Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Early summer of 2001 I had a garage sale with my housemate Dorothy. I was moving out, away, and getting hitched. Seemed like a perfect time to whittle down my belongings. Eric brought a ton of stuff over from his apartment and we had ourselves a sale. We rid ourselves of nearly everything that didn't have use or sentimental value. Furniture, plates, clothes, etc. ---all gone! When the sale was over we were able to load all of our belongings into a mini-van.

We got married a few weeks later and did acquire new possessions, most of which we still use. When we got back from our honeymoon we moved up to Montana with all the stuff we could pack into a Ford Escort, including 2 cats. A short time after that my parents came with some more stuff, but all in all we had very little. We very easily fit into a 400 sq.ft. apartment. Time passed. We accumulated more stuff. We moved and purged, moved and purged. Then we had kids. Nobody tells you just how much stuff seems to go along with kids; a comet tail of detritus, toys, clothes, etc. Regular purging is an absolute necessity for people like us. I try and do it seasonally, a minimum of 4 times a year. Additionally I always have a bag going with items to drop at a thrift store. I don't feel like we buy much, but stuff still finds its way into our lives.

Yesterday I happened to be looking at this post and wondered how difficult it would be to come up with 100 things that I could purge from our house...it took almost no time to gather over 100 things and I am nowhere near being done.

Here is the breakdown thus far....
1 plastic tub
2 pens
1 coffee mug
6 plastic forks
6 gift bags
1 towel
1 toy watering can
40 items of clothing (men, women, maternity, toddler, baby, new & used)
1 drawstring bag
1 crimper (don't you worry I still have a flat iron/crimper combo)
6 hermetically sealed bottles, nipples, etc. ( we don't need the zillion that we have---she rarely uses bottles)
1 bottle carrier
1 pair garden gloves (we have more gloves than hands)
1 vase
1 jug soap
4 hair bands
1 scrunchie
1 unopned baby lotion that has a smell I disslike
8 books
1 toothpaste dispenser
1 ring
1 pair earrings
1 ice cube tray
2 maps
3 sets of chopsticks
1 sticker
1 plate
1 water bottle
1 apron
4 bibs
3 potholders
1 pot
1 tv antenna
1 hat
1 pr shoes
1 stuffed animal
1 jewelry box
1 shower curtain rod cover


So, now you may be wondering what we are going to do with all of this. Well, most of it will end up at a thrift store.Some of the outgrown clothes will end up at a local kids clothing consignment shop where we will trade for store credit. The brand new baby clothes, stuff that Elise outgrew before it was the correct season or duplicates are bagged up and ready to go to the hospital (like this). All will be out of our home by noon today! Phew.

How do you keep your stuff from taking over?


AKM said...

I'm a wannabe minimalist with packrat tendencies. It's SO bad! I've been doing better at tossing lately, though. A charity comes right to my mom's porch, so I just take my stuff over there. It's mostly books and clothes; I don't really buy a lot of either, but I seem to hang onto everything I've ever had! Oof.

Carmen said...

I've been busy doing the same. Two more bags of clothes are sitting at my front door ready to go :). Anything we paid for or received as gifts I take to consignment. Whatever they don't take, and clothes passed down to us, I pay forward to goodwill. We've been in our home 9 years. Far too easy to collect!

Anonymous said...

I wish the word "purge" was a vocabulary in this household! Unfortunately it is not. But I am happy someone is doing what I wish I can do.

sophie said...

I'm a lot like you, I am always purging and have a bag going at all times. My family however likes to accumulate and never let go of anything so I have to sneak purge, which is kind of thrilling but scary too as I have been caught a few times!

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