5 Things I have Learned Purging

I call this, the junk pile. Random stuff everywhere that would normally be stored in boxes and never opened. This time, I was determined not to have ANY boxes other than Christmas decorations stored in the basement.

Oh boy, it has been 3 months since we decided to move, downsize, and purge our lives of all baggage of stuff, and a history that wasn’t ours. It has been a remarkable ride, and an adventure in emotions. There are a lot of things we have learned and things I want to share. Everyone seems to be on a spectrum of hoarding, come on think about it, we are told to buy a bigger house, fill it with stuff, and then rent a storage unit and fill that with stuff. That is simply insane. Why do we need so many things?

1. Storage solutions – I find it remarkable how many storage solutions there are, and how many I bought, and how completely useless they really are. Storage solutions made me lose things, made me forget what there was in them. I had a mentality that I needed to organize and buy storage solutions instead of thinking about what I had. In many cases, I had duplicates and triplicate of things, simply because I forgot that I had it. It was simply out of sight out of mind. So, by purging, by getting rid of all storage solutions and banning myself never to buy any again, I have eliminated that possibility of ever hoarding things by accident.

2.  I was attaching myself to things that weren’t even mine. Remember that Lady’s chair that I wrote about? Well, my cousin didn’t want it, so she gave it to me. She gave it to me to get rid of it, not out of sentimentality, but simply to pass the buck. She passed on a sentiment making me a keeper of something I shouldn’t have been a keeper of. I felt like I had to hold onto a piece of family history out of loyalty. It didn’t really give me any happiness, it was in rough shape, and would cost a small fortune to fix. By letting it go, I let go of the guilt and a past that wasn’t mine. You see, I think my cousin passed it on, thinking that she didn’t have to have guilt because it was still in the family, therefore passing the guilt to me. We have now banned all family from bringing anything into our house, including gifts.

3. The more I have purged, the lighter I feel. By letting go emotionally to things, and only keeping what I truly love around me, I have actually been able to sleep better.

4. Anytime something becomes cluttered, whether it is in the kitchen, closet or desk, it simply means we have too much stuff, and it is time to purge a few things. The process has made cleaning easer and more efficient as well as made life just that much more stress free.

5. Being Thoughtful – We have made a house rule that anything we purchase, clothes, kitchen, furniture, it has to be thoughtful. We are now focussed on bringing into this house what we truly love, what we can really use, and what is practical. Recently, we got rid of 2 backpacks that we kept using for our day hikes, but we actually complained about. We inherited the mentality that you don’t get rid of something that is useful, even if you complain about it. A little strange, but I have noticed that mentality with a lot of people. So now, if it is uncomfortable, we are simply eliminating it because it is not 100%. We then bought one pack, that both of us love and can use, and is comfortable. It is all we needed for a day hike.

As I sat surrounded by boxes and things that I was getting rid of, I realized that the accumulation of things made us miss out on a couple of trips. We had simply started to collect things, not truly focussing surrounding ourselves with people and experiences. We have always been good about travelling, but as I looked around at our pile of things, I realized, I had to get better. I was holding onto things that I had inherited, they weren’t mine, didn’t even reflect what we liked, and goodness didn’t make us any happier.

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