. Thank-you for your honesty and inspiration xx

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